Valentine’s Day is perceived to be the most lovely and affectionate holiday of them all. On February 14th, red and pink hues flooded the world. Cards, chocolate, flowers, hugs, and kisses were distributed lavishly between lovers across the globe. One folktale even claims that these actions are supposed to honour Saint Valentine, a Catholic Priest who lived in Rome nearly 2000 years ago. He was executed on what is now “Valentine’s Day” for continuing to perform the marriage of love-struck couples. The priest couldn’t bear the idea of separating these lovers, even though the act marriage had been banned.
Millenniums after this charming event, Valentine’s Day has become an undeniable spectacle. According to a CNN article published last February 14th, American’s love to spoil their Valentine. $18.6 billion is the total amount that American’s spend across the country for their lover. This means that the $130.97 is the average amount that a lover spent on his or her valentine. In fact, a great part of this amount is spent on flowers. Surprisingly, 224 million roses are grown annually, just for this holiday. These astonishing numbers represent those who are lucky enough to celebrate Valentine’s Day; unfortunately, these statistics are only able to account for the part of the population that actually had a valentine.
In reality, Valentine’s day isn’t all hearts and chocolate. For those who are in love, or in lust, this holiday is invigorating and exciting. It’s a perfect way for each person to prove his or her feelings for the other. Those who don’t have a lover, however, are often imbued with sentiments of loneliness and alienation. While the entire world seems to be flaunting their relationship, an unhappy few are left “valentine-less”. Doesn’t this idea contradict the basis of holidays? Holidays are meant to bring joy. They’re meant to lift people from the monotony of their daily routine to celebrate a theme. They’re certainly not meant to induce these feelings of sadness, which some are forced to undergo. How ironic: a celebration of love for some, a realization of loneliness for others.
One Collingwood student, who prefers to remain anonymous, explained why Valentine’s Day is her least favourite holiday: “While all of my friends were out with their boyfriends, I was forced to stay at home wishing I had one!”
This one opinion is likely to account for a great number of people who feel the same way about February 14th. For those of you who had a valentine this year: be courteous. Remember that flaunting your relationship might not be the best way to make a lonely friend feel at ease. For those of you who weren’t as lucky this time: remind yourself that you’re not the only one. Don’t take the holiday too seriously, as it is simply a holiday; however, don’t lose hope either! One of those 224 million roses might just be purchased for you next February.
By: Alex Weir