Valentine's Day Debate
Where's the love?
By K.C. Powers
Any holiday geared around candy hearts, flowers, and chocolates is a great holiday in my book. In fact, those who write off Valentine's Day as nothing more than corporate catastrophe need a reality check.
Every holiday is based around money. From Christmas to the Fourth of July, we as a culture skew the real meaning of what was originally established and morphed into a day of celebration based on gifts and food. To say Valentine's Day is simply a "Hallmark Holiday" is the equivalent to saying that Thanksgiving is as well. It all started with St. Valentine, and I'm sure most of us have been lectured on this so I won't bore you. This is all beside the point, which is that Valentine's Day is simply a holiday to remind us all to love someone no matter whom it is. This used to be a honored tradition growing up. When did it change?
Since Kindergarten, we have celebrated Valentine's Day by buying everyone in our class paper cards with candy folded inside them. We eagerly awaited the hour where we could go from desk to desk, slipping our candies in everyone's homemade decorated ice cream bucket with cut out hearts. Occasionally we would pick out a special card, perhaps a bigger one, for the one person we liked in our class then they would notice that they got the best card. It was a happy time where we simply showed everyone we cared and ate copious piles of candy.
We were happy; we didn't argue that it was stupid because it was a corporate corruption of today's society, an attack on feminism, or that it discriminates against single people.
So when did this switch? When was celebrating Valentine's Day no longer the cool thing to do? I'm assuming somewhere in the awkward stages of middle school when not everyone got candy. This doesn't mean that we have to stick with the bitter memories of Paul Nelson asking Maria Score to the 7th grade Valentine's Day dance when you sat at home and watched "America's Funniest Videos" with your parents; but I digress. It doesn't need to be a dreaded holiday.
Put aside the "I'm single pity party" this year. Show someone you love how much you care, be it your cat, your mom, co-workers, or your best friend. That's what it's really about. A simple day to remind someone you care. The more we give into this illusion of economic-based holidays, the more power we give the cooperative world. Sure if you love somebody you should love them every day, not just Valentine's Day, but what's wrong with a reminder?
One more commercialized holiday
By Olivia Mercer
Two words: Valentine's Day. An entire day dedicated to excessive decorating with hearts, too many chocolates for one's cholesterol, flowers, and an overabundance of PDA. While, yes, there are a significant amount of people— particularly women— who live for the day, there are also those of us who despise it.
I am a single, college girl. And, I am not envious of individuals in a happy relationship. That is not the reason why I hate Valentine's Day. Truthfully, even when I had someone to share this "special day" with, I never thoroughly enjoyed the holiday. Instead, Valentine's Day has always rubbed me the wrong way— single or attached. I hate Valentine's Day because I do not believe that couples need a holiday to celebrate their love for one another. Valentine's Day is a commercialized holiday used for countless flower shops, Hallmark stores, and restaurants to make significantly more money. Restaurants embark on one of their busiest days of the year. And, it's an excuse for supermarkets and Hallmarks to come out with brand new items just for Valentine's Day. Not to mention, while a dozen of short stem roses generally costs $20.00 at most supermarkets, stores raise the prices for less-than-exceptional quality roses considerably. And, as long as we continue to celebrate love in a superficial, commercial way, Valentine's Day strips the emotion of love of its true meaning.
Secondly, Valentine's Day is a holiday very much fixated around the woman in the relationship. As mentioned previously, flower shops are one of the stores who most benefit from this holiday. Typically, in a heterosexual relationship, I don't see most men receiving flowers from their girlfriends. Nor, do most men receive heart-shaped necklaces from their girlfriends either. Women, generally, take the holiday the most seriously; they have the highest expectation and receive the most out of the holiday. And frankly, out of a holiday meant to celebrate a couple, it is unfair how female centralized it is.
Lastly, I do not personally feel that couples should wait to celebrate how they feel about one another until February 14th of each year. Instead, if in a relationship, I encourage you to use days like your anniversary or just any other, average day of the week. Hallmark should not be allowed to dictate when and to what extent individuals celebrate and showcase their love. But, for as long as Valentine's Day continues being celebrated, for those of you in a relationship, why not engage in a date night? Embark on something the two of you can do together, whether that is a dinner and a movie, snowboarding or skiing on Mt. La Crosse, or spending the evening curled up on the couch watching movies.
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