The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Point-Counterpoint Valentine’s … a beautiful day for lovers, not loners

Point-Counterpoint Valentines ... a beautiful day for lovers, not loners

By Julissa Treviño/south news editor

valentinesproconI recently heard someone say, “Valentine’s Day only sucks if you’re alone.”

Assuming this is true, Americans apparently don’t like Valentine’s Day since most people don’t have a significant other. According to the 2005 book, Marriages, Families, and Intimate Relationships, between 40 and 60 percent of new marriages will eventually end in divorce.

Valentine’s Day first became associated with romance and love in the Middle Ages, thanks to Geoffrey Chaucer (popular belief is that prior to Chaucer, there was no link between the saints Valentine—there are three—and romantic love), when courtly love was common.

Courtly love, originating in Paris in the 1880s, was rejected by the church because of its sexual connotation and connections. Nonetheless, the idea of a man professing his true love for a woman was indeed appealing.

Since the 19th century, Valentine’s Day has been more closely associated with mass-produced greeting cards, which have practically eliminated handwritten notes, thereby eliminating real feelings and thoughts.

The meaning of Valentine’s Day is ever evolving. The 20th century gave way to a new way of showing affection: men would usually give roses or chocolates. In the 1980s, the materialistic view of the decade, and the diamond industry, began a movement of giving jewelry, promoting economic growth.

The U.S. Greeting Card Association estimates that approximately one billion valentines are sent each year worldwide, and that women purchase approximately 85 percent of all valentines. 

Valentine’s Day has become so commercialized it is devoid of any real meaning. It is just the annoying, wanna-be Christmas. People prepare for it and media blind us with advertisements months in advance.

As soon as January comes around, companies look for ways their products can be sold.

The commercials for jewelry try to persuade a guy that his girlfriend will love him if he buys those earrings for her, or the advertisements for a particular brand of chocolate lure him into buying sweets for his sweetheart.

It has even become an obligation to do something really special for that other person. Everyone’s expected to spend a ridiculous amount of money on something so arbitrary.

What happened to doing something really special for the person you love just because you love him or her, not because there’s a day for it?

But in most cases, the worst part isn’t the annoying commercialization or the obligation that comes along with it; it’s the fact that it reminds some of us that we don’t have anyone.

We’ve all been there (some of us more than others). Every Valentine’s Day, at work or school, we’re surrounded by people receiving flowers and cards and teddy bears while we wonder why we’re not special enough for the same thing.

It makes us question and doubt ourselves. It makes us paranoid that no one will ever love us because we didn’t get any chocolate-covered strawberries.

It makes us worry about nothing because, really, the evolution that Valentine’s Day has taken has created one of the most commercialized holidays, washing away its past meaning.

By David Boyd/reporter

Meg Ryan movies are just awful. For that matter, romantic comedies in general seem like the most pointless waste of time ever.

That said, I think Valentine’s Day is a great semi-holiday. The banks are still open and you still get your mail, so it might not be an official holiday. But as far as days of the year go, I rank it at the top of that tier just below the major, recognized days. From the goofy little cartoon Valentine’s cards that kids give out in elementary school and the awkward adolescent dance experiences to those magical first kisses, everyone should have unforgettable memories of Valentine’s Day.

I know that there are some misguided or spiteful people who have some kind of axe to grind when the topic shifts to Valentine’s Day, but everyone should enjoy this special day.

The detractors come in different forms, but whether they are cheapskates or just plain lonely, their messages should be disregarded. Valentine’s Day is for everyone, even them.

Generally, three kinds of people hate Valentines Day.

First, the penny pinching cheapskates want to unveil a conspiracy theory about Valentine’s Day being just a profit invention hatched by the candy, greeting card and flower delivery companies. These nuts remind me of the friends from high school who would break up with their girlfriends right before Valentine’s or Christmas to avoid a gift-buying obligation and then come crawling back after the holiday.

Besides, even if there is some truth to this story, the holiday has been celebrated since long before any of us were born, and there is nothing wrong with a day to celebrate couples and love. If it also provides us with a chance to help the economy and eat conversation hearts.

Well, that can just be a bonus.

It is a given, take-it-to-the-bank fact that almost every where you look on Valentine’s Day you will see some couple making out in plain sight like a couple of 10th graders that just met at a high school dance.

A sight like that can be enough to make anyone jealous, whether they are lonely, shy people or a couple a few years past the magic, but there is a positive from this mass public display of affection.

The older couple who has lost some of its new couple shine can use this as some inspiration to revisit good old times and bring back the spark.

Perhaps in your comfort, you stopped bringing flowers, candy or notes. Hit the restart button and see if it helps out.

As for lonely people, this holiday is like the NFL draft of eligible dates.

Just as a dateless single girl desperately looks for someone to kiss on New Year’s Eve, Valentine’s Day is a T-ball kind of pick up day. Singles of either gender hope to have someone to save them from spending the day as, well, someone single.

It may be impossible to find an easier time to hook up than early February.

Finally, there are single people out there, not looking for romance, who just hate all of the romantic mushy stuff that can be inescapable this time of year.

For those people, Valentine’s Day is the best time to be able to tell everyone how much they hate Valentine’s Day and Meg Ryan movies.

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