With the New Year’s Eve festivities over and done with, it seems like everyone I know is stressing about finding a valentine. Facebook statuses and tweets about the “greeting card holiday” begin in mid-January and continue until 11:59 P.M. on Valentine’s Day. But my question is: What’s the big deal?
Valentine’s Day originated in Rome, and is celebrated as a Christian tradition. During the third century or so, Emperor Claudius II decided men were destined to be soldiers and soldiers only, thus outlawing all marriage for young men. But along comes this St. Valentine from the Catholic Church. Valentine knew Claudius’ idea was way out of whack and performed secret marriage ceremonies for young couples. The saint was in love with a young woman, himself, and would send her love letters, signing them “From your Valentine”.
Okay, so it’s pretty cool how the tradition was started. But how has performing secret ceremonies of love turned into over-sized teddy bears and gluttonous amounts of chocolates being exchanged? (Not that I am complaining about chocolate.) I feel like growing up, there has always been this pressure to have a date on February 14th, and if you’re in a relationship, to do something extraordinary for your significant other. HELLO! It’s just another day. I can understand wanting to celebrate the holiday, but let’s shrug off the gimmicky pink-and-red ridiculousness.
For the modern day Valentine, here are some sensical thoughts:
- If you’re a boyfriend, keep it simple! Trust me when I say we girls prefer quality over quantity. All we really want is to spend time with you, and know you care about us. The element of surprise is always key, though. Have a friend leave Chick-Fil-A by her door for breakfast, or create a mini scavenger hunt. Best idea: recreate your first or favorite date!
- If you’re a girlfriend, and I know how frustrating it can be to shop for him, make sure you stay practical! Guys will pretend all day long that they love your mushy-gushy love gift, but in the end it isn’t something they can use. Find out what his favorite movie is and burn the soundtrack onto a CD, or maybe he could use a new pocket knife!
- If you’re single, don’t freak out! The best Valentine’s Day I ever had was dateless! Get some friends together and plan an evening. You could start with a game of Catch Phrase on the Quad (weather permitting), dinner at El Sombrero, then a movie to finish it off. It just depends what your group likes. You could even make them all valentines if you’re really in the holiday spirit!