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Life > Experiences

V for Vendetta…or Valentine’s Day?

Updated Published
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Rutgers chapter.

February 14th. Whether you love or hate it, Valentine’s Day is Hallmark’s biggest holiday of the year. Strolling to my internship through the bustling crows along 5th Avenue I noticed the town was painted red. Everywhere I looked I was bombarded by red and pink hearts with teddy bears and chocolate covered strawberries. Somehow I was sucked into this vortex of sugary confections attached to lace dollies and false promises from men. But is this what Valentine’s Day is all about? Is it really a holiday generated by retailers to suck your wallets dry and give guys an excuse to “get some?”

As a young girl I adored Valentine’s Day. I would spend countless hours making signature homemade valentines. As I grew older I grew increasingly cynical towards “V Day” (alongside the entire single female population.) Speaking on behalf of all single women during February, what does Valentine’s Day mean for me as a “solo act” and what significance does it hold for guys? With these questions in mind, I reached out to both women and men alike to find out what importance (if any) this holiday holds to them personally. While eating lunch with my one of my best male friends, I casually brought up Valentine’s Day; needless to say he almost began to choke on some sort of edible Brower meat and began gagging. “What,” I replied, “Brower meat’s tough?” “No,” he said, “the thought of THAT day. I’d take Brower meat any day.” With that being said I began to interrogate him on why the thought of this day was so troubling and in his case, gag worthy. “It’s not the idea of that ‘day’ being nauseating, it’s the pressure of it all that makes me uneasy. Women are crazy. They create this idealized concept of us being perfect gentlemen and saying all the right things but really, what do I know? Jack sh*t.” The more I reached out to guys, the more I realized that it is not the literal concept of Valentine’s Day that they distained- it is the overwhelming pressure to create a perfect night which intimidates them. The abundant feedback from my male colleagues gave me momentum to ask my female friends about their ideas on Valentines. Simultaneously my girl friends seemed to reach an informal consensus that Valentine’s Day was somehow a made-up holiday perpetrated to make single women feel uneasy and promote an archaic idea of love. That somehow if you are worthy of being loved you will somehow have a special someone for the 14th, but if you don’t, then you somehow are unworthy of adoration and affection. What if we were to take the pressure out of Valentine’s Day and displace this idea that a man needs to wine and dine us to have a perfect night? Could we ever truly celebrate this commercialized holiday? My answer is yes. This Valentine’s Day allow yourself to enjoy your night, whether it’s with a special someone or just your girlfriends. Who needs mediocre dinner and pre-boxed chocolate anyway? Rather than overwhelm yourself (and others) on constructing the perfect night de-stress and plan something fun, relaxed, and spontaneous. Don’t become bogged down with the societal construct that this holiday is strictly for couples. I urge singles (women especially) to redeem this special day and celebrate the all the love in their lives– not just the love they receive from men. As of for guys- I promise it’s not that frightening. Just actual remember to bring some flowers and tell her she looks nice, that’s all we need.