There is currently a sign outside the office of my apartment complex that reads “cupcakes and condoms all day on Feb. 14.” Yep, its that time of year again, when every store is coated in pink and red and everyone is suddenly much more aware of their friends’ relationship statuses.
As Valentine’s Day approaches, Facebook newsfeeds will inevitably be filled with an abnormal amount of engagement announcements and other declarations of love but it will also be cluttered with comments of “I don’t celebrate consumer holidays” and “why do we need a certain day to celebrate love?
These statements are just as cliché as they are cynical and a lame excuse to avoid a holiday that could be fun for everyone, not just those who are currently in a romantic relationship.
We live in a consumer society, so there is hardly a holiday that has been untouched by the hands of consumerism. Halloween has its candy and outrageously priced costumes; Christmas has its brightly colored lights and gaudy blowup lawn decorations; and Easter has its eggs and marshmallow peeps.
However, just because companies produce cheesy holiday-themed products doesn’t mean that we have to buy them. Everyone is free to celebrate Valentine’s Day in a way that is special and meaningful to them, so if flowers and heart-shaped boxes of candy aren’t up your alley then think outside the box and celebrate in your own way.
As far as celebrating love on a designated day goes, we can say that we appreciate and celebrate love every day but it hardly ever works out that way. There are 365 days in a year, and the majority of them pass by without any fanfare or notable memories. So why not take full advantage of special days set aside to celebrate things we tend to take for granted like love?
Holidays, like birthdays, often act like markers for certain periods in our lives. When you look back on your time in college you are much more likely to remember what happened on Valentine’s Day your sophomore year than just any regular Friday.
Valentine’s day, more so than any other holiday, seems to have as many people who are dedicated to not celebrating it as those who are, which is probably due to the divide it tends to cause between those in relationships and those who are single. It shouldn’t matter whether or not you are single though, a celebration of love shouldn’t be limited to romantic love. This Friday should be spent appreciating all of the meaningful relationships in your life, with your friends, your family and even yourself.