The Pros and Cons of Valentine’s Day

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Heartache by the dollar

By David Hurtado

Roses are wilting, violets are dead, false conceptions of love fill our heads.

Yep, it’s that special time of year when rose growers and chocolate manufactures are encouraging you to demonstrate the extent of your affection in dead vegetation and fat-saturated sugar products. So, in the spirit of the holiday, happy shallow interpretation of romance day.

You probably wouldn’t know it, from some of the things I said above, but I don’t hate Valentine’s Day. Even though I’m about as successful with women as Chandler Bing or that one time in the third grade most of the class didn’t make me a valentine, I don’t see Cupid as one of Satan’s little minions.

Valentine’s Day is great for the economy because it’s convinced people if they don’t spend the week’s paycheck on their significant other, then their relationship is as hollow and empty as the void between stars. Sure, it’s nice you can buy your weight in cheap candy the next day, but it doesn’t stop the 14th of February from being an overrated holiday.

There are 364 other perfectly good days to smell the love in the air. Where exactly in the “handbook for relationships” does it state this one, insignificant day must be treated like the Second Coming of Christ? I understand women love romance, but this made-up holiday isn’t the only day to express your love. Showing your affection should be done on a daily basis, even it’s just small gestures like a flower or a short love note.

W h e n Roger Hodgson penned the song “Give a Little Bit,” he wasn’t talking about money or expensive jewelry. But that’s what Valentine’s Day is all about now, isn’t it? We expect things. And if our better halves don’t come through, the letdown doesn’t feel just like any letdown; it feels like Thor smashing Mjölnir right into the heartstrings. There’s nothing wrong with exchanging overpriced gifts, but it’s not a true measure of how much you love one another.

Relationships are already complex enough as it is without making them into little games of Russian Roulette. Maybe that’s why Valentine’s Day is one of the most popular days for couples to call it quits. If it’s not your first year celebrating this pseudo holiday together, you’re pressured to surpass last year’s festivities. And depending on how much of a bang your relationship started off with, it might just be easier to break up with both wallet and sanity intact.

At this point in my tirade, I bet you’re expecting the whole “sucks to be single” argument right about now. I might be single, but I’m not going to hold a pity party for one. And neither should you.

The world would have us believe being single on Valentine’s Day is something to be ashamed of. It isn’t. Being single only sucks when you perpetuate the delusion of defining yourself by your relationships. I know because I’ve been there. Don’t give in to the voices calling you ugly and worthless; you are more beautiful than you think.

If you want to celebrate Valentine’s Day, go right ahead. Just remember it’s a day like any other.

Contact David Hurtado, features editor, at dhurtado@jccc.edu.

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