A Note from Jess ;-) Save your money and your waistline; boycott Valentine’s Day

Ah Valentine’s Day. The day when love fills the air. Couples show an extra dose of public displays of affection. Retailers coat their pockets from the obscene number of over-sized novelty teddy bears, chocolate boxes and diamonds sold in the weeks leading up to the holiday. I’m here to ask you one question, Seton Hill: what’s the point?

Before you accuse me of being a cynic or of having no heart, know that I’ve been in a serious relationship for three years now. And it’s because of my relationship’s longevity, with my guy’s heavy approval, that I decided to boycott Cupid’s holiday once and for all. I know you’re probably thinking, what kind of an advice column is this? Well, for starters, there are a number of logical reasons why you and your significant other should boycott Valentine’s Day.

Reason #1: You shouldn’t need a holiday to appreciate and value your relationship.
I know this sounds crazy, but I thank God for my boyfriend every day. And because we don’t see each other every day, we appreciate the time we do have on the weekends. He doesn’t spoil me with gifts but he also doesn’t reserve his funds for a stupid holiday. It’s simply not fair to expect him to spend the national average of $169 that men typically spend on Valentine’s Day. Besides, I’d rather have a lazy day watching movies on the couch with my sweetheart than waste his hard-earned money at a movie theater.

Reason #2: Valentine’s day is just another excuse for Hallmark to sell overly expensive greeting cards.
Over 150 million greeting cards are sent across the world for Valentine’s Day. If you average each card to be, let’s say $3, which is CHEAP in terms of greeting cards, you’re still looking at a whopping $450 million spent for an elaborately decorated piece of card board. And those numbers don’t even touch the amount of money parents spend annually for their kids’ school parties. Sure, it’s the thought that counts, but really? It’s not even an original thought. It’s someone else’s poem or prose, not your own.

Reason #3: Valentine’s Day is a florist’s biggest day of the year, and you’ll pay dearly for it.
In the weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day, we tend to hear a lot of commercials on the radio and on the TV about great specials on a dozen roses. People fall for this trick every year. Did you know that the price of roses tomorrow will be at least half of what it is today? That’s right. It’s all about supply and demand. Florists know countless men will splurge on a dozen or two roses for their gal. Even web sites that advertise their “cheap” prices can’t resist during the holiday. Sites like Proflowers.com or 1800flowers.com advertise a dozen roses for as low as $30—even lower if you’re willing to mix your roses with other flora—but then jack up the prices for delivery. Sure they smell sweet and are wonderful to look at, but ladies, wouldn’t it mean more if your guys sent them to you on a random day rather than on this accursed day of obligation?

Reason #4: Restaurants make a killing on Valentine’s day.
If you want to go out to dinner on Valentine’s Day, you’d better either go before 4 p.m. or schedule a reservation weeks in advance. Otherwise, you can forget it. The wait on Valentine’s Day parallels no other, except for maybe New Year’s Eve. Even the local Chinese restaurant had an hour wait—I know this because I tried to order food. So much for the average 10 minute wait…Of course, restaurants always offer sweetheart specials, but then they trick you into getting dessert, because who isn’t going to get dessert on a day like this? Also, what about the employees who’re stuck working on this “holiday?”

Reason #5: It creates hostility in the work environment.
As I type this, I am fighting with my editor about whether or not Valentine’s Day is worthy of celebration. In the real world, though, the work environment can get pretty hot when someone decides to decorate the office without taking into account the blubbering girl in the corner who just broke up with her long term boyfriend. Then there’s the themed parties. Who wants to celebrate this holiday with your co-workers anyway? And it’s not like you get a choice in the matter. There’s always that one person who decides that the whole office has to celebrate. All for one and one for all, after all.

Reason #6: Chocolate is fattening.
I love chocolate as much as the next girl, but seriously, who needs to eat an entire box of chocolate in one sitting? Because you know that’s what a lot of women do when their sweethearts give them the box of chocolate. Furthermore, chocolate is expensive. But again, do we really need a special holiday to eat chocolate? Isn’t that what Halloween and Easter are for?

Reason #7: It’s hardly even a real holiday.
Do you know what the real Valentine’s Day was all about? On 278 ce., St. Valentine was beheaded. That’s right, we celebrate the execution of a saint. Wow. In some cases Mr. Valentine—I say Mr. Valentine, because there are three Valentines associated with Feb. 14—was not even attached to the romance that we currently associate with him. More importantly, the day became a feast in an attempt for Pope Gelasius to put an end to a pagan festival of love called the Feast of Lupercalia. According to the legends, Luper was a she-wolf who suckled Romulus and Remus, founders of Rome, in their infancy. The festival itself was an aim to encourage and enhance fertility by slashing women with slabs of meat cut from sacrificial lambs. Talk about a morbid celebration.

Reason #8: Cupid is a creep.
First of all, he’s a naked baby. Shooting arrows at people. He’s a homicidal flying baby hell bent on making people fall in love with each other whether they like it or not. What’s not to love, right? Actually, when you look at the history of Cupid, he doesn’t inspire love at all. The “wounds” he inflicts with his arrows inspire passion, which is by no means the same thing. Remember Romeo & Juliet? Yeah, that wasn’t love either.

So there you have it. Valentine’s Day is a day for passion, not love, greed, not generosity and misconstrued truths about the stories behind the holiday itself. Do yourself a favor and boycott it next year. You’ll have a blast.


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