Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Valentine’s Day is Over

This Valentine’s Day, I woke up late, saw a matinee showing of the Vagina Monologues with four other men, made a sandwich, worked the 10:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. graveyard shift at Hoya Snaxa and listened to Sara Bareilles songs with my friends late into the night.

This year, I noticed that Valentine’s Day at Georgetown brings with it a whimsical sense of self-loathing humor, something that Georgetown’s culture of government, internships and Goldman could use a little more of. Whereas for most of the calendar year, we worry about our hookup tendencies and our fear of not being good at dating or being too lanky (I have a friend …), during Valentine’s Day, we get to laugh about all that.

On Friday afternoon, I worked a shift at Midnight Mug and my motley crew of Corpies and I spent the three hours behind the counter talking about our respective plans for the weekend. By popular vote, these included seeing “50 Shades of Gray” with roommates, getting happily drunk over brunch and staying that way all day. In my case, this also included seeing a play about women and their relationships with their bodies with four other men who, along with myself, don’t have a lot of experience with the female body.

It occurred to me at some point that afternoon that Valentine’s Day at Georgetown is often defined by our exclusion from it. We love holidays like Christmas and Halloween because we participate in them: the Christmas tree lighting ceremony, secret Santa exchanges, drunk girls on Prospect purporting to be dressed as cats but in reality looking just a little more exposed than they do most Thursday nights. More often than not at Georgetown, rather than uniting people, Valentine’s Day serves as a holiday that unites people by exclusion.

Valentine’s Day also allows us to talk about ourselves. This is not the case with other poorly themed holidays. Columbus Day, for instance, is like Valentine’s Day in that few of us get up in the morning and pledge to live the day in the name of Columbus. Rather, it is a day at which we look together and critique the small troublesome detail that it memorializes a white man who led what many believe to be the worst genocide in world history. But it doesn’t make us look back on our old girlfriends.

Billy Bragg’s 1998 clever pop ballad, “Valentine’s Day is Over,” does just that. In the song, a woman recounts her relationship with a once-nice guy who has turned “brutal” and selfish. “Valentine’s Day is over, it’s over,” she repeats in each chorus, Valentine’s Day serving as a symbol for the happy earlier days of the relationship, when he brought her “poetry and flowers.” In a devastating pair of lines in the last verse, she says, “Thank you for the things you bought me, thank you for the card / Thank you for the things you taught me when you hit me hard.”

It may be, then, that Valentine’s Day treads a thin line between humor and memory. Maybe we sit around on Valentine’s Day and laugh about how God knows we don’t have dinner plans tonight, while somewhere deep down, some small part of us remembers a happy laugh we shared with someone a year or two before. Hey, maybe that’s part of the humor.

“Manhattan” by Sara Bareilles was the song my friends and I listened to while we were all half-asleep in my living room late into the night last Saturday. After more than a few ironic comments from the guys in the room about Sara Bareilles breaking our manly hearts, we went quiet for a minute or two as the song played. In it, a girl gives up going to Manhattan because her unrequited lover lives there: “You can have Manhattan / Cause I can’t have you.”

My friends probably all fell asleep during that minute of silence, but who knows. Soon after that, we all went to bed. Another Valentine’s Day in the books. I’m already looking forward to next year.

William Fonseca is a junior in the College. Spring Semester Days appears every other Monday on  

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    Person with third grade level readingFeb 18, 2015 at 1:14 am

    ……….Yeah……So, did anyone proofread this thing?