Valentines Vicariousness

Superficial Love

Superficial Love

Ah Valentine’s Day: Where everything’s made up and the points don’t matter! Wait, sorry, that’s the tag line for Whose Line Is It Anyway

although, if we’re being honest, Valentine’s Day is kind of a joke as it is. The whole idea is that this is the one day of the year where you’re supposed to show your love for someone, often times just a meaningless person you’ve asked to be “your valentine” so you’re not miserable and alone. The entire concept of loving someone for just one day of the year, let alone showing it through monetary avenues and commercialized, unoriginal ideas, is simply ridiculous.

Saint Valentine, for which the day is named and remembered, was a third century Roman of whom very little is known. What they do know is that he was a martyr – that’s right, he died for what he loved. The only other well known information is that since the Middle Ages, he has been associated with courtly love.

So here we are, celebrating the memory of a man who gave his life for what he loved, and who in life was associated with courtly love, by means of over-priced teddy bears, heart-shaped plastic boxes of candy (half of which no one actually likes and ultimately throws away), and flowers that any other day we could buy for a minimum of half the price. It’s a money-making fiasco that allows ‘peace of mind’ for one day of the year, or absolutely destroys all hope single people have for their futures.

Saint Valentine died for what he loved, but we’re buying flowers for the same reason? I’m hard pressed to find any value in that. At this point, all the women reading this are rolling their eyes or thinking, frustratedly, “ugh, men will never understand” or “but it means so much to us!” to which I say this: You’ve been raised in a culture that says flowers mean I love you, I’m thinking of you, I care about you. Here’s the dirty truth: when a guy buys you flowers, it’s because either A) he had to (like on Valentine’s Day) or B) he passed the vendor on his way home and thought it would earn him some extra brownie points he either needs or could hold onto for future withdrawal. More often than not, he wasn’t thinking of you all day, nor is he the sweetest guy in the planet. But, thanks to commercialized love like Valentine’s Day, he was able to fool you. Flowers don’t mean I love you any more than a happy meal does. Sure, it’s a nice gesture, but here’s a man whose life was centered around the study and encouragement of chivalry. All women ever talk about is how chivalry is dead, but here you are accepting stuffed animals and money in place of 3 simple words! Chivalry isn’t dead, ladies, your standards are.

Can you even begin to imagine dying for something you love? The simple thought of giving your life to protect and stand up for something that means that much to you is beyond my world of understanding. For those of you out there truly in love, maybe you get it. For those of you out there who remember holding your children in your arms for the first time, you definitely do. Me? Sure I’ve been in love and have no remorse or ill feelings towards any of them. But give my life? That’s a stretch. Love is such a binding, mind-blowing commitment and dedication that will change your life and the way you think of it forever. It’s in no means a bad thing, don’t misunderstand me. Just be careful what you wish for.

I’m not saying flowers are bad, nor is it like I’ve never bought them. All men are not evil, slimy scoundrels, and all women are not clueless flakes. I’m also not telling you to go play in traffic to prove how strongly you feel about someone, but what I am saying is this:

If you truly desire a love defined by money and candy, well, you’ll get it. And I’m sorry for you. But if that’s all you ever hope for and all that makes you happy, you’ll never understand love. Not true love, anyway.

So to all the single people out there, keep your heads held high – embrace the loneliness that you previously expected, and let that emotion fuel the movement to start loving yourself, the first step to falling in love with someone else.

And to those so lucky to hold someone you care for close – hold them a little longer, hug them a little tighter, and just appreciate who they are and what you have. Because ultimately, that’s more indicative of love than any superficial teddy bear money could ever buy.

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