Happy Hearts Day, Everyone

Love is in the air, but like Axe spray, too much is too much.

February 10, 2017

Mr.+Crouch%E2%80%99s+close+attempt+of+a+heart+is+as+accurate+as+your+attempt+at+writing+your+name+in+your+journal%3A+lame+and+deserving+of+condescension.

Grace Dvorak-Vandenberg

Mr. Crouch’s close attempt of a heart is as accurate as your attempt at writing your name in your journal: lame and deserving of condescension.

The time is upon us for hearts, flowers, overpriced mediocre chocolates, and syrupy messages of affection. Yes, ladies and gents, it’s time once again for Valentine’s Day. Whether you’re involved in a committed relationship or flying solo, prepare to be inundated with sticky-sweet sentimentality from now until February 14. Perhaps we should take a step back and reflect on this phenomenon.

Now, it’s tempting to write off any and all statements of love that are prompted by Valentine’s Day as shallow and ultimately meaningless. It is true that many individuals show more affection (or more exaggerated affection) on Valentine’s Day than during other times of the year. However, this does not mean that these demonstrations of affection are insincere. Nearly all of us who profess our love on Feb. 14 each year do so truly and honestly. Having said that, it’s worthwhile to ponder the bitterness and anguish that this holiday inspires in so many of us.

What is it about Valentine’s Day that causes so many of us to react negatively? Is it the saccharine, over-the-top declarations of love? Is it the overt commercialism, the expectation that we must put a dollar amount on our feelings for another human being? Perhaps many of us simply don’t like those candy hearts that seem so ubiquitous around this holiday. Or, perhaps many folks simply resent the reminder that they are alone.

It seems like a valid reason to dislike this holiday — the constant images of romance being forced upon us, whether we like it or not. For singletons, this deluge of lovey-dovey propaganda can simply become too much, inspiring a backlash against not only the holiday itself, but also the lovebirds reveling in their couplehood. Furthermore, the corporate nature of Valentine’s Day is a huge turnoff for many people who (justifiably, probably) feel that all of these declarations of affection are driven not by true love, but by a desire to conform, to do what society expects of us on this day.

I can certainly understand each aspect of this holiday. As Joni Mitchell says in her song “Both Sides Now,” “‘íve looked at love from both sides now/ From give and take, and still somehow/ It’s love’s illusions I recall/ I really don’t know love at all.”

For myself, having looked at Valentine’s Day from both sides allows me to understand both the euphoria of a committed relationship and the bitter loneliness of solitude.

Here’s the conclusion that I’ve reached: you do you. Whether you’re happily committed to another soul, or a party of one, do your best not to impose your experience of Valentine’s Day experience upon others. Don’t shove your blissful romance in anyone else’s face, and try not to spew your bitter loneliness on anyone else, either. And please, for the love of all that is holy, refrain from egregious PDA in the hallways of our fair school. Absolutely no one wants to see that, trust me. Just do your best to stay in your lane on Valentines Day, and we’ll all get along fine.

Happy hearts day, everyone. Now get off my lawn.

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