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1997: I’m in sixth grade, and I have my first boyfriend. Well, we haven’t actually seen each other outside of school, but he walked me to the bus one day and asked me to the school dance. I bring a bag of chocolates into school and give one to each of my friends. My so-called boyfriend gives me a teddy bear. I give him two chocolate hearts.

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2002: I’m a junior in high school. I have an actual boyfriend this time. We date for six whole weeks, and I even drive to his house once (with my mom in the passenger’s seat because I failed my first driving test and only have my permit). But he dumps me the first week of February. Then I get mono.

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2006: I’m a junior in college. I’m in the midst of a long-distance flirtation with a person who lives in Scotland. But the highlight of my Valentine’s Day is a cookie from a friend whom we call J-Weg (Jonathan Wegener, now the founder and CEO of Timehop). Apparently a hanger and a straw have a strange effect as a stand-in for Cupid’s arrow. The year after we graduate, J-Weg sends me a teddy bear that holds a heart with an inscription, which contains words I do not want to repeat here. Intended to be complimentary, I’m sure.

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2014: I’m so many years past the chocolates, the cookies and the teddy bears. All I want is to dance. That’s all I ever really wanted, anyway. So I’m going to see The Shondes play at The Middle East Upstairs in Central Square in Cambridge. Pitchfork describes their music as a mix of “radical politics, power-pop melodies, traditional Jewish music, and punk vitriol.” Joanna Ware, groupie extraordinaire whom you can see rocking out in the band’s most recent music video, says: “I feel very confident guaranteeing you that it’s going to be a good show. This album is great! Their live shows are great! Go!” See you there.

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2015: Next year, I will probably be alone in a room working passionately to finish my dissertation. So seriously, come dance with me this Friday because it might be my last Valentine’s Day out on the town in Boston, and I want to share the love with all of you! Find me at the concert to tell me you read this post, and you’ll get a prize.

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