Valentine’s Day — the worst holiday known to (any single) man

On one day out of the entire year, couples parade around with heart balloons, grocery store flowers, assorted chocolates and Walgreens plush animals. They’re all saying, “Yeah, we’re in love. Can’t you tell from the heart necklace my boyfriend gave me?”

Maybe it’s because I’ve always been a pessimist when it comes to love, but having a whole holiday dedicated to the declaration of your passionate and romantic relationship sounds like a scam to me.

And really, Valentine’s Day is a capitalistic, money-grabbing scheme. Those who are blinded by the dinner reservations and gifts would deny it, but I, the all-knowing resident single friend, know the truth.

Smaran Ramidi / DFP Staff

I used to think Valentine’s Day was just some holiday like Easter or Halloween — before I knew its Christian roots. I just remember candy, colors and cards.

Elementary school was the place to be on February 14th.

My sister and I would spend days handwriting every classmate’s name on each store-bought Valentine’s Day-themed Fun Dip or Skittles pouch.

During the designated Valentine’s distribution time near the end of classes, teachers would help hand out our personalized candies.

Somehow, the mass-produced Smarties and Starbursts tasted a little sweeter coming from other kids. For this, I would take candy from a stranger.

Skip to present day — Valentine’s Day does not have the same wholesome allure it once did.

Being on social media after 2010 was detrimental to my expectations of what Valentine’s Day was supposed to be.

I remember seeing accounts on Instagram as a middle schooler that posted these “textposts” — a relatable post meant to make audiences laugh, and many of them were derived from Tumblr. They all centered around zodiac signs and how they would act on Valentine’s Day or in relationships or something relatable like that.

Photos of enormous rose bouquets, romantic bubble baths and many designer gifts would erupt on my timeline.

However, Valentine’s Day was never about celebrating love or giving gifts. Instead, it began with martyrdom.

According to legend, Saint Valentine, the holiday’s namesake, was imprisoned for refusing to sacrifice to pagan gods. His prayers, while jailed, allegedly cured the jailer’s daughter of her blindness. Before he was executed, he left the daughter a note signed, “Your Valentine.”

Slowly, Valentine’s Day became associated with love starting from the Middle Ages with writer Geoffrey Chaucer, continuing into the Shakespearean era. Letters, cards and poetry were representative of Valentine’s Day at this time.

By the 1900s, chocolates, flowers and jewelry joined poetry, cards and letters as a part of Valentine’s Day gifts.

Despite its beginnings stemming from Christianity, Valentine’s Day is now considered a “Hallmark holiday” since the company has capitalized on its marketability.

Valentine’s Day spending is projected to reach $23.9 billion this year, up from $21.8 billion in 2021, according to the National Retail Federation. A majority of the company’s survey participants cited the pandemic as a more relevant reason to splurge on this year’s Valentine’s.

It is time for me to stomp my foot and say my piece about this unnecessary holiday.

I understand that many will say it is the thought that counts, but I have a huge grievance with this mindset.

When couples act upon this mindset, it fuels into more consumerism — we purchase trinkets and disposables that we don’t really need for a fleeting moment once a year.

How many stuffed animals really get used after Valentine’s Day? Will you really wear that super niche Valentine’s Day-themed bracelet often? What about those plastic-wrapped flowers that get tossed to the corner of your kitchen counter?

This is just a generalization, of course, but Valentine’s Day really is indicative of the current state our society is in. A constant barrage of items we don’t need encourages us to purchase these meaningless items.

If the thought really does count, handwritten letters and hand-drawn cards should make a comeback. And for those whose love language is truly gift giving, presents that have a meaning and aren’t just some tacky Valentine’s Day special should take precedence.

I may be a cynical hater of romance, but I hate overconsumption even more. I guess I’ll let couples live in peace as long as I don’t see another Russell Stover chocolate box again.

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