Red roses, red wine or plain rejection?

While Valentine’s Day can be a romantic and adorable occasion for those fortunate enough to have a significant other, for many of us, it has been a source of anxiety, awkwardness and mild to severe depression since grade school.

Deciding which paper valentine to give to each fourth-grade classmate was a serious stressor. Do you play it cool and give your crush one that says You Rock, or be bold and give them the one that says Be Mine with a heart? As most of us know, that feeling of dread and discomfort only increased after the fourth grade.

Castleton freshman Mason Brown recalls one particular time in middle school when things got a little bit creepy with her prospective valentine.

“This really, really weird little guy asked me to be his valentine and gave me this card with drawings inside that he said were supposed to be me,” Brown said. “Then my other guy friend was like ‘yeah I’ve seen those in his locker before’.” Yikes.

In some cases, having an unwanted valentine can be worse let than not having a valentine at all. Freshman Alex Brownell had one hopeful Valentine’s Day admirer who she tried, yet failed to let down easy.

“He got me flowers and he was like, ‘will you be my valentine?’ I was just like awe and took the flowers and didn’t really say anything. Then I walked away. I felt really bad,” Brownell said.

When junior, Meghan O’Sullivan was asked about her worst Valentine’s Day story she got right down to it.

“Let’s be real,” she said. “I have no Valentine’s Day story – good or bad.”

Maggie Rodgers, a Castleton freshman, shared a tearful eighth-grade experience full of teenage angst and dramatics.

As she walked down the halls of her middle school, she looked around and noticed all of the valentines, hearts and lace covering the walls, and it really started to get to her.

“I just started thinking … I’m never going to find someone. And I started crying,” said Rodgers. “It was like a montage of couples and candy and hearts and red and pink and … barf.” Maggie’s eighth-grade brain had convinced her that she was forever alone.

Speaking of being forever alone, when asked what her worst Valentine’s Day story was, one Castleton student said, “Probably one of the times when I was just sitting on the couch crying, eating ice cream and watching a sad movie. Just kidding…but not really.” This lonely soul requested to stay anonymous, for good reason.

Valentine’s Day is not all hugs, kisses and smiles. To all single folks out there who spent their night with a Nickolas Sparks DVD, a pint of Ben and Jerry’s, and a box of wine, better luck next year. Stay strong.

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