Valentine’s Day is exaggerated, other holidays should have higher priority

February 14.  For anyone who grew up or lives in these United States this date means paper hearts, red or pink themed clothing and endless declarations of affection.  Valentine’s Day is a day of love; for some.  For the rest of us it is a day filled with over-commercialization, annoying questions and odd encounters.

According to National Retail Federation Valentine’s Day Consumer Survey the American public spends about $14.1 billion a year on various gifts, trips and dining on Valentine’s Day. That number is astronomically high and Valentine’s Day should be known as a ‘Hallmark Holiday’.  The media and the companies who make their money off of love related gifts have turned a Catholic feast day into 24 hours of expectations. You are expected to act differently on this day even though common sense says that you should act like this all the time towards your loved ones.

“Who’s your valentine?” The amount of times I heard this Feb. 14 cannot be counted without using three digits and once you answer the question there are two possible responses from your interrogator. Either they ask what you two are doing that night or they ask why you don’t have one.  These questions can get irritating, and not just to a person who is sans valentine. As a society we spend a lot of time worrying about other people’s social lives when we could spend this time worrying about something important, like the issues facing our country or world hunger or Robert Griffin III’s knee.

On Valentine’s Day I got a haircut and while I was sitting in the barber’s chair trying to watch “Doomsday Preppers” on the TV the man cutting my hair if I was getting my hair cut in preparation for a date. I responded with a no and he then continued to ask me questions about my love life. He seemed like a stand-up guy but I came away from the encounter thinking how weird it was to be asked questions by a stranger. These encounters are by no means rare on Valentine’s Day and I’m left to wonder if we only care about our neighbors’ lives on days like Feb. 14 or if we just don’t feel comfortable asking them about their lives on any other day.

I think we should spend our energy and our $14.1 billion on days that can mean more to the people of our country such as, Veterans’ Day or Bill of Rights Day. So while the whole world ran around trying to find love that would last, at least for a day, I spent Feb. 14 watching others make fools of themselves and thinking how they could spend their energy on so much more.