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Celebrate love every day, not just Valentine’s Day

Published: Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013 11:29 a.m. CDT

So it’s Valentine’s Day, or, as I like to think of it, the day before all those red boxes of chocolates in aisle 2 at Hy-Vee go on clearance.

Maybe I’m just cheap, but that’s honestly the most I can stand to immerse myself into a day that I’ve been relentlessly reminded of since the day after Christmas, has lost nearly all ties to its origin and has essentially transformed into a purely commercial holiday.

I guess it’s only fair to recognize that said ridiculously consumerism accompanies nearly every holiday, with Christmas decorations gracing shelves as early as September; for some reason, however, Valentine’s Day bugs me more than most.

Let me first just preface this with the fact that I don’t see anything wrong with buying your special someone a card or something sweet to make him or her smile today, like a few flowers or a pizza delivered to work (the latter of which I’ll be sending someone today in an effort to avoid being cliche – I sure hope he doesn’t read this before lunchtime).

Aside from that, though, the notion that we need to prove our love – whether it’s to a significant other, our parents, or our kids – with expensive and excessive gifts on this particular day is just too much for me.

Furthermore, why should we need a predetermined date to express said love?

I feel the commercial messages sent by corporations surrounding Valentine’s Day only serve to set many up for disappointment – something I mainly observe among women. Of the however many million women who see that Kay Jewelers commercial, how many of them are actually going to receive that Infinity-Diamond-Open-Heart-Love-Lasts-Forever-Blah-Blah necklace that they so covet?

The idea that we ought to spoil our loved ones on this one particular day each year often leads to high hopes heading into the 14th. I used to be this way too, and I’ll admit I’ve had plenty of positive experiences over the past few years. More often than not, though, I’ve witnessed friends and roommates get their hopes up only for a boyfriend or girlfriend to skip out on acknowledging the day at all.

As recent college grads and young adults, the majority of these friends are single with no intention of settling down any time soon. While they revel in this freedom, it presents yet another issue I take with today: the bitterness it incites among those who feel that everyone else is caught up in a metephorical cloud of floating red hearts (think Pepe Le Pew) while they finish off a bottle of merlot by themselves.

All in all, I suppose I’m not here to tell you how to celebrate your Valentine’s Day (or not celebrate it), but I think there’s merit in making a similar special effort througout the other 364 days each year.

This one day dedicated to love might make the most sense – and I’ll admit, despite my viewpoints, I’m not completely ignoring it – but why not celebrate that same love toward you spouse, significant other, children, friends (and, in my case, clearance-rack hazelnut truffles) every other day as well?

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