Holiday pays homage to materialism

    I hate Valentine’s Day. It should be lumped together with all those other made-up holidays like St. Patrick’s Day, Halloween and Winter Solstice, which are just more excuses to bolster the greeting card industry.

    No, this is not the angry rampage of some bitter, single, self-righteous hag who is merely jealous of the girls with admirers to shower them with flowers, balloons and chocolates. Not entirely, anyway.

    It’s just that I believe in doing something because you want to, not because there are big, shiny cardboard cupids plastered all over the place telling you that you should.

    Valentine’s Day has been commercialized so much that it is pointless, self-defeating and vaguely insulting.

    Love, affection, sentimentality — these are things that should never be degraded into a matter of merchandise.

    These are the most treasured aspects of relationships and companionship. When they are twisted and morphed into some commercialized mating ritual, it doesn’t serve as a declaration of love, but rather as a tribute to the pathetic nature of our meaningless, consumer-driven lives.

    That people actually celebrate Valentine’s Day and take it seriously just adds one more contribution to my ever-growing pile of problems with pop culture.

    If you really care about someone to the point that you are willing to show your affection by purchasing something, then doing so solely in accordance with social custom defeats the purpose.

    When you grab a card and scribble a generically maudlin note for no reason other than that it’s Feb.14, it eliminates any sincerity behind the gesture, assuming there even was any.

    How pathetic that we have to designate a day to demonstrate affection.

    I would argue that instead of being a symbol of how much one cares, buying someone something just because it’s Valentine’s Day is actually a mark of not really caring at all. Surprises and spontaneity mean much more than conforming to social custom.

    Maybe if it were less of a deal, it wouldn’t be as vexing. Just on campus, Valentine’s Day has taken over with a vengeance. We have our own version of “”Singled Out”” — yes, that oh-so-charming MTV mishap with the epitome of superficiality, Jenny McCarthy, playing co-host, later replaced by every girl’s role model, Carmen Electra.

    There’s the two-minute date night at Warren college, which is 120 seconds of fake friendliness shared with whatever socially handicapped hopefuls are there. There are frat parties and sorority socials, all aiming to celebrate Valentine’s Day, albeit in a variety of ways.

    And it is all so utterly ridiculous.

    What’s the big fuss? Why the big deal? Why cater to someone else’s idea of what it means to be romantic? Why can’t we just treat Feb. 14 like any other day?

    In a perfect world, Valentine’s Day would be obliterated as an insult to love and companionship.

    Things like love are supposed to be above our material tendencies.

    It is so shallow that we are asked to stain the sentimentality of a relationship with obligatory demonstrations of delving into the commercial triviality.

    Don’t give in to those cardboard cupids. Don’t be a victim of those candy hearts with preservatives and food dyes galore.

    If you want to demonstrate your affection, don’t wait until some arbitrary day to show it for the perfunctory reason that everyone else is.

    If your feelings are worth the effort of showing, they are worth the effort of being shown outside the tainted glare of consumerism. Love deserves better than that.

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