Artwork by Catherine Ferguson
We are all too familiar with the Valentine’s aisle. The red and pink candies, overpowering smell of cheap chocolate, cards and oversized teddy bears serve as a constant reminder throughout January and February that, on February 14, you should go out of your way to show those you love how much you care about them. Whether it’s because you want to be a cliché, or maybe you’re tired of relating to memes about being single, Valentine’s Day inevitably pressures us to feel like we should have a special someone to spend the day with. You may spend Valentine’s with a significant other, or maybe you prefer to celebrate Galetine’s with your closest friends instead. Everyone’s day looks different, even within our own St. Mary’s community. Below are a collection of thoughts given by a few upper schoolers on the holiday.
Some people love the candy but feel neutral about the holiday, drawing attention to their own relationship status.
“Besides all the overly sappy couples, I really like Valentine’s Day. It’s a great excuse to eat tons of discount chocolate and remind myself how single I am.” -Georgia Carls (9)
“I usually forget it’s Valentine’s day every year, because every year I am lonely, as expected. You know after almost 16 years it’s not much different, and frankly I don’t really care anymore. Like to me, it’s another regular day looking at cute boys, you know. At this point I am unaffected but I have a very strong feeling that in the future I will be sad. But, boy the cheap candy I get, like wow, that’s enough for me.” -Sriya Jampana (10)
“I like Valentine’s Day but I’m always single so.... I like to see my friends on Valentine’s Day and I like getting chocolate covered strawberries from my dad. I am more of a give valentines to your teachers and your friends type of person.” -Ellen Parker (11)
“Candy is good … Having to make valentines for classmates is bad.… I like the heart shaped Dove candy because it is larger than regular Dove chocolate.” -Lucy Nassif (10)
Others feel as though Valentine’s day is overhyped and an attempt to get people to spend money.
“Valentine’s day is a capitalist scam.” -Elena Campos (12)
“Valentine's is a fine holiday and I don't think people who celebrate it should be shamed. I do however, think that it is a Hallmark holiday, invented entirely to sell products no one would regularly buy. A CNN stat says that total spending for valentines is approximately $18.6 billion. It's a total marketing scheme, but if you're willing to buy into it then that’s your choice. However, like New Years, I think that a lot of the buzz around it should go down a bit. You should love your partner an equal amount throughout the entire year, and for everyone who's always like ‘Haha, single on valentine's day club. I hate my life,’ again, you're also single every other day too. Stop making this day a big deal to get likes on Twitter, you're being annoying. Also the Sweettart heart-shaped, Valentine's Day lollipops are the best thing I've ever had, and I buy them in bulk online when they're out of stores.” -Claire Lee (12)
But there are of course the romantics who love the holiday, or who just want to show their affection for the people in their lives.
“I typically spend it with my dogs. I love the holiday, and I love the sentiment behind it. If I had my choice, I would make it a required thing for boyfriends to get their girls lots of gifts on that day! Because who doesn’t love flowers and chocolates. Or a giant teddy bear and heart felt cards. Everything about it is fantastic.” -Madison Lovelace (10)
“I think Valentine’s Day is most definitely a corporate-created money maker. Companies get so much money from people’s desperate attempts to impress their friends and loved ones with unnecessary gifts. BUT, I also think it’s great to show how much someone means to you! Who doesn’t love presents? I love giving my friends Valentine’s gifts, even if that means funding corporate greed (or not getting one back. It’s about giving, not receiving). Being able to show my appreciation for another person is simply amazing, especially after finding someone to spend the holiday alongside. It’s hard going through Valentine’s Day alone, but it certainly gets better if you’re patient. Until recently I hated February. Now Cupid himself pales in my shadow.”-Lily Cloud (11)
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