By: Reiley Bartel, Online Editor
Valentine's Day is overrated. I bet there are a lot of gals out there who may disagree with me, but please, tell me what the point of it is? Sure, I enjoy the chocolate and cute stuffed animals like everyone else, but I just don’t really see the point of the holiday, which this year happens this coming Tuesday. Some may say that it’s intended to show appreciation for your significant other. But if you need a national holiday to appreciate your boyfriend, girlfriend, or spouse, then you need to do better.
Valentine's Day popularity came from Hallmark — you know, the company that makes the cards and cheesy holiday movies? That’s right: It didn’t come about because of the martyrdom of Saint Valentine but because Hallmark saw a money-making opportunity. Megan Parker said in her article, A Hallmark Holiday With a Dark History: The Day of Love, postcards were declining in popularity around 1910, so they had to come up with something to make up for that loss. In 1912, Hallmark added greeting cards to its line. In 1913, “Valentines” were added to the inventory. Though the celebration of St. Valentine is recognized by the Catholic church, it was not popular or hardly acknowledged until Hallmark made it a big deal.
The holiday continues to get bigger and bigger every year, resulting in more money spent, more broken hearts, and more profit for companies. One could argue that this is good for the economy, but I argue it isn’t good for the working man, or our mental health. On average, over $20 billion is spent on Valentine’s day gifts, about $200 per person, according to bankrate.com. Also, on average, men will spend twice as much as women. Another fun fact: 43 million Americans received a gift they didn’t want, resulting in about $10 billion in gifts that are returned, thrown away, or even re-gifted. I don’t know about you, but that is just sad.
One more fact to add to the tackiness of Valentine’s day: According to bankrate.com, nine million marriage proposals occur on this “day of love,” and about 50% of the American population agrees that it is romantic. I am a part of the other 50%. I do NOT want to be proposed to on Feb. 14. I think it is tacky and not special. I don’t want to share it with 8,999,999 other women.
I bet some people reading this are wondering, “Who hurt you on Valentine's day?” I hate to disappoint, but no one. The next thought might be, “Well, it’s because you have no one to share it with.” Also false. I will celebrate the holiday in honor of the saint, but I won’t join in on the tacky money-wasting day that Valentine’s Day has turned into.
PHOTO: Curtesy Photo, Unsplash