By Kerilyn Acer
The explosion of red and pink was overwhelming: The signs, the confetti in the store windows, the sweaters of old ladies that passed by, the sparkling cupids dangling from the ceiling. Palpable, tingling disgust welled up inside me. But then I paused, and reflected upon the reason for my reaction. What is so bad about St. Valentine’s Day?
In my view, this holiday can take many forms and assume multiple identities. It can be a cheesy ode to commercialism, or a yearly opportunity to see the world in a rosier glow. It can be a chance to unrestrictedly broadcast our prized relationships, or a day to say all those loving words that are forgotten during the busy year.
I, more often than not, assumed myself to be against Valentine’s Day, possessing all of the common, incriminating characteristics of one who opposes such a day. But, upon reflection, I conclude that Feb. 14 is more than a “greeting card holiday,” and in fact even spreads some much-needed good cheer in the midst of cold February.
The commercials that begin in mid-January (“…beautiful gifts she’s sure to love!”) will still make my eyes roll. After all, Valentine’s Day is not the only time you can and should elaborately display your affections for those you love. But since it’s often hard to find an appropriate time to bestow a life-sized teddy bear upon a loved one, Valentine’s Day provides an unavoidable opportunity to wear our love for one another on our sleeves. I cannot deny that this is a relatively good thing to do. We may communicate this love in different ways: a hand-written note, a diamond necklace, a home-cooked meal for the whole family. The method does not matter much. It shouldn’t make any difference, as long as the motivation for purchasing that heart-shaped box of chocolates and a dozen red roses comes, truly and authentically, from the heart.