Owned and published by UMHB, The Bells is a biweekly publication. This content was previously published in print on the Opinions page. Opinions expressed in this section do not necessarily reflect the views of the staff or the university.
“This is the day that the Lord hath made. I will rejoice and be glad in it.”
Feb. 14 is a day of conflicting feelings. Depending on who you are, your stage of life and your relationship status, Cupid can shoot either painful stinging arrows or endless love bullets into your heart, causing you to enjoy or despise the holiday that plasters affection across every superstore isle and through every American mind.
It’s quite interesting and sometimes disappointing to examine Valentine’s Day and its effects on the general public. While I do not claim to be an expert on national, holiday, celebration protocol, I’ve compiled a list of why Feb. 14 is such a healthy holiday for our nation.
Sales thrive off of people madly in love. The holiday brings in annually over $14 billion. Suddenly giant stuffed animals are worth 50 bucks, and the cost of your average Hershey’s bar wrapped in red displaying “I love you” inflates to a dollar more.
Men are willing to ignore outrageous price tags to surprise their ladies with diamond rings and the sort. Flower businesses see skyrocketing profits as carnations and arrangements flood vases or melt young women’s hearts as their man waits at the door with a dozen roses in hand. In an economically-thirsting stimulation, what could be better?
Babysitters also experience a peak in business on this day as the demand is high and the labor is low. Parents, desiring romantic escape, are willing to fork out big money for someone to watch their children. Other service industries benefit, too. Waiters and waitresses can expect to see big tips because nothing seems to speak louder than “here’s an elegant, expensive meal for you honey and don’t I look great if I give our server a monster tip.”
Now, for those who do not have a significant other, this is no reason to pout. Just because Mr. or Mrs. Right didn’t give you a box of chocolates doesn’t mean you can’t spoil yourself with some sweets.
Many pessimists have renamed Valentine’s Day as Singles Awareness Day, wearing shirts that promote destruction of lovely holiday festivities. This is ridiculous. If it takes a national holiday to make you aware of the fact you are single, then you have bigger problems to address than not having a boyfriend.
Then there are those people who use the holiday as a reason to publically practice unneeded romantic gestures. While intimacy is a gift God gave to couples, children do not need to see what it looks like or how it works prematurely. PDA overhaul should not be abused, nor is it justified because of Valentine’s Day.
This annual holiday should be a reminder of the beauty of love in relationships, friendships and with the Lord. It doesn’t take a kissing buddy to enjoy a day filled with significant symbols and stories. Use this time of lifted spirits and a mood of caring and self-sacrificing activity to share gratitude toward those closest to you.
Buy a friend a box of chocolates. People don’t have to be your sweetheart to be sweet to your heart.
Give your parents a call to show them your appreciation for their dedication to your life over the years. Thankfulness is therapeutic to the soul.
As we bring in the holiday, let’s remember how fortunate we are to live in a country where we can show our love, love that isn’t confined and can be freely expressed in a variety of respectful and different ways. When red and pink flock across our nation, may we sing as children, “This is the day that the Lord hath made. I will rejoice and be glad in it.”