Roses are Red, Violets are Blue

Valentine’s Day: a celebration of love, or consumerism at its finest?

Somewhere between Groundhog Day and President’s Day, there lies a fake holiday which some like to call “cupid day” or “heart day.” To the public, such a holiday is identified as Valentine’s Day. While the “holiday” emphasizes the need to express love towards one another, the day is often quite stressful for individuals… and expensive. Does Valentine’s Day promote our society’s further reliance on materialistic items for happiness? What are we teaching our youth? Does the amount of love one has for another stem from the amount of money spent on expensive truffles or red roses? 

Roses are red, violets are blue, will you still love me if I have no presents to give to you? 

Even though it may be difficult to admit, many individuals subconsciously expect their significant other to present them with a gift, perhaps enveloped in a shiny red bow, or held together by vibrant heart patterned wrapping paper. Why? The answer is simple: gifts make people happy, gifts make people satisfied and loved- they show that someone in this vast expanse of a world cares. However, with consumerism rising in the United States, such Valentine’s Day gifts have become more expensive. 

While money often troubles those who wish to provide gifts for Valentine’s Day, not every gift has to be purchased from a store. Individuals may find that the gifts people cherish more close to their hearts are the ones that are handmade, unique, and thoughtful in every way. Perhaps a handmade card with a written note inside, confessing how much an individual appreciates another person. Perhaps a drawing or collage of a pleasant friendship. Perhaps even a hug- something so simple and often forgotten. However, a hug can go a long way, a hug can make people feel safe. More importantly, it can make people feel loved. That’s what we truly want most in this world, isn’t it? To be loved? John Green once noted that it can feel like “love is just a shout into the void and that oblivion is inevitable.” However, it is the matter of trying, the matter of effort we put into our expression of love that conquers all, for at the end of the day, to be loved is to take the “shout in the void,” and transform it entirely. “Oblivion is inevitable,” one day, we will all cease to exist. Such a truth emphasizes the importance of the expression of love. Given that time is so precious, individuals shouldn’t choose to dwell on trivial matters such as Valentine’s Day materialism. Rather, individuals should choose to appreciate their loved ones every day. While Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity to show someone how much you care, it won’t be the end of the world if you don’t receive any expensive roses or chocolates. 

At the end of the day, someone cares, someone loves you- even if they don’t have the resources to show you in a materialistic manner. One’s heart cannot be bought, though gifts are a rather pleasant thought. Love is a gift, which people often give away, yet in the end, those who take the time will stay.