Here’s the deal: Valentine’s Day

February 8th, 2007

Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching. (Don’t worry guys, you still have a week until the big day). I really shouldn’t even say that, after all Valentine’s Day is not about gift giving but rather about loving.

Now, I know what you might be thinking, “Valentine’s Day is just another day that Americans have commercialized.”

You are right, it is.

It was not until the the 20th century that gift giving became part of the Valentine’s Day tradition. It wasn’t until the 1980’s that giving jewelry, in particular, diamonds became custom. Although the idea of giving gifts to the one you love is a nice gesture it should not be what consumes the day.

For this February 14, let’s change our minds.

Let’s make this Valentine’s Day count. Forget about the gifts and the glamour. Consider the true meaning of the day.

I know the deal, Valentine’s Day is both a blessing and a curse. From kindergarten until around fifth grade the day is filled with class parties, candy, cards from your parents and the ever famous valentine exchange. You remember the box you decorated to place on your desk that would ultimately be filled with cute cartoon character valentines from all of your classmates. Those were the good days.

Then sixth grade hit and maybe (like me) you had that awkward relationship. The one that began after you wrote a note that said something like this. “Do you like me? Circle yes, no or maybe.” Then, after you started “going out” you went to one of those dances that was held in the cafeteria and you were deathly afraid to dance with your date. You only saw each other once in a while in school and when the summer came, forget it, the “relationship” was over.

Seventh and eighth grade were even worse, those were the transition years. High school marked the beginning of the “real relationship.” But, if you’re like me, high school was the beginning of three years of crappy Valentine’s Days.

It wasn’t until senior year that I had my first “real” Valentine’s Day. Or what I thought was my first “real” Valentine’s Day. I was about eight months into my first relationship, my boyfriend and I were on our way to see “Phantom of the Opera.” He asked me to get the “directions” out of the glove compartment. Directions turned out to be a code word for necklace.

Well, a few months later, we broke up and the necklace is laying in my jewelry box back in my hometown Albany, New York. Looking back on this seemingly perfect Valentine’s Day I realize that the day is not solely about “significant others,” but more about friends and family.

A perfect Valentine’s Day does not consist of diamonds and chocolate (although a little of that never hurt anyone), it consists of sending dorky cards to all of your friends and family to let them know how much you appreciate and love them.

Yes, it consists of showing that one person you care so much about just how much you care. It consists of letting your love show through your words and your actions.

A perfect Valentine’s Day is a mindset that lasts all year long. February 14 provides us one day where we can drop everything and focus on love, but that doesn’t mean it should be the only day.Live and love.

There is no such thing as a crappy Valentine’s Day. Let this Valentine’s Day be that “perfect” day and let that perfect day last all year long.