Valentine's Day: The one day every year when we celebrate alongside a winged baby in a diaper wielding a weapon. This holiday has always been a bit strange, even when we were kids. There's just no getting around it: Valentine's Day in the '90s was weird. I mean, yes, it was and still is one of the happiest days of the year, even if we didn't necessarily realize how odd some of the ways we celebrated it were.
Don't mistake me for a Valentine hater. I'm A-OK with any day where you're encouraged to eat more chocolate. Whether I was single or taken (usually single), every year, I've passed out Valentines (typically of the Disney princess variety), dug through an entire box of chocolates looking for the lone coconut one (no shame), watched romantic movies, and worn entirely too much pink. Sometimes I like to dot my i's with little hearts, just for funsies.
Still, when you look at it — I mean really look at it — some of our Valentine's Day habits and traditions back in the '90s were a little strange. Then again, many of our holiday traditions in the '90s were strange in general. Look at Christmas and the glass pickle ornament, for Pete's sake.
Weirdness aside, Valentine's Day in the '90s was always a day I loved, even though these things were a tad difficult to explain.
1Cupid, Because... Look At Him
Cupid has a history all his own, but I mostly remember looking at him as a kid and simply thinking, "... Why?" Why the diaper? The arrow? The slightly creepy smile like he knows something you don't?
2How Seriously We Took Conversation Hearts
The futures of our love lives depended on these candy hearts. And if our crush gifted us one that said "soulmate" and they didn't deliver, you best believe there was going to be hell.
3Practicing Kissing In The Weirdest Of Ways
Practicing on your hand was one thing. Doing it on the pillow is entering an entirely different universe. In what way, shape, or form does a pillow resemble a human? I'm so confused.
4Going On Group Dates
Weird? A little. Only because you'd all still make out in the back of the movie theater anyway. Then you'd just pretend it didn't happen because you were too uncomfortable to talk about it. Please. Let's not act like we didn't all just swap spit sitting next to each other.
5Trying To Figure Out Where To Put Your Hands When You Were Slow Dancing
You made the robot a thing before it was actually a thing — by dancing completely stiff-limbed like a piece of machinery devoid of any human emotion. Don't let it bother you: All of us were terrible dancers in our awkward, hormone-raging youth. Myself especially. Like, I practically invented bad dancing.
6Calling Your Crush's Landline And Hoping Someone Else Didn't Pick Up
Back in the day, you used phones with cords. Families had one number. If a parent or sibling answered, you either had to hang up or start speaking with an accent and pretend you dialed the wrong number. I'll rate that a 4.5 on the weirdness scale.
7Exchanging Cootie Shots With All Your Friends
Ironic, considering we so desperately wished for our crushes to love us back. At the same time, to fend off unwanted affection, we'd recite, "Circle, circle, dot, dot, now you've got the cootie shot," while making the corresponding motions on our friends' hands.
8Going To Chaperoned Dances — Awk. Ward.
The only thing to make your horrible dance skillz even worse was Mr. Fluffenderfer from home room watching you the entire time.
9Mildly Inappropriate '90s Music
"I'll Make Love to You" by Boyz II Men. "Let's Talk About Sex" by Salt-N-Pepa. "Pony" by Ginuwine. Whatever the heck a "zig-a-zig-ah" was. Inappropriate '90s music was part of growing up, but a little weird nonetheless. (Then again, maybe we should be praising them for being frank and transparent about sex, because hey, that's pretty rad, too.)
10Panicking Over Whether Or Not Your Crushed Liked You Back
I remember going into full meltdown mode — I'm talking a full blown panic attack — recalling every last word I spoke to my crush that day and wondering if he was secretly laughing at me because one of my eyes was bigger than the other. What was wrong with me?
(Nothing, is the answer, by the way. Because I am obviously perfect. Heck. And yes.)