Valentine’s Day is overrated

COMMENTARY BY
JAMES WALSH

Valentine’s Day is upon us on Friday. We will remember St. Valentine’s courageous efforts to secretly wed Roman couples at a time when Catholicism was outlawed in the Roman Empire. His dedication to true love eventually led to his being torn apart by lions in front of thousands of frenzied Romans.
But how do we remember St. Valentine’s sacrifice for love? We designate someone — whether they be a significant other, a friend or someone who we admire afar as our “Valentine.” Unless this person happened to perform a secret wedding for you, I am not quite sure why this title is given.
Once we have chosen our Valentines, we run to the store and get them some of the most delectable holiday cuisine on the market: a box of chocolate in which each piece has an equal chance of being filled with either caramel or cottage cheese; and heart-shaped TUMS etched with romantic phrases such as “Let’s Kiss,” “Luv U” and the increasingly popular “Tweet Me.”
Then we buy the biggest and most fluffalicious teddy bear the world has ever seen, because every grown man and woman needs a teddy bear. But then we get struck with Valentine’s genius: “What if I buy (insert Valentine here) a necklace and put it ON the teddy bear?!? My Valentine will never see that coming!” They will.
Finally, one four-course meal and a dozen roses later, we need to sell an arm and a kidney just to keep some money in our bank accounts. The worst part is that if we do not do this we, for lack of a better phrase, did Valentine’s Day wrong.
Now, I am not against romantic gestures; in fact, I am a huge supporter of them. However, I cannot think of anything less romantic than only wooing your sweetheart one day a year when you are socially obliged to do so. I think that as a society our romantic gestures should become bolder. Be just as romantic and affectionate on Sept. 16 and May 27 as you would Feb. 14. Realize that the more money we spend does not correlate with how romantic the actions are. I think that if we can shift our concept of romance from a short-lived obligation to a mindset that permeates our everyday lives, we will look at Valentine’s Day as simply a memorialization of something commonplace.

Contact the writer:
james.walsh@scranton.edu

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