The Jetstream Journal

Filed under Student Life

Platonic or Romantic: United States versus France

Heart+balloons+on+sticks%3A+crowded+and+on+sale+at+local+grocery+store.+
Heart balloons on sticks: crowded and on sale at local grocery store.

Heart balloons on sticks: crowded and on sale at local grocery store.

Heart balloons on sticks: crowded and on sale at local grocery store.

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






We have seen it every year all our lives: reds, pinks, and teddy bears with cute pick-up lines on them. Valentine’s Day. Celebrated freely in the United States. But to France, it is quite strange to share the holiday with anyone besides your partner.

In the United States, it isn’t uncommon to see massive promotions for the loving holiday. Stuffed animals go on sale, chocolates are advertised, you know how it goes. Students come home to their parents asking for help for crafting cute boxes and buying little candies to attach to cards- cards themed from video games or TV shows or generic “lovey dovey” stuff. The coolest student picks up the Fun-Dip © sugar packets for his peers; check out memories from various Kadets:

“Elementary’s easy,” said Mr. Roiko, “y’know everybody brought those little cards, right, and teachers will always make sure that everybody got some.”

“My mom might have done something cute, like [making] heart shaped waffles,” said Mrs. Hall.

“The cards! The cards with the shoe box that you had to make,” said Hannah Brower. “I had to remember everyone’s name in that class and had to know where they’re sitting just to know their name!”

Yet for older kids, teenagers, things become a bit more extravagant: date nights, celebrating with friends. It’s at this point that Valentine’s Day starts to develop an exclusive meaning. 

“All love is love whether it’s platonic or not,” said Christina Eisnor, Air Academy student. “I love Skye and I think it can be celebrated on Valentine’s, but I also love Drake in more of a romantic way and [we] will celebrate it differently is all.”

“I think it was more of a Gal-entine’s Day,” said Hall. “My husband and I like to think of it as a nice excuse to show someone that you care.”

Hall likes that she can celebrate the holiday and wants to let her girlfriends know that they are loved. To her, and most Americans, it is common for Valentine’s Day to express platonic love just as well as romantic love.

“I think it’s platonic more than romantic,” said Mr. Newell. “You gotta keep in mind, high school is practice – it’s not real.”

Contrarily, Ms. O’Neil believes this holiday ought to be based upon romantic relationships, recalling that Valentine’s Day was not heavily celebrated within friend groups when she was a teenager, but like the Candy-Grams schools often sell, O’Neill had a fun tradition in her school as a child.

“I remember we bought cans of the soda, Crush, and they were delivered on Valentine’s Day to the person we bought them for,” said O’Neil. “They were delivered anonymously, sort of like the candy cane scene in ‘Mean Girls.’”

Other traditions involve hiding away from society after a normal day.

“I go home, I get in bed, then have McDonald’s,” said Brower, “and I stay in bed. That’s the way I’m McLovin’ it.”

However, in France – stereotyped to be versed in all things love – it is uncommon to bring up Valentine’s Day to any person who is not a romantic interest. There aren’t classrooms of eight to thirteen year-olds giving everyone candy or little cards. There aren’t decorations in offices or coworkers wishing a happy holiday; the holiday is meant for couples in love. 

“It’s a private thing,” said Madame Knight.

Knight has lived in both France and Germany in the past and agrees the cultures of America and Europe are contrasting. Bidding someone in France a happy day of Valentine’s could send a whole wrong message – it is meant to be left to romantic interests.

Ways to celebrate the holiday remain somewhat parallel: chocolates and flowers, though cards are not as commonplace in France as the United States. The United States tends to praise Valentine’s Day from either direction; France gawks and remains exclusively for romance. So when it comes to decorations in excess for Valentine’s Day in France, you’re out of luck.

“You see some cards and stuff, but it’s not in your face,” said Knight. “Nothing in Europe is so commercial like it is here, so over-the-top.”

While Europe tends to establish privacy for Valentine’s Day, it is American (and okay) to observe the holiday in an open manner. The only wrong way to celebrate is by disrespecting others who celebrate it differently.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




*

Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Platonic or Romantic: United States versus France

    Student Life

    Making a Wish Come True

  • Platonic or Romantic: United States versus France

    Student Life

    Classroom Bullies

  • Platonic or Romantic: United States versus France

    Student Life

    Motivation is Needed

  • Platonic or Romantic: United States versus France

    Student Life

    NEW STUDENT COUNCIL

  • Platonic or Romantic: United States versus France

    Student Life

    Trendy Trends

  • Platonic or Romantic: United States versus France

    Student Life

    Help is Here

  • Platonic or Romantic: United States versus France

    Student Life

    Perks of the USAFA Base

  • Platonic or Romantic: United States versus France

    Student Life

    Just How Honest Are AP Students?

  • Platonic or Romantic: United States versus France

    Student Life

    Social Media Overload

  • Platonic or Romantic: United States versus France

    Student Life

    Conspiracies Of AAHS

The student news site of Air Academy High School
Platonic or Romantic: United States versus France