February is a funny month. Not only is it missing days every year, but it holds a very misguided holiday. Not ‘Cherry Pie Day’ (20th) or ‘Public Sleeping Day’ (28th), but Valentine’s Day.
I say it is misguided because it often lacks the true sentiment of what the day should be about. It is advertised as the day we celebrate Love. A day where we go up to those we care for and hug them, kiss them, and show them how much we care.
However, capitalists are capitalizing on the ‘showing’ aspect. This consumer age has turned us greedy and lustful, damaging a word that many hold dear. We aren’t hungry for hugs, but for jewelry. We aren’t vying for kisses, but for expensive nights out ending in a present with a nice label.
Our entitlement?: “Because I am worth it.”
When did money become the only proof of love? Valentine’s day is now riddled with commercials, one more extravagant than the other, defining that love can be found in a store. And not just found in a store, but only in a store.
This distortion has slipped through this holiday and made its way into all the important landmarks of our youth, including marriage.
I have a story, one that I wish weren’t true. I was attending a dance audition for Disney. There were many gorgeous girls about. I was stretching on the ground when a group of them made their way over to my area. I overheard their conversation. It went a little something like this…
Girl 1: Wow, oh my gosh, your ring is so beautiful!
Girl 2: How long have you been engaged?
Ring girl: Just a few weeks. I love it. He is the best. He knew better than to get me a small diamond. I’m sorry but it better have been big.
They laugh, air inflating their minuscule brains.
All I could do was shake my head in disgust at her comment. Is that the measure of love– the size of a diamond? Is it now offensive if the karat is less than your heart desires?
This is not love. This is stuff. That is all it is.
I deem this the Santa Clause effect: when one girl judges her partner’s gift off of anothers. It’s just like how a child can become sad when Santa Clause only brings them a book and a toy train when he brought another boy an iPad.
This holiday was made by businesses to make a profit. I get that. I am not naive to this fact. However, what I hope is that one day these money making machines are disappointed in their sales. I hope that they end up staring out of their store window to see couples holding hands and enjoying each other’s company. No need for anything extravagant, just each other.
Because, while some of you are praying for an illustrious gift, others are just praying that their loved one is safe.
There shouldn’t have to be a day scheduled in advance for us to show love. It should be everyday. Fill the world with affection, and kindness, and care 365 days a year. Don’t wait for Valentine’s day, or Mother’s Day, or Father’s Day, or any other nationally-deemed worthy holiday to spread love.
This Valentine’s Day, forget about what you see in a mall. Instead, remember what really counts — the person occupying your heart.
Love, B. R. Wren