Debate of Valentine’s Day
Many know the scene from the movie “I Hate Valentine’s Day,” where, with a bat in her hands and lots of anger in her heart, Jennifer Garner violently destroys a piñata.
Before I came to the United States, I used to think Valentine’s Day was a beautiful holiday enjoyed by all Americans, and that parties with the “I Hate Valentine’s Day” theme were only a movie thing.
Here I am, for the second year, spending the most beautiful holiday of the year – at least in this humble foreigner’s opinion – surrounded by people who just cannot stand it.
Every time I say out loud that Valentine’s Day is coming, someone who hates the holiday comes along to kill my excitement.
No, I’m not here to convince you to love Valentine’s Day. I am here to show you that life can be prettier if you just accept it as a good day, and not a day for cursing or crying, though some of my friends are probably going to spend this Friday night getting drunk and watching “Endless Love.”
Here’s the thing. I am Brazilian. And back home, we don’t have Valentine’s Day.
Our holiday, which happens in June, is a date exclusively for young couples, so if you’re single or married, you’re left out of the celebrations. I can understand why people say they don’t like that.
There’s no reason for such feelings here in the United States, where everyone’s included, though I can understand why some girls who are single can get depressed, especially those who have had bad love experiences in the past.
I believe from the bottom of my heart, having suffered a very rough personal experience myself, that it doesn’t matter what you’ve suffered. Everything will pass.
One day, someone will just hug you so tight and all the broken pieces inside you will be put together again. It took me a while, but I found this person. With a little bit of patience, everyone can.
Americans don’t hug very often, or kiss in public, or even hold hands. We do this a lot in Brazil, and I miss it. My mom makes everyone in the family give at least three hugs a day, and she’s right.
Valentine’s Day is just the best day for hugs. This Friday, hug all the people you like. Forget if you are in a relationship or if you are single; this is not Brazil. Use this day to tell your family, your friends or whomever else you care about how much they mean to you.
Life is about choices. At least this day, choose love. You won’t regret it.
Val Vita is a graduate teaching assistant in communication.
Day of Love?
Do you hate this holiday because it’s too hokey, or maybe you’re just not a cupid, teddy bears and candy type? You’re missing the point.
I would like to think I’m a pretty romantic guy, but I have no doubt that Valentine’s Day has degraded to where its vaunted themes of romance and the value of “true love” don’t mean much to many anymore.
Except on this day, hugging a stranger is as likely to get you in jail or in court as it is to spread romance. Sending a creepy text is considered more in-touch or appropriate than presenting someone with a goofy heart-candy.
For many, the celebration accomplishes little but disappointment and an excuse to waste time and money we might spend doing something a little more meaningful.
We all can recognize this. I’m sure St. Valentine would be horrified by all the temporary and artificial sentiment we throw around on this day, never mind the idea of what a Catholic saint would think about the holiday lingerie business.
I say that it’s time to forget about this single day and apply its purpose to life. We should recognize that the world and all around us are in need of a lot more love.
Whether it is about romance or care for our fellow human beings, love is something that we would do well to encourage for the other 364 days on the calendar. Our failure to do this in some ways has caused a lot of harm that needs to be recognized.
In one of the poorest areas of Kansas, choices have recently been made that put Pittsburg’s homeless shelter at risk of closure and deprived impoverished families of food assistance. The various charities around town all know they can’t make up the difference.
We sure as heck shouldn’t just set aside one day where we can pretend these things are important. We can instead use what Valentine’s Day is supposed to actually be about toward a greater purpose.
This holiday, don’t just buy candy for someone who can get it any day of the week. Be merry if you like, but make it mean something; don’t just say stuff that’s printed on a thousand gift cards a minute.
Express your love and respect for the people around you when you really mean it, and then keep doing it for the rest of the year.
If we all did that, we’d live in a better world, and a “day for love” would be a time to remember what we’ve done, instead of what we should do.
Marcus Clem is a junior in communication.