What’s with all the pressure for Valentine’s Day? Often times, it is thought that the people that criticize Valentine’s Day are the people without valentines. In my attempt to fight this generalization, I made fun of Valentine’s Day to some girls that I knew were in relationships. To even my surprise, several of the girls agreed that it is a little silly that Valentine’s Day receives so much hype while other girls held on to their right to be pampered and feel like princesses. While the recognition of St. Valentine is great, the day has almost become a 24-hour commercial for Hallmark. It seems far more impersonal than romantic to be buying gifts, going out for dinner, planning getaways, and so on when practically every other couple in America is doing the same thing. It would seem sensible to put aside a different day to shower each other with gifts and express feelings of love on a day that is special or unique. It would be a day in which the girl could actually feel like a princess rather than one of a billion princesses.
While girls seem to build up so much hype about this Hallmark holiday, guys are pressured to please their partners whether they like it or not. They are forced to dish out money to impress the girl, her friends, her family, her co-workers, and anyone else that she may be in contact with that day. That’s a lot of pressure! If a guy were to send flowers to his girl on another day it would be meaningful and thoughtful. However, on February 14, the biggest day for florists of the year, the excitement and thoughtfulness of flowers, gifts, kisses, whatever it may be, is lost. It is not thoughtful, but expected.
Don’t misunderstand this though, expressing love and showing him or her one’s feelings through material objects is not a bad thing. It just seems that the timing is too planned, too perfect, and too prevalent.
It seems that it must be argued that the thrill and emotions associated with an anniversary, for example, are far more real and heartfelt than the feelings conveyed through ‘heart-shaped chocolates’ day. Maybe this is too much of an opinion for one day out of the year, but the stress, planning, and hints make this day of love seem much longer. Walking into red-painted stores for almost two months certainly does not help with this either. Think about that, every drug store, jewelry store, card store, and department store is consumed by the color red, the color of love. It is programmed, advertised, and relied on that people will show a lot of green, which is of course money, in order to show their love. Sarcastically, I must ask, are we buying love?
According to a column written by Heather Ticotin of MTVU, an estimated 188 million Valentine’s Day cards are sold by Hallmark alone. That’s just cards and just Hallmark! I won’t lie, I myself will probably be pressured into purchasing one of those cards, but it won’t be entirely personal. One might argue that the words on the card are personal, but those cards are mass produced and someone else will probably opening the same card at the same time. Guaranteed, the words ‘I love you’ forming on your very lips trigger more feelings of love than a card that says them for you.
Jillian Barton is a Sophomore at West Chester University majoring in English. She can be reached at JB669457@wcupa.edu.