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How she celebrates Valentine's Day

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Gaila's first year on Earth, she doesn't quite know what to make of early February, when the entire world seems to explode in pink and red or white and the scent of chocolate and the sparkle of diamonds. But compressed carbon doesn't interest her except in its industrial applications and the one time she tried chocolate she was sick to her stomach for days.

And the half-rounded shapes with their pointed ends look nothing like the hearts she knows, either her own or those of humans. She observes to her roommate that they far more resemble a particularly large-buttocked woman bending over, if held upside down. This earns her an odd look and an explanation that she hears but can't really make sense of.

When she begins rooming with Nyota, at least, she can get answers to some of her other questions. But she's still not sure she understands "Be Mine" -- or, rather, she understands the words but not the sentiment; she would never wish to possess another sentient being. And "Be My Valentine" makes even less sense to her; martyrs are all well and good and they serve their purpose to motivate when necessary, but she just can't wrap her head around asking someone to martyr themselves for you.

Nyota does try to explain, and all of the words individually make sense but the two of them eventually come to the conclusion there's a fundamental cultural misunderstanding. Though the hours-long conversation about love and romance and how the ideas have changed over centuries in both Earth and Orion traditions is fascinating.

After that, Gaila decides she's going to celebrate Valentine's day by gathering up others who, like her, aren't interested in possession or martyrdom, and together they will watch ancient films.

She feels it is only appropriate they begin with The Sheik.