Deconstructing Valentine’s Day

Ah, Valentine’s Day. The token holiday for a forgotten saint celebrated with naked babies with wings and arrows, inflated floral prices, and candy hearts expressing sentiments of affection. You might expect that me, being an engaged young man, would thoroughly enjoy the romantic possibilities of such a day. However, I have some news for the single men and women out there who are continually put out by the mid-February holiday of love: I could care less. Valentine’s Day is an excuse for couples to be romantic. The one time a year when a man is forced to be charming and thoughtful. Certainly a good ideal to work towards, but I think the goal would be achieved much more successfully if there was no such day and a man was left to express his love on his own terms at his own time.

A number of people, especially on college campuses, find Valentine’s Day to be a day of great rejoicing. Overgrown bushes and other floral arrangements crowded the front desk at Bethel today, and I’ve never seen the post office so busy–not even for Christmas. Others, however, don’t look on today with such joy. I heard a young woman describe today as “D-Day, Doom’s Day.” It is to these people that I wish to speak today. I am engaged, and you would expect Valentine’s Day to be complete joy. However, as the post office was packed today all I got in the mail was an all-campus handout and two Valentine’s intended for someone else–they were put in my P.O. by mistake. Valentine’s Day isn’t always that great for those of us caught up in the enthralls of coupledom. Being engaged you might expect that I spent my entire evening with my fiance. On the contrary I ate my chicken nuggets while she worked, and just as she was coming home I was heading to class. We finally met up after 9:00 p.m. to sit on opposite ends of the couch and read our homework assignments. Occasionally I could feel her toes wiggling beneath her socks. Was Valentine’s Day that romantic for us? We did exchange small gifts, nothing grand and spectacular mind you. I passed up the over priced roses and chocolate covered anything for a book. She got me the same.

Perhaps the greatest joy I find is that our relationship isn’t based on how elaborate of a Valentine’s Day I can plan. Our relationship isn’t based on whether or not we gave each other gifts today. In fact, I didn’t get my gift until we met up at 9:00 p.m., but I didn’t care. I would have been content simply sitting with her on the couch, and knowing that she took the time to meet me for lunch and saved me a seat in chapel. It’s a day of love that no one really understands. Some couples shower each other with affection, some poor singles roll their eyes and try to forget that they’re single, and some people just don’t care. The truth is that it’s just another day, wrapped up by Hallmark to make you think otherwise. I’ll show my love for my fiance, whether it’s Valentine’s Day or Groundhog’s Day.

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