By Anthony Santino
It’s Valentine’s Day season, so that means a shopping frenzy for lovers and a chocolate discount for singles. Right now, I fall into the shopping frenzy category, but hey—I don’t mind that.
To me, Valentine’s Day is most certainly a holiday made up for commerce. The flower, chocolate, greeting card and giant teddy bear companies rub their hands together and grin from ear-to-ear when it rolls around. It’s like they get to relive Christmas morning again, just without having to listen to the music. They know we’re suckers for it, and it couldn’t make them happier.
In the same breath, much as the holiday might often be referred to as a scam, I also think Cupid’s arrow is a good thing to get hit with. I think love can provide one a heightened sense of selflessness, appreciation and maturity, at least from my experiences. That’s why I don’t hate Valentine’s Day.
I’m also all about looking for excuses to celebrate the beauty in life. If I tell myself I want to eat healthier, but someone comes around the corner and says, “It’s National Pizza Day,” well…sure. I’ll take a slice. And even if Tom Brady’s in the Super Bowl for the 30th time, I’m still going to hype the event as “The Big Game.” So a day of appreciation and chocolate isn’t too far away from my wheelhouse.
That’s not to say Valentine’s Day is a perfect holiday just because it provides us an excuse for chocolate and complimenting each other.
I definitely don’t subscribe to the mindset of having to take it too seriously. In fact, I feel compelled to point out that people often get too petty on a day like this. By that, I mean to say that it becomes a competition for some; and we all know those people. They ask you, “What did you get your girlfriend for Valentine’s Day?” You might start to tell them and say, “Oh, well I got her roses, a card and—” and then they cut you off to say something like, “Oh nice. I got mine a $500 necklace, a Chick-fil-A franchise and a house. Hope she likes it all.” Of course my example is more overblown than the people I’m trying to portray, but you get the idea.
Despite that weird side of the holiday, I still like to focus on the good nature behind it.
In an indirect way, this little Valentine’s Day time period in February—made up as it might be—is a refreshing mini-break during the winter months. Up here in the Northeast, we’ve braved the hectic nature of the Christmas season, numerous snowstorms in January, and we still long for better weather that (hopefully) isn’t too far off. Although it comes along with pressures of its own, I think this holiday breeds good feelings amongst friends and lovers that we could all use. It’s even a good time to shoot your parents a “Happy Valentine’s Day” text.
Once it’s all past, Cupid’s holiday will mostly be an afterthought in our busy lives. However, I hope its spirit can live on for all of us in some capacity throughout the year. If you love someone, you can tell him or her on Mar. 15 and it’ll be just as important as you saying it on Feb. 14. Now go. Eat some chocolate, watch some basketball and find your happiness today.