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The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Valentine’s Day: Expectations vs. reality

As Valentine’s Day nears, Chico State students prep themselves for the holiday by reflecting on some of their past experiences.

Dating back to the fifth century, Valentine’s Day has challenged many to provide their significant others with flowers, chocolate and memories.

The Orion asked Chico State students to highlight the expectations some have for the holiday and the inconsistent realities that may follow by sharing their stories.

Taylor Severino (web)
Taylor Severino, first-year undeclared major, had a mishap on Valentine's Day last year when the romantic dinner her boyfriend tried to prepare for her resulted in the need for a fire extinguisher. Photo credit: George Johnston

Taylor Severino, first-year undeclared major, had a dramatic experience during her last Valentine’s Day. This year, she hopes that her and her boyfriend learn from that mistake, she said.

2014 Valentine’s Day Expectation:

“Last year I didn’t expect much from my boyfriend, but I knew he was going to do something special for me, or at least try,” she said.


“After school, he brought me to his house, and I was immediately flattered by the decorated table full of flowers,” she said. “Despite never tasting anything he had personally made, I realized he wanted to stay in and cook for me, which seemed like a great idea.”

“He proceeded to go into the kitchen to cook while I played some music in the living room. The food smelled delicious at first, but I began to smell and notice smoke expanding throughout the house. I yelled to my boyfriend but heard no response.

“Apparently during his bathroom break, a towel he had been using caught fire on top of the stove.

“My first reaction was to scream his name, and while doing so my boyfriend ran out of the bathroom to see what had happened. He grabbed the fire extinguisher from the garage and luckily took care of the minor fire.

“Once we calmed down and realized the food had been completely ruined, we ordered Chinese food and called it a night.”

Taylor’s 2015 Valentine’s Day Expectations:

“We always laugh about what happened last year, and it’s a fun story to tell. But he and I are definitely going out to eat this time,” she said.

Max Sciarini (web)

Maxwell Sciarini, first-year political science major, had a Valentine’s Day experience last year that didn’t go as well as he expected. However, this year, he hopes to live that experience again, he said.

2014 Valentine’s Day Expectation:

“All I expected (for Valentine’s Day) was a nice night with my girlfriend,” he said.

“I had planned for us to go see a movie and head to dinner after. She and I hadn’t been dating for very long, so I wanted to make a good impression on a day I considered important.”


“My girlfriend’s parents apparently had their own special night planned and left her with babysitting duties,” he said.

“We stayed in with her little brother and watched “Frozen” for the 100th time in three months. We sang along to the catchy songs until they fell asleep together on the couch.

“Despite the night not going as planned, I had a good time and made a great impression.”

Maxwell’s 2015 Valentine’s Day Expectation:

“Now I’m single and just looking for a movie buddy,” he said. “If anyone is interested in sharing a pizza and watching “Fifty Shades of Grey,” hit me up.”

Michaela Leonard (web)
Michaela Leonard, sophomore physical education major, said she is hoping for a better Valentine's Day with a new boyfriend this year. She said she has had significant others break up with her on three previous occasions on the lover's holiday. Photo credit: George Johnston

Michaela Leonard, sophomore physical education major, has many bad memories associated with Valentine’s Day. This year, she hopes for the best as she enters the holiday with a new boyfriend, she said.

Yearly Valentine’s Day Expectation:

“I just always hope for a good day,” she said. “I have bad memories of the holiday, and when it comes around every year I hope for the best.”


“Unfortunately, I’ve been broken up with three times, on three different Valentine’s Days,” she said.

“The first guy I had been dating was pretty immature and gave me a CD full of breakup songs. That one hurt.

“The second time, we almost made it the whole day, but right before midnight he sent the text that I really hoped I wouldn’t receive and ended our relationship.

“Finally, the third guy at least called me to do so, and gave me another reason to hate the holiday.”

Michaela’s 2015 Expectation:

“I currently have a boyfriend, so I’m praying it goes well,” she said. “Just in case something happens between us, I made him pinky promise he wouldn’t break up with me on that particular day.”

Blaine Ball can be reached at [email protected] or @BlaineHBall on Twitter.

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