Be My (Anti) Valentine

Christina Dojan, News Editor

Valentine’s Day started as a holiday to celebrate the death of Saint Valentine.  Valentine was martyred for secretly marrying young Christian couples whose parents had forbidden them from marrying.  Hence, why Saint Valentine is the patron saint of love and why Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate love.  Or at least, it is supposed to be.

The only people who seem content and comfortable celebrating Valentine’s Day are those who are single and loving it, or those in a serious relationship.  The rest of the masses are left in the uncomfortable position of either being single and alone, or in a relationship and left to awkwardly exchange cheesy gifts of red, white and pink.

But even couples can’t seem to win on this holiday.  Any girl can guess what she will receive: flowers, candy, a stuffed animal or maybe even a piece of jewelry.  But what does a girl get a guy on Valentine’s Day?  A mushy romantic card?  Some heart-shaped chocolates?  Valentine’s Day is clearly a day catered more towards women than men as women are generally more romantic than men.

The idea of spending an entire day devoted to sharing feelings of love with friends, family members and significant others is wonderful and exciting.  However, today’s marketing industry has overrun the holiday.  According to a recent survey held by the National Retail Federation, this year’s Valentine’s Day was expected to generate $15.7 billion in sales – even more than last year’s amount of $14.1 billion – with the average American spending $116.21 on Valentine’s Day merchandise.

Valentine’s Day has also been taken over by scams and danger.  Complaints against florists have risen significantly in recent years.  Florists found on the internet may say that they are local, but can actually be thousands of miles away.  Mix-ups in orders happen often, and flowers can arrive wilting.  Dating sites for singles can also be extremely dangerous.  Sites found online may in fact be a scam to snag personal information and money.  Sites can promise a certain number of dates or matches, but in actuality, set up a person with someone she has nothing in common with.

It seems like the only purpose for Valentine’s Day is to make people spend money and be overly romantic for no real reason.  Why can’t someone say ‘I love you’ or ‘I care about you’ any other day of the year?  If love were shown a little more openly every day, then maybe everyone in the world wouldn’t need just one day to stuff an entire year’s worth of romance down people’s throats.