I remember being in high school where I was so dead-set on my idea of what a perfect Valentine’s Day was. It was getting the most roses from my friends and secret admirers through the Valentine’s Day booth that the student council had set up, and (hopefully) being asked out by that cute boy on the basketball team that all the girls swooned over. Basically, for all four years of my high school life, I expected all these things to be done for me, without ever thinking that I should be more deliberate in showing my love and appreciation for the people I care about. While I did get my fair share of roses and chocolates, there really was never any depth beyond that superficial, materialistic meaning I had for this special day aside from that giant ego boost. Fast forward a couple of years later, and today I most definitely do not picture a perfect Valentine’s Day the same way I did before.
As Valentine’s Day creeps up on us, it’s important not to get caught up in the expectations that today’s society has set for this over commercialized and seemingly useless holiday. We shouldn’t expect anything on this day, but instead, we should be intentional about doing the opposite for the people we love and care about. This generation, myself included, has made it so apparent that monetary gifts should be expected as an expression of love, with the ridiculous skyrocketing prices of flowers as we approach February 14th and all the cutesy decorations that are decked out in red and white. We’ve taken this holiday, which is meant to celebrate love, and morphed it into a holiday that celebrates expensive gifts and exorbitant dinners. If you won’t take it from me, at least take it from Michael Scott.
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All jokes and cynicism aside, this generation really is swarmed with the expectations fueled by social media. I mean, when we think about it, it really is so ridiculous that we absolutely feel the need to show the rest of the world the gifts/activities we receive and do on this one day as compared to the rest of the 364 days in a year.
Ultimately, Valentine’s Day is a day for us to let our significant others and friends know that we love and appreciate them, but remember, it doesn’t have to be February 14th for you to do that. We should all practice intentionally expressing our love more in our own little ways. Not that I am against celebrating Valentine’s Day in any way, but I really challenge you today to celebrate it (or any other day, in fact) without any of society’s expectations of what the day should look like. The bond that you and your significant other and friends share is one that is unique and unlike any other, and that is why you should rejoice in a day that, similarly, is unique to both of you, rather than just doing what everyone else is doing on February 14th. Remember, everything gets cheaper after February 14th! Don’t be so #mainstream.
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