Perhaps because it’s so close to my birthday, but Valentine’s Day has always been one of my favorite holidays. I can’t tell you how many Valentine’s-themed birthday parties I had, and I always consider the holiday to really just be an extension of my own birthday. Valentine’s Day was always one of the best days in elementary school, when classmate would fill your milk carton mailbox with all kinds of superhero Valentines and candy.
Despite all this, February always lies in the part of the semester where it’s easy to fall into a funk. The weather can be dreary, and midterms loom dark like storm clouds overhead. Granted, life here in Florence is pretty peachy. I love February, but I can’t help but notice others falling under this month’s dark spell.
And so, I decided to take action.
I’m incredibly grateful for my experiences thus far, and I wanted to thank the staff here in some small way. I enlisted my roommate Julia to help me make Valentines for the professors and staff here. We then decided to expand it to make Valentines for the rest of the students.
After buying a couple bags of Baci from the grocery store, Julia and I sat down after dinner to begin composing our Valentines.
We searched for Italian love poems on the internet, and wrote them out on one side of the Valentine. I then drew random pictures to accompany the poems: zombies, a surfer, a bird, a caterpillar, an old man.
Once we compiled all of our Valentines, we went through and wrote a personalized message to each person.
Some were outright creepy.
For others, we relied on horrible puns.
As the night went on, our Valentines only continued to get weirder.
Julia even wrote one for me!
Three hours later, we finally had completed all of our Valentines along with smaller notes to give the professors and staff. The next morning, we arrived early to the Villa to put them on the desks in the classroom before hiding out in the main building so no one would know.
We had a moment of panic when our City of Florence professor announced we would be meeting in the library instead––how would everyone get their Valentines?! Luckily, we whispered our plan to her and got everyone to the classroom. We didn’t want to be the first ones in the classroom, but everyone was taking forever to get ready that morning. Julia and I kept trying to delay going to the classrooms ourselves, walking around the gardens while simultaneously fretting that maybe everyone would just find our Valentines really, really creepy instead of comical.
Luckily, it all worked out! Everyone was surprised to find the cards and candy in the morning, and it put a good start to our early field trip out into the city. Despite our attempts to remain anonymous, pretty much everyone knew right away that it was us––I mean, who else would go to such lengths to make such elaborate Valentines?
Now we’ve got to start planning for the next holiday… St. Patrick’s Day, perhaps?