Lamar University Press Logo

Valentine’s Day? Who needs it

UP graphic by Aliya Robertson

For those lucky enough to meet Feb. 14 with a loving partner in hand, Valentine’s Day is the perfect excuse for a romantic getaway. For the rest of us, it is the one day of the year where we’re all forced to be the irrelevant side character in a shitty rom-com.

When one looks behind the cheap chocolates and mass-produced teddy bears, Valentine’s Day is nothing more than a capitalist grab to monetize the most intimate human experiences. There is nothing objectively romantic about spending an excessive amount of money on a romantic date solely to post on social media.

The very existence of Valentine’s Day should bring into question how, as a society, we quantify love. Love is going to see your partner after a ten-hour work shift. Love is remembering to pick up their favorite snack when you go shopping. Love is not Kay jewelry that you got on sale and chocolate whose name you can barely pronounce.

This year, we should redefine what it means to show love. Instead of gifts and fancy dates, spend quality time with the people we love. Given the pandemic, many people are not in the financial position to spend money on nonessential items. Despite this, the National Retail Federation predicts that consumers will spend an average of $165 on Valentine’s Day plans — that is almost one third of the most recent stimulus check.

Instead of playing, “Whose significant other is more extra,” on social media, how about we take time to cherish the things that matter? Be thankful that we still have our health and our loved ones. Reach out to our families and friends to express our gratitude for their love and support — because if this past year has taught us anything, it is that life is fragile.

Stay inside. Stay safe.

Rather than waste money we do not have, let’s focus on the little things. Instead of going out to a crowded restaurant, try cooking at home and painting Avant Garde pictures of each other. For those of us who will be by ourselves — take time for mental and emotional wellbeing. Invest in a self-help book, buy that Squish Mellow we’ve been obsessing about, or even plan a relaxing night alone.

Valentine’s Day should not be canceled this year but reimagined. Instead of expressing our feelings through materialistic means, we should invest in quality time with our loved ones — because memories can never be replaced.


Category: Opinion