It looks like it's that special time of year again: Valentine's Day. The time of Hallmark cards, hearts, chocolate and romance. Couples approach it with mixed feelings, while singles usually tend to look at it with exasperation or dread.
I used to be in the dread camp. Every Valentine's Day since I became a teenager and Valentines from classmates stopped, I would feel the usual sadness over being single. Watching everyone else only made it worse. Why wasn't I with someone already? I thought I would die a spinster. People my age were already hooking up and I hadn't even kissed anyone yet. But now I do.
I'm looking at this through a different lens now that I have a boyfriend. Now I can see things through a more objective lens.
It was named after St. Valentine in the fourteenth century. St. Valentine was killed for adminstering weddings to soldiers forbidden to marry and for ministering to Christians. Ever since, people have been celebrating it in a variety of odd rituals. In the US, the holiday is mostly commercialized with the buying of various goods.
Valentine's Day is a totally ridiculous holiday anyway. At this point, it's more materialistic than anything else. So many places serve to make a buck off of the holiday that the real message of love has been drowned out. Hallmark has taken over the holiday.
Unrealistic messages saturate the media about love and romance. It also puts emphasis on being in a relationship. Everything is supposed to be wonderful and peachy; the media rarely portrays the complexities of the job. Valentine's Day is only a part of this, saying that buying flowers, chocolate and cards is a vital way of proving love.
When you don't follow this tradition, it's like World War III. My mom wasn't able to get my dad a card because she was stuck home during the snow day, and my dad wouldn't even bother opening it. It brings unneeded drama if you ask me.
Of course, Valentine's Day is a little cute, I admit. I like the romantic emphasis. As it happened, we didn't have school today because of the weather, but my boyfriend and I got to Skype. We define romance on our own terms and I hope other couples can do the same.