Which version is more relatable?
Valentines Day. When we set aside a whole day to think of the ones we hold dear to our hearts.
This year, February 14th fell on a Friday, giving us a whole weekend to do something special. Coincidentally, it was free entrance to national parks from the 15th to 17th to celebrate President’s Day, a perfect opportunity for a weekend getaway to Yosemite or Muir Woods. For a breathtakingly fragrant experience, the rare motley of pink and white magnolia blossoms are exquisitely in bloom at the Conservatory of Flowers in San Francisco.
You were supposed to think outside of yourself, and not wallow in cynicism and any pessimistic thoughts on an officially declared romantic holiday. The true celebration of Saint Valentine’s Day is to show appreciation, not to dwell on who’s missing in your life, but to recognize who’s already there. Valentines is for everyone and to be celebrated by everyone. Think of your loved ones and friends, people you know and believe to be worthy of being appreciated, if only for just being part of your life.
We showed our loved ones a special gesture, not just because “it’s Valentines”, but because we love them. Have fun with the holiday, no pressure or expectations.Some gave out something sweet and sappy, felt the butterflies flutter with just a glance at their crush, embraced friends, linked arms with a beautiful someone, polished up their look with flowers in their hair or red accents in their outfit. It was an excuse to go on an adventure, to send sweets with irresistibly cute decorations, or to just greet people with “Happy Valentine’s Day” instead of the usual “hey”and shake up the daily routine and bask in the warm-heartedness of St. Valentine’s holiday.
Valentines Day. After surviving the heavy blitz of winter holiday advertisements, must we also suffer through the nauseatingly Pepto Bismal pink ad campaigns for Valentines?
This day is just a marketing tool for the confectionary, floral, and fine jewelry industry to reinforce the social belief that their products are the go-to solution for any special event, apology, and the problems in your marriage. The US accounts for 40% of the total global demand for diamond jewelry, that’s a $27 billion yearly revenue for the industry.
Any meaning to this couple-exclusive holiday has long been replaced by conspicuous consumption of luxury goods. Corporations have sold us on the idea that romantic love can only be conveyed through commodities. The more expensive, the greater the love. They’ve ingrained our sense of self worth with extravagant gifts we’re supposed to receive from our Romeos and Juliets.
Many of our first vivid memories of Valentines Day was during grade school when we bought heaps of Made-in-China cards and candies, wrote out each name, and delivered them to our classmates’ desks. At the the end of the day, we feasted on the cartoon designs of the Valentines we received as we devoured our candy haul. As we get older, our expectations of gifts or tributes blow up to disproportionate sizes that cannot match socioeconomic reality.
The heart of the problem is the insecurity people have with romantic relationships.. Love is a notorious dissapointer, but everybody wants to have and be that special someone, so they aren’t ‘forever alone’. Exploitation of this anxiety and social pressure is why people try so hard to fulfill the iconic images of ideal love that are created for us. These images make it the norm to have a romantic interest for this exact date, the arbitrary February 14th.
Aware of the excessive consumerism that has plagued past generations, we need to ignore the onslaught of advertising that evokes our deepest fears and desires just to sell us the holy trinity of roses, chocolates, and jewelry: the supposedly winning formula for romance. Let’s move past outdated notions, symbolized by the tacky red hearts, and admit Valentines Day is a useless holiday and just ignore it.