Starting in preschool, Valentine’s Day parties were IT. Red and pink everywhere, paper hearts, pin the tail on the donkey, and, of course, Valentine’s boxes. My personal favorite. I have always been a crafty, creative person, even in my ancient days of preschool and kindergarten, so I annually anticipated making my box, and making it better than the year before. 

I really don’t remember my Valentine’s boxes, but there are two in particular that will always be ingrained in my brain. The first being a Titanic-like boat inspired by (and by inspired I mean copied) the Family Fun magazine I was obsessed with. Second was the gumball machine that I made in fifth grade that I spent way too much time on, but looking back they made this seemingly random holiday mean something to me. 

At this point in my life, there isn’t much to celebrate on February 14th. Middle school stripped us of the festivities of PTA organized parties and making 26 Valentines for your classmates (making sure your friends got the best kinds of candy). All of these parties, pre-k to fifth grade, are all extensively documented through pictures taken by my mom who volunteered at all of them. Since then, I haven’t taken a single picture on Valentine’s Day according to my camera roll, and thats on being single. 

Just like math and english, Valentine’s Day has become far more complicated since starting high school. No more coming home with 20 packs of fun dip or planning my iconic red and pink outfit sponsored by Justice and/or Kohl’s. Instead, I come home with homework and without a boyfriend in the same sweatshirt and leggings I cycle through weekly just to scroll Instagram and see all of the couples posting their favorite pictures of each other as they head to Blue or Kona for dinner, but at least I have an extra 20 bucks in my pocket spared from an average teenage boy-approved gift. 

Although it’s not the same as it was to eight-year-old Cambri, I don’t dislike Valentine’s Day, but I’m more indifferent about it than anything. Somewhat disappointed that I won’t have any cute couple pictures to look forward to, but also happy that I don’t have to pain myself with brainstorming cheesy captions for Instagram. But catch me this Valentine’s Day, fueling my increasing addiction to Chick-Fil-A with some gal pals, even though we’ll have to pay for ourselves.