The death of Valentine’s

Lovely day should not fade away

The Christmas high is no more. The mundaneness of January is in full swing. February peeps around the corner. And the whispers begin.

“Valentine’s Day sucks.”

“We should call it Singles’ Awareness Day.”

“They should stop rubbing all the hearts in our faces.”

“I’m so lonely.”

We get it–you’re lonely. You’re single. And you failed to mingle.

But stop taking it out on the rest of the world.

Sure, Feb. 14 is a highly commercialized day bursting to the seams with hearts and flowers and candy. Its original religious background is now wiped away to make Valentine’s purely a love-themed day. But for all the complaining about the commercialization of Christmas, about how its sales-based focus eliminates its true focus of giving, I have yet to hear an objection to those who celebrate Valentine’s purely for the candy sales or to those who berate lovers on the sole day dedicated to them.

The killers on Valentine’s Day both destroy its good-hearted values and encourages the takeover of commercialization, and it needs to stop.

Now, based on my limited observations, three types of Valentine’s attackers each employ their own set of problems and love-directed angst. And each of them successfully spoils a facet of a perfectly lovely holiday.

Lovers celebrating Valentine’s Day do not sneak off to quiet alleys and snicker with malicious plans to target and mock the single.

— Erin Sheffield, 12

Killer A: The Single Dudebro. (Although I usually notice this archetype in men, hence the “dudebro” title, it is gender-blind.) This one is the whiner. The Single Dudebro begins to complain of his toils before lovers even remember Valentine’s is ahead. He laments his singularity, despite the fact he’s “a nice guy” and all the girls date losers. He may attempt to find a date purely to fit in. He may also argue Valentine’s Day is an attack on Dudebros, that it taunts them in their loneliness and should go away.

To The Dudebro, I proudly present the concepts of not playing the victim and obtaining confidence.

Sure, Valentine’s Day loses most of its charm when one has no other to love romantically, but not a soul on Earth has spent every Valentine’s Day with a date. Lovers celebrating Valentine’s Day do not sneak off to quiet alleys and snicker with malicious plans to target and mock the single. They’re busy celebrating their holiday and being in love. If two happy, well-intentioned people can cost a person his happiness purely with their existences, perhaps that unhappy individual should look within himself and wonder why his pursuit of joy rests entirely in the hands of others. 

And while The Dudebro may write me off while reading this, concluding I do not remember how it feels to be single, he may rest assured I have never spent Valentine’s Day with a lover.

Killer B: The Child. (This character does not mean actual children; rather, it refers to children at heart.) While The Dudebro dreads Valentine’s for its love-based focus, The Child eagerly anticipates Valentine’s for all the wrong reasons. The Child may or may not love another, but that factor is irrelevant. The Child counts the days until the blessed candy sales, immediately lunging for the discounted Kit-Kat multipack on Feb. 15 and gorging themselves on its delights, possibly until puking. This character loves Valentine’s and intends no harm, but within the obsession over sales is an accidental revolution of the holiday’s focus.

To The Child, I instead suggest a monthly candy subscription and the concept of couponing. 

The Child truly intends no harm, but their focus on candy purely for themselves contradicts the true purpose of Valentine’s: giving to loved ones. In a way, Valentine’s resembles a tamer Christmas in that both holidays encourage a spirit of giving. Just as buying only for oneself at Christmas is inappropriate and selfish, anticipating Valentine’s only to give to oneself at a discount is also inappropriate and selfish. Moreover, if businesses discover more and more of their audience only want candy and nothing more, they will cater to their audiences. Valentine’s Day could become Candy Sale Day (which would not be terrible but cannot hold a candle to Valentine’s).

The Child is welcome to save money and eat candy year-round–just don’t erase Valentine’s in the process.

— Erin Sheffield, 12

However, the desire to save money is faultless. The internet offers a variety of candy subscriptions at a variety of prices and products. Some offer snacks from around the world. Some offer hard-to-find American goods. Some offer over three pounds of gum, gummies and glucose galore in other forms. Furthermore, the Honey browser extension automatically checks promo codes on every shopping website prior to checkout, and plenty of other websites offer coupons for in-store use. The Child is welcome to save money and eat candy year-round–just don’t erase Valentine’s in the process.

Killer C: The Loner. This character is particularly dangerous because they often have no idea their view is so negative. They understand the follies of The Single Dudebro and do not anticipate Valentine’s purely for sweets. But they still lack the confidence and security to survive the holiday alone. They may avoid social media for the whole day to dodge the onslaught of love. Perhaps they pick out a body pillow and close their eyes. Though candy wrappers fill their trash cans, they only ate to fill the hole not filled by another. 

To The Loner, I present the concept of self-love.

Valentine’s Day is a day of lovers. Even if one understands the lovers intend no harm, surviving the hearts can hurt. But to run away from a fear or pain is only to validate it. Furthermore, no person is broken for spending Valentine’s Day alone.

Revel in your singularity, Loners. Dress up nicely for school and wink at yourself in every mirror. Post a good photo of yourself on social media instead of avoiding it for 24 hours. Offer support and friendship to both your dating and single friends. Use a bath bomb and face mask. Go to the Wal-Mart toy section and buy something stupid. Give gifts to your friends, your teachers, your parents, your dogs.

Or heck, just spend the day like you would any other. Because, dear Loner, Valentine’s was never meant to be a sad day. Don’t let it be.

The hatred of Valentine’s builds each year. Some fight with resentment. Some fight with frugality. Some fight with loneliness. But ultimately, Valentine’s Day encourages love above all else.

Love others. Love all. Love yourself.

And please, please, stop calling it “Singles’ Awareness Day.”