In this modern day and age, there has been an influx of “economic” holidays being celebrated throughout the calendar year, the most profitable being Valentine’s Day. With Mother’s Day more recently joining the ranks of being very profitable, all of these comparable holidays celebrated in North America share one likeness; they are now victims to over-commercialization and under-appreciation.
We all mindlessly flock to the nearest flower shop to buy a bouquet of roses or carnations (you know…just to be different) when this holiday draws near. In addition, a portion of the male population scrambles to get a reservation to the most expensive restaurant or the best seats for the opera, be it for the girlfriend of two months or the wife of five years. From my perspective, this holiday is, by far, more stressful than the Christmas holidays (now that’s saying a lot!) Not only do you have to prove your worth to your significant other, you also have to prove yourself to your friends and your co-workers when they ask you what you did to celebrate this “special” day. Especially when things don’t go as planned, you are now forced to describe, in detail, your shortcomings when you step into work the next morning.
Let’s not forget all the single ladies out there! The single population suffers from a different kind of stress around this time of year. They not only have to endure the sudden upsurge in the couples’ population, they must also find a “companion” for the Valentine’s Day, even if it is for the night, in order to spare themselves from having to repeat “I’m single” fifty times over the next morning.
However, there are some people who enjoy this holiday thoroughly. These people just happen to be the CEOs of mass retailers and prominent businessmen. This holiday rings in a whopping 14 billion dollars annually in roses, chocolates, greeting cards, diamond rings, perfume and other similar products as gifts for that special someone. Moreover, restaurants and cultural venues like movie theaters experience their best profits on Valentine’s Day. Hence, companies suck the money out of many hopeless romantics by introducing a number of chick-flicks, perfumes, and greeting cards just in time for Valentine’s Day As a money-wary student; it is safe to say that this is the biggest rip-off day on the calendar year. Who wants the added stress of having to spend an obscene amount of money on this day especially in these tough economic times?
Taking a minute to forget about the expense issue, the meaning of this day has also been lost. The effort in remembering this holiday is hardly commendable (especially with all the red crap that suddenly appears as soon as New Year’s is over) and neither is the thought given into buying the generic bouquet of roses or box of chocolate.
Many of you probably know that this holiday originated from the story of St. Valentine and his love for his jailer’s daughter. However, you, the readers, probably don’t know that St. Valentine married many young lovers in secret in after Claudius II’s ordered that young men must remain single. This new law was passed in an effort to make his army more focused, especially after many deaths were caused by the half-hearted mindset of his young, lovesick soldiers. Furthermore, February the fourteenth, being Valentine’s Day, is actually the day St. Valentine was executed after being found guilty of treachery to his king. Ironic much?
If you really want to uphold the spirit of love, why not celebrate your relationship on a day that means something to both of you. How about an anniversary? Or a birthday? Or even on a random day? I guarantee that your girlfriend/boyfriend/partner/spouse will appreciate the gesture more when it isn’t on Valentine’s Day since you have taken the time to remember the love you hold for each other. A day reserved for celebrating a special connection with someone should hold some genuine meaning, rather than be reduced to some corporation’s hey-day.