By Ethan Harmon
Valentine’s Day is the one day of the year that will either fill people with overpowering emotion or dread, depending on your romantic situation. Generally, if you are single, you either dismiss the day altogether and chill with a beer, or desperately try to find a “special” last-minute valentine. Couples usually flock to restaurants and movie theaters. Regardless of your situation, Valentine’s Day represents a day of love and romanticism, which means it should be special, right? Eh. I for one think the holiday is overrated and holds too much merit.
The idea of Valentine’s Day was spawned around myths and legends concerning Valentinus, a Christian Saint. The story (which has been changed and re-told various times) states that Valentinus would perform weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry. That’s a bit romantic, but where does the love-inspired imagery come from? A lot of that actually comes from various other sources, including Geoffrey Chaucer and other poets throughout the ages. Okay, so what about chocolates and roses? Roses appear in a now cliché romantic poem that dates back to 1784 (you know, “Roses are red…”). As for the chocolate and candy, who the hell knows?
So, how did a legend of a Christian saint, poetry and chocolate all come together to create the Valentine’s Day we all know? Years of storytelling and mixed messages, probably. But, history lesson aside, Valentine’s should be a romantic holiday where significant others show their love and appreciation for each other by purchasing superfluous amounts of candy, chocolates, flowers and cards. Yeah, sure, let’s go with that.
Obviously, I’m being a bit sarcastic. Valentine’s Day is a romantic trap for a day. Couples feel pressured to do something overly-generous and wonderful for a day. People who are single have the urge to find someone and do something. And it’s always a one-up of the previous year, isn’t it? You can’t take your lady to the same restaurant as last year, can you? Nope. Go to the five-star restaurant instead. You can’t buy your boyfriend a shirt again, can you? Negative. Get something different that shows you were thinking about him.
Look, you should always have your significant other in mind. You two have a connection. But you shouldn’t feel forced to go over-the-top for just one day. If you feel like you want to do something special for your special someone, then do it when you feel like it is a special time to do it. Any day can be a special day for you and your loved one. Not just Valentine’s Day. And if you are single, don’t lose your cool because you didn’t search high and low for someone to accept a date. Just be yourself and look when you feel is the right time. You don’t need a date just because it is Valentine’s Day. Find that special someone on your own time, when you feel like it is working for you.
So, yeah, it’s an over-hyped holiday. If you have plans, by all means have a blast and enjoy the day. But don’t give the idea of Valentine’s Day so much power. Don’t make it the romantic day. It is just a potential romantic day.