Happy Valentine’s Day!
Valentine’s Day is all about love, and not just the romantic kind, so I want to wish all of you wonderful people a very happy Valentine’s Day! My life is so full of love, largely thanks to you guys.
From what I’ve seen, Spain doesn’t go quite as crazy over Valentine’s Day as we Americans do. Just as we call it a Hallmark Holiday, Spaniards refer to it as a “Día de El Corte Inglés” (El Corte Inglés being Spain’s major department store), but perhaps El Corte Inglés hasn’t succeeded at taking over everyone’s lives quite as much as Hallmark has. Some stores in Spain have Valentine’s Day decorations, but far fewer than in the U.S. Kids celebrate the holiday in school, but full-blown Valentine’s Day parties, complete with tons of cards, cookies, candies, and crafts, are replaced by a few educational activities. The Spanish fast-food pizza chain Telepizza does sell heart-shaped pizzas today, at least. If only Telepizza’s pizza were edible.
Even still, I’ve done my best to bring my 3rd favorite holiday (after Christmas and my birthday — what? My birthday isn’t a holiday?) to life. I kicked off my celebrations by attending a Galentine’s Day brunch on Sunday with fellow auxiliares. I brought red bell peppers, red strawberries, red juice mix, and pink strawberry milk, and friends brought treats such as heart-shaped toast with bruschetta and heart-shaped cookies and muffins. Adorable.
Yesterday, I filled my extra after-school classes with Valentine’s Day activities, including a crossword puzzle, story, and game where students guessed each other’s Valentines (after describing them in English). Not surprisingly, with the fifth graders, that rapidly devolved into intensive grilling about my love life, and, more surprisingly, some highly inappropriate questions. Kids these days…
Today, I did a presentation on Valentine’s Day in the U.S. for the older students (I think they may be under the impression that America is a scary dictatorship after I told them that we were required to give all of our classmates Valentine’s cards in elementary school) and made cards with the younger students.
And I can’t forget to mention the highlight of my morning, an adorable stray dog following me from the bus stop to my school. I declared him my official Valentine. Later in the day, I also got to pet 1-month-old puppies that belong to the lady I tutor. So it was definitely a very canine-ly satisfying day.
In the evening, I treated myself to a heavenly kebab and delicious strawberry-filled chocolate while watching terrible television and chatting with some wonderful friends back home (thanks, technology!). So, despite the obnoxious remnants of a terrible cold/flu/fever/whatever it was, it was a great day. This Valentine’s Day (and every day), no matter your relationship status, don’t forget, in the immortal words of Parks & Recreation, to TREAT YO’ SELF.
I hope you all are having an equally wonderful day! ¡Feliz Día de San Valentín! ¡Os quiero!