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A Study of Valentine's Day


by charmedhorses

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It’s February in Neopia and you know what that means- Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. There are various thoughts on this holiday of romance, some believe it to be a commercial creation, while others revel in its sincerity. Friends and neighbors alike clash in opinions, but despite much the much hyped controversy, Valentine’s Day is still very much celebrated and businesses seem to be doing just fine.

For this very special occasion, I hastened over to Neopia Central, where users and Neopets alike were busy picking up last minute items. At the local Neomarket I found a blue Kacheek piling down his basket with sweets, obviously not concerned about anything else going on around him.

“Excuse me,” I tapped him on the shoulder. “Would you mind a brief interview?”

He eyed me suspiciously, holding his basket of candy close, but consented.

“Do you know what holiday is coming up?” I asked him.

The Kacheek, who introduced himself as Jacob, looked at me as if I had suddenly lost all my hair and turned bright green. “Duh. It’s Valentine’s Day. Can’t you read the signs?” He pointed to those posted around the grocery store.

I shook it off. “Of course I can read. Do you have any special feelings toward Valentine’s Day?”

The Kacheek furrowed his brow in hurried thought. “I like to eat candy and there sure is a lot available during February.”

“Do you do anything special for your owner on Valentine’s Day?” I prodded.

“What do you mean? Like buy him flowers or something?”

“Yeah, something like that.”

“Nope.”

“Nothing special?”

“Well, we normally pig out on candy.”

I was sensing a theme in Jacob’s opinion of Valentine’s Day. Candy. “Alright, well thanks for your input,” I said, leaving the Kacheek to his shopping in search of another Neopet.

I spotted just the subject across the market. She was pawing through the stacks of cards and as I approached her she looked up.

“Hello,” the red Kougra said pleasantly. She was young with a blushing red coat of fur. “May I help you?”

“I was wondering if I could ask you your opinion of Valentine’s Day for an article I’m writing.”

“Sure,” she agreed readily. “What would you like to know?”

“What do you do to celebrate Valentine’s Day?”

“Well, it’s really fun to give my fellow students cards and candy,” she said. “It’s a ball to give all the boys cards and watch their gross expressions.”

I laughed, unable to help myself. She was just so young. We talked for a few more moments before parting ways and hoping to find further insights into this debatable holiday, I continued on my quest to find suitable interviewees.

To my satisfaction, I found just what I was looking for down the frozen food aisle. What was I doing there? Well, I figured some anti-Valentine folks might be hanging out where the temperature was cold enough to freeze anyone’s heart over. I noticed a green Lupe browsing around the ice cream boxes and decided to ask him his opinion.

“What do you think of Valentine’s Day?” I asked him.

The Lupe stared at me, his eyes showing no excitement whatsoever. “It’s a terrible holiday. We should trash it.”

“Trash it?” I repeated in amazement. “Why in Neopia would you want to trash a holiday about love?”

“Love?” Now it was the Lupe’s turn to look at me in amazement. “Since when has Valentine’s Day every been about love? All it is, is a marketing phenomena. Whoever thought of it is a genius, but this is just another excuse for Neopets to buy worthless junk.”

“So you don’t buy into all the chocolates and flowers?” I asked him. “You don’t buy cards or teddy bears?”

“Nope. What would I do with chocolates anyway?” he asked. “Get fat?”

Try as I might, though I must admit I didn’t try very hard, the Lupe would not relent. He maintained his view that Valentine’s Day was a hoax with lots of Neopets falling victim to it.

Nevertheless, two Neopets was not enough, so after bidding good-bye to the anti-love Lupe, I went out to find another Neopet to share their views on Valentine’s Day. This time I tried the flower market and was successful in finding a happily browsing pink Lenny, a bunch of red roses in her talons.

“Do you mind if I interrupt you a moment?” I inquired.

“No, not at all,” she replied, introducing herself as Gloria.

“Who are those roses for?” I didn’t mean to be nosy, but it was important to the authenticity of my article.

“Oh,” she chuckled, “They’re just for myself, a little bouquet to lift my spirits.”

“Do you believe in Valentine’s Day?” I asked Gloria.

“Believe in it? Why I think it’s wonderful! A time for spending with loved one’s and spoiling one’s diet on chocolates. I can’t imagine anyone not liking Valentine’s Day.

“Then apparently you haven’t met a certain Lupe I ran into down the frozen foods aisle,” I replied. “But anyway, what do you normally do on this special occasion?”

“Well, it’s sort of a tradition I have to go out to dinner at some fancy place and buy the best mean I can afford. I love to place flowers all over the Neohome, too. As you can see, I suppose.”

Gloria was quite a Lenny, a true Valentine’s Day supporter. An extremist to the max. When she had finished telling me about what it meant to her and how she celebrated Valentine’s Day, I headed back to my Neohome to see if I could come to any conclusions of my own.

I thought about all the different opinions I had encountered: those of two youngsters, naive and interested in cards and candy, compared to a Valentine diehard and a true antagonist to the whole holiday. What was my opinion? I wasn’t sure. I had never had anyone to share Valentine’s Day with, yet I liked the idea of such a holiday. I was confused and not sure what to think, but ended up realizing something very important.

We all have different opinions. We have different opinions on everything, so why should this vary in regards to Valentine’s Day? And just because someone doesn’t care to celebrate Valentine’s Day doesn’t mean that they’re any less off. Thus, it’s to each his own, as is everything and no amount of research is going to bring an answer to the ever revolving question: Is Valentine’s Day another marketing ploy or a true reason to celebrate? But either way it doesn’t matter, for what we make of the world is up to us and how we celebrate life is likewise up to us.

 
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