If you have not already noticed, though it is exceedingly difficult to ignore, Valentine’s Day is coming up. February 14, also known as SAD (Singles Awareness Day), is the miserable day of exchanging tokens of affection. Do you realize that the initials for this dreaded holiday is V.D., which stands for venereal disease? Coincidence? I think not. I am not cynical because I am alone (in fact, I am not alone). I am skeptical because Valentine’s Day shouldn’t “make-up” for the other 364 days of the year. Every day should be a shower of love and appreciation.
It is all commercialism, a contest to see who can acquire the most flowers and gifts and chocolate as a testament to whose lover can romantically express themselves through materialistic means. I am sick of all the cute shaped hearts that adorn department stores and residence halls. Really, a human heart does not look like that, “It looks like a fist wrapped in blood!” as Clive Owen so dutifully pointed out in my favorite line from the movie Closer.
For singles, V. D. is a testament to how lonely they are. My roommate has already spent countless hours searching through online dating websites (OKCupid.com, PlentyofFish.com), listening to 98 degrees, and bemoaning about the fallibility of men (but secretly wanting one), in preparation of Singles Awareness Day. Look at what a single holiday does to her! And it is supposed to be a “holiday,” a celebration and a time for merry festivities; this is not the case for some people on February 14. No one should have to be bitter on this day. No one should have to resent independence, self-assessment, and other benefits of being alone because of one day that celebrates the love between couples.
The Technician is offering Valentine’s Day classifieds and even Case dining hall is milking this day for all its worth, offering a “romantic, fine dining experience” on campus. Valentine’s Day should not be a day for greeting card companies, Italian restaurants, and teddy bear manufacturers to cry “cha-ching!” Men and women do not need chocolate or flowers or other tokens of love; these material things are dispensable, and they cannot buy our love. We need genuine compassion and time spent with our fellow peers. Hide out this Valentine’s Day. Spend it in your pajamas and rent out a low-profile indie flick. Anything that can be considered “romantic” should be completely ignored. Hopefully the importance placed on this day can fade out altogether.
But to be honest, I will probably take it upon myself to send my roommate roses from an “anonymous mystery admirer,” just to make her feel better. And I expect every other friend out there to empathize with the sufferers on this most wretched of days; hug them, cook dinner for them, and show them that you care and that they do not need a silly little holiday to reaffirm how much you care for them. That is all I would want.