Vandalizing Valentine’s Day  

   Roses are red, violets are blue, it’s not only a holiday of love for me and you, but the salespeople too. It all started with a martyr named Saint Valentine, but his name is rarely associated with Feb. 14 in modern times. When researching this mysterious historical figure, there are multiple different stories, all blurry and vague. This means that although Saint Valentine is the namesake of the holiday, he is not the reason we celebrate. Valentine’s Day has moved beyond a celebration of history, which begs the question, what purpose does Valentine’s Day serve now? 

   The answer is quite heartwarming: opportunity for profit. Approximately $24 billion was spent on Valentine’s Day this year; $24 billion put toward red roses, teddy bears, and chocolates. Now, I know what you’re thinking: Valentine’s day is for acts of kindness, the money is not a big deal. I don’t know about you, but I consider $24 billion quite the big deal. I also have trouble buying into the idea that it is a day about appreciating loved ones, because, let’s be honest, it’s forced. There is no ban on buying flowers or chocolates any other day of the year as far as I know, so the only reasoning behind this act of service is societal obligation. If you went out to buy these things another time of year, you would be spending less money and the gift would carry so much more meaning. 

   Don’t get me wrong, I never grew out of the stuffed animal phase, seeing flowers makes me smile, and I can always be found snacking on chocolate bars. I’m not anti-love or cold hearted—not yet at least. I just think people should recognize that what we love about the holiday are not the acts of kindness, but instead, the fun Valentine’s Day themed M&Ms, or the pretty red streamers on ceilings, or the excuse to watch romantic comedies for hours. The truth is that we all grew out of the appreciation on Valentine’s Day phase the minute we stopped making valentines for every kid in the class. Maybe there are still amazingly kind people who use the holiday for appreciation purposes; however, I still come back to the previous argument that it would mean more when handed out randomly. It’s not wrong to want to celebrate Valentine’s Day, just do your loved ones a favor and appreciate them every day, not just once a year.