The student newspaper of Nicholls State University

Valentine’s Day is weird for me

February 14, 2019

Graphic by Kaitlyn Biri

Graphic by Kaitlyn Biri

Valentine’s Day is meant to be a day about love. It isn’t, really. It may have been in the past, but it has warped into a monster. Like most holidays, it has turned into a profit machine. It is no longer really about doing something nice for one’s significant other, but about how much one can spend.

The horrid day also creates ridiculous expectations and can drive a rift between couples. A couple should not need a premade holiday to celebrate one another. Valentine’s Day puts too much stress on romantic and not platonic love. There is no room for bros to gift each other pre-workout as a sign of platonic love. That would just be deemed weird, but it should not be seen as strange. Love comes in many forms, yet Valentine’s Day capitalizes on only one type.

Every holiday is now uber commercialized. It is sickening. Every week, there is a new sale for some essential or non-important holiday. Valentine’s Day has fallen into this warped view. It is now stressed that it is what one buys their other half rather than actual, sentimental thought. It is not reserved for just big purchases. Every store has an aisle of candy, stuffed animals and cards to add to a gift. These trinkets are most likely made in China by some kid that is paid pennies a day. The kid suffers so one can add a huge stuffed bear that was made for a few cents and sold for $20. Nothing says “I love you” like a sweatshop stuffed animal. I get, I’m being absurd here, but it is something that we as a society need to ponder. What is the point of all of this? At the end of the day, it is all about profits.

Profits come by making things for cheap, paying workers scraps and a high markup. The same can be said for chocolates. There is no difference between a heart-shaped box of chocolates and a normal one. The only main difference will be the price. Corporations are using Valentine’s Day to make a quick buck. It is not about unconditional love anymore. It is about corporations’ lust for green.

Another issue is the stress that is folded into Valentine’s Day. This partially comes from marketing, but that is not the only force in play. It is also a gendered issue. Men seem to care about it less as a whole, while women seem to care a lot more. There is nothing wrong with caring about the holiday for any gender, but the issue is that people are not mind readers.

Spending should be discussed beforehand and handled fairly. It shows a problem in our society. Men are not seen as emotional and sentimental creatures. I honestly care more about Valentine’s Day than my own girlfriend does. I am a sentimental sap. I wear a hat she gave me early into the relationship almost every day. There is no reason I should feel odd about feeling this way. Valentine’s Day, if a couple should participate, should be a group effort. Each couple is vastly different from the next. We need to stop buying into these gendered generalizations about the holiday. There should be no expected spending limit for women, men or any gender.

The pressure put on the day is awful, too. There should not be a be-all-end-all date to celebrate love. It should be an almost daily thing. I get that having a special day is refreshing, but there is no need to conform to that being on Feb. 14 yearly. Figure out what works best for one’s relationship, and go with that.

The worst part about Valentine’s Day is that it is not about love. It is about romance and copulation. It should be a day for all forms of love. It is something we do not really celebrate as a whole. While I get that romantic love is the focus, there is not a need for that in the slightest. Love is a beautiful thing in all of its forms, though we forget that. The love felt for friends is vastly different than one’s significant other, but it is just as important. It should not be deemed as odd to profess one’s love to friends of any gender. Though, I feel the issue is much more present with the same gender regarding straight people. Reader, think of Lord of the Rings. I believe, without a second thought, Samwise would do something for Frodo on Valentine’s Day.  I find nothing wrong with that. The other issue is the pressure the day puts on single people.

Valentine’s Day should be about self-love, as well. A date is not needed to have a special time on the holiday.

Valentine’s Day is weird for me. I both enjoy it, due to my emotional nature, but disdain what society has made it. It is now a day about romance, money and expectations. It should be a day about love– any kind of love. It should be a day that is in flux rather than a set day for every couple. Most importantly, it should be personal.

 

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