valentines

Getting Over the Valentine’s Craze

Sophomore Zack Leven has been heartbroken during Valentine's Day ever since his devastating break up with sophomore Jordan Shoulberg in 3rd Grade. Photo: Sloan Wyatt

Sophomore Zack Leven has been heartbroken during Valentine’s Day ever since his devastating break up with sophomore Jordan Shoulberg in 3rd Grade. Photo: Sloan Wyatt

Throw the empty boxes of fanciful, heart-shaped chocolates to the side, turn off the sappy romance film, and go get some fresh air, because you have no right to spend February 14th as a pathetic, lonely wanderer. Valentine’s Day, the internationally renowned Hallmark holiday, is awash in oceans of cliché fantasies, unrealistic expectations and inevitable misery, leaving waves of single people feeling helpless and hopeless. We numb our pain with endless Netflix marathons, bottomless pints of Ben & Jerry’s, or maybe even a GNO (girls night out), in attempts to stay oblivious to the palpable love in the air. However, as cooing couples exchange over-priced roses and gawk at amateur pick-up lines, I am left shaking my head in disappointment at a holiday that has become simply overrated.

As a child my parents used to make me heart-shaped pancakes sprinkled with Hershey’s Kisses, and adorn me with cheesy, Dollar Tree gifts, whether it was stickers or frilly pink pencils. But, as the years crawled by, the pancakes came to a gradual stop and the trinkets became too juvenile to appreciate. While the rest of the world spiraled into a flavored heart frenzy, February 14th became just another day on the calendar in our household.

Unlike my family’s friendly exchange, the rest of society has transformed Valentine’s Day into a marketing juggernaut. Companies jump on the opportunity to increase revenue by exaggerating the day’s importance. Each year box office sales and candy and jewelry purchases soar in the weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day. Outrageous store sales and promotions entice customers to spend ridiculous sums of money on dinners, presents and flowers, masking the true meaning behind the day. We fill the day with decadent food and pricey gifts, when in reality it is the pure simplicity of love that St. Valentine celebrated.

They say you cannot buy happiness. And yet they tell us that the masses of movie tickets, diamond earrings and roses are meant to express our love. Beyond the façade of Valentine’s Day lies a genuine story, portraying the love between a saint and his forbidden interest. Until I see more of that advertised on the shelves, I refuse to accept the monstrosity that has become February 14th.