Valentine’s Day: For Better or Worse?
Valentine’s Day: A day filled with hues of pinks, reds, and dream-like sentiments. A day decorated in both expensive and cheap chocolates, foil balloons, and of course, America’s great divide on whether this is an valid holiday or not. This great schism relies on the perception of how Valentine’s Day is a “Hallmark Holiday” that is made for the masses to show their significant other love and appreciation for just one day, and negative nellies on this day express bitterness, apathy, and discontent quite often. The other half of us hopeless romantics scream and squeal about how ethereal, how thoughtful, and just how amazing this day just seems to be. We, the hopeless romantics, day dream about Valentine’s day starting from New Years.
I love Love. I love Valentine’s Day. Both terms are almost synonymous to me. I love how it promotes bouquets of roses, diabetic sweets, and relentless appreciation in the most cheesy way. I love how it’s a day that serves to solely celebrate the relationships in our lives. and Many people believe that it’s for people with boyfriend/girlfriends/and significant others, but it is also for our parents, siblings, friends, co-workers, etc. Sure, I understand the stigma of how it’s a holiday when all you see on your social media are pictures of couples kissing or rose petals delicately displayed on the ground, and sure, it’s cheesy, but what holiday truly isn’t? People complain that Valentine’s day is a day is used for commercializing love and affection that should be given throughout the entire year without a pre-establishment of a day or title to do so. However, here’s my problem with that mind-set: how many people actually pull out the big strings and the whole nine-yards for whoever it is on a random day in the year? Not many.
I love Valentine’s Day because it’s a day that I get to truly show all of my friends and family how much I appreciate and love them without them questioning why I’m doing so. In today’s society, it’s not often that we show our close circle how appreciative we are of them. When we do something out of the blue to show them that we care about them, there’s often the lingering question of “What do you want now?”, thinking that there’s an underlying meaning to the simple gesture of love that we gave them. It’s hard, but I wish we would normalize PDA more often (maybe not just box that category into making out in public), but also making it more normalized to show our friends and family that we love them.
I think that Valentine’s day is one of the best holidays of the year, even though some people argue that it’s a holiday intended for businesses to make an intense profit, but what holiday isn’t used for that? Think of Christmas and how much stigma arises around that time, how neon advertisements and certain aisles are smothered in red and green decor. Think about Easter and the plethora of pastels popping up around every store, and the abundance of PEES easter egg dyes. Valentine’s Day is the same way, and maybe we don’t give it as much meaning because it seems like a superficial holiday, but maybe we just all need to think about the true meaning of the holiday.
Whether you think Valentine’s Day is a bust or not, it’s still a day where you’re given the chance to be a good friend, a good daughter, a good son, a good this and that, by showing your love towards someone in your life. Despite the title, despite the overly pink and red products thrown your way, you never know how much a simple gesture of appreciation will mean to that certain someone in your life.
Photo courtesy of Amari Bethel