Op-Ed: Valentine’s Day is Not Overrated

Ava Martin, Staff Writer

Valentine’s Day is one of those things that is just ubiquitously painful. It causes mixed feelings all around. Should I ask them to be my valentine? Will he get anything for me? Should I care about Valentine’s Day? Why does this ‘holiday’ exist? Was it created out of pure capitalism? Whatever your burning questions may be this year, Valentine’s Day is sure to cause some sort of conundrum for the single, the taken, and the in-between. It’s a frustrating day with unclear expectations, leading many to believe that it’s simply overrated. But, dear reader… I think Valentine’s Day offers more than we give it credit for.

Valentine’s Day as we know it has become synonymous with buying a big heart-shaped box of chocolates, decorating with red and pink, and creating a special evening for you and your partner at your financial or temporal sacrifice. And that’s how it’s intended to be — companies take advantage of that desperation to prove your love and station exorbitant pink teddy bears right where you’ll see them. We’ve been conditioned to believe that the only way to appropriately display affection is by purchasing these products — a foolproof way of showing that you care. But, does it have to be that way? Our current interpretation of Valentine’s Day is far from the spirit of love and appreciation and is deeply rooted in, of course, our capitalist society. That, dear reader, is overrated — not Valentine’s Day. And it’s not our fault; we’re just victims of marketing and popular culture. But there are other ways to show someone you love them, and that could never be overrated.

Valentine’s Day itself is, if nothing else, an excuse to treat your special someone or show someone that you care. My mom gets me a box of chocolates every year and writes me a card — not because I’m her valentine, but because she loves me and it’s just an extra reason to show it. The same goes for one of my friends, who puts together a bouquet of flowers for his mom each year. Or — remember giving out candy in elementary school and being so excited to give everyone a paper Disney valentine? Keep that eagerness to give as a young adult! Saying “I love you” doesn’t have to be at the woe of your wallet; Valentine’s Day should be adaptable depending on the people you appreciate and what they appreciate. Whether you choose to go mainstream with flowers and chocolate or aim for a more sentimental experience, there is nothing overrated about getting a chance to tell someone you care about them.