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The Perennial

The Perennial

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Valentine’s Day is Overrated

Sophia Lee

Red roses. Candy hearts. Boxed chocolates. Cheesy rom-coms. Tacky cards from your classmates you don’t love. Inevitably just spending the day alone.

All of these aspects define America’s worst commercial holiday––Valentine’s Day. Let’s face it, Valentine’s Day is corporations’ last grab for your cash before the holiday season comes to an end. 

As children, we were horribly misled. We were under the impression that as we grew up, our coworkers, instead of classmates, would be the ones to slip sweet candy grams into our ornately decorated card box. But that is sadly not the case.

I remember when I was in the third grade, crying to my mother because she wouldn’t buy me a Valentine’s mailbox from Michaels that the rest of my classmates had the luxury of displaying on their desks the morning of Feb. 14. Bawling, kicking and screaming in the Michaels parking lot, I thought it had to do with my immigrant mother’s stubbornness in accepting America’s iconic Hallmark holidays.

Only now do I realize that my immigrant mother was right about the frivolousness of Valentine’s Day.

For those lucky people in a relationship who go into Valentine’s Day with high expectations for their partner, they will ultimately be left disappointed. Flowers. Flirting. Falling deeper in love. Flattering declarations of undying love. Fancy dinners at restaurants whose prices are marked up just for the special day. These are all things that those in relationships imagine in anticipation. But in reality, the higher the expectations, the deeper that disappointment.   

For those who are not in a relationship (and believe me, I deeply resonate with you), each Valentine’s Day, an overwhelming feeling of loneliness encroaches on them. Singles are stuck at home with a bowl of ice cream and a cheesy rom-com where the two obviously will end up together, fantasizing about what their future relationships could look like. And while there is nothing wrong with that, wallowing in self pity is not the best way to bounce back from being alone.

My feelings towards Valentine’s Day are not all bad, but bittersweet. It is good to show appreciation for the people you love. However, you do not need overpriced roses, cheap chocolates or giant, stuffed teddy bears to do so. We should be able to show our love for the people around us year round, not on some random holiday in the lull between New Years and St. Patrick’s Day. 

What we all need, most importantly, is to show yourself love on Valentine’s Day. Your relationship with yourself is arguably the most significant relationship you’ll have in your life. And at the end of the day, how can we show our love for someone if we cannot show love for ourselves first?

P.S. And as for myself, I am truly a hopeless romantic at heart who hopes to be spoiled on Valentine’s Day and find the love I see in those cheesy rom-coms.

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