Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentines Day: The Holiday of Expectations

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Note: I wrote this back in 2009 for The Seahawk Newspaper and still miraculously feel the same way. 

First and foremost, I loathe Valentine's Day. Secondly, I would just like to clear the air and state that I am not here to scorn couples. I am not a bitter pessimist of love who got her heart trashed by the baseball player back in high school. I am not a proud independent who rejects all men and refuses even the remotest display of emotion. I am not the black plague on Valentine's Day. Or at least, not really.

My problem with Valentine's Day is this: just because it is a day of love and romance, it has ultimately turned into a holiday of expectations. When one thinks of Valentine's Day, one thinks of heart-shaped boxes of chocolate, fancy balloons, trails of confetti and even more elaborate, out-of-the-way expenses. Yes, it is a way for lovers to show their affection, but is the month-in-advance planning, the strategic surprise hot-air-balloon ride, or the champagne bottles and cards that say "Will you be my Valentine?" really necessary? Shouldn't a card and a simple stroll down the riverfront suffice?

V-day has become just like anniversaries--couples are struggling to outdo last year's present or surprise, then the year after, and then the next in an endless cycle of "what can I buy that is more expensive and sparkly than last year's?" People are objectifying love essentially. Love has become equivalent to the quality of the present in the box, the number of roses in the bouquet. It has strayed from being an emotion to being just an object. And as for me, I am the Jean Kilbourne of V-day.

So for this Valentine's Day, forget the Kay Jewelers' catalogue and the Russell Stover chocolates. Break away from all the material instincts that people draw toward, and bite into the raw, simple heart of love. What the hell does that mean? It means that the fun experience and moments will be remembered down the road, not some pair of diamond earrings that will likely be lost on a trip to the Bahamas. And those moments can be as straightforward and simple as a night at home, eating Chinese food and watching a favorite movie.

Yet another reason I hate Valentine's Day is that no matter how hard you try, you always, without a doubt, will end up saying some painfully cheesy comment such as the one I have just given you. 

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