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Valentine’s Day not a holiday either

Caitlyn Lear, News editor

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Valentine’s Day has come and gone again.  For those lucky enough to have loved ones or to have the chance to be around them, it was a great day.  For others, it was another night spent alone, binge watching sad love stories.

For me, the best part of Valentine’s Day is going into my job at Wegmans the next day and buying the candy at half price.  Though I do have a boyfriend this year, I will still be spending my Valentine’s Day without my man.  I will be enjoying the lovely company of my fellow editors on the paper.  Then I will have the thrill of studying for exams until the wee hours of the morning.

Valentine’s Day has its original roots in the Roman festival of Lupercalia, a fertility celebration, which was celebrated on Feb. 15.  Around the 6th century, Pope Gelasius I declared Feb. 14 to be Valentine’s Day.

However, it was not until the 14th century that Valentine’s Day was associated with love and romance.  Chaucer was the first man to make this link.

So how is it, that after all this time, a random day in one of the coldest and dreary months became a holiday where we celebrate those we love and shower them with gifts?

On this day every year, companies that sell things like cards and jewelry, overload billboards, computer screens and TV ads with signs telling us to buy this, or buy that, because for some reason, if we don’t we are somehow bad partners and clearly don’t love one another.

These big companies have turned something that had some historical meaning into another commercialized day.   They make billions of dollars a year on diamonds, cards with mushy messages and stuffed bears holding hearts.

Most people rely on these small tokens to express their love because no one has ever shown them how.  What’s even worse is half the stuff that is given as gifts is not even kept or wanted.

Girls get chocolates, yet they are still working on losing those few extra pounds from the holidays.  Cards sit on the fireplace and are then thrown away a week later.  Teddy bears get stuffed in a box of mementos and forgotten.  Flowers are not watered and die.

But why does this display of affection have to be confined just one day?  Do you somehow love your boyfriend, girlfriend, husband or wife more just because it is Valentine’s Day?  And can we not celebrate people other than significant others?

My parents’ wedding anniversary is on Valentine’s Day.  Because it is their day, and it is also Valentine’s day, I try to do something special for them.  Sometimes I will even buy special little things for my siblings, especially now that I do not get to see them every day.

I just cannot grasp the concept of a holiday that trains us to love especially hard and be outwardly emotional on one day and not treat every day like a special day.

My boyfriend tells me every day how much I mean to him.  He does little things every day, no matter what day of what month it is.

Recently at work, I had a coworker tell me how mad she was that her ex-boyfriend did not get her flowers for Valentine’s Day a few years ago.

She went off on a rant about how inconsiderate he was.  I was flabbergasted.  Somehow because this man did not go out and buy a plant that will not last more than a few days, he is inconsiderate.

Yes, most people like to receive flowers, but I would rather get flowers on a Friday after a long week of finals than silly holiday.

And besides, what is the infatuation with all the pink and red?  Some of us don’t like all the so-called girly colors.  If the love and affection is supposed to go toward showing the specific individual that you love and care, why are all the decorations and gift catered to a specific gender?

If you really want to show the person you love that you truly care and know them, do something that you know only they will appreciate.  Don’t fall into the trap of large corporations by buying flowers and chocolate.

If you really want to do something, get them something they really want, take a day with no cell phones and enjoy each other’s company, or do something with them and maybe not necessarily just for them.  Better yet, do something small every day because we don’t only have to love one another on Valentine’s Day.

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The student news site of Mercyhurst University
Valentine’s Day not a holiday either