Feb. 09. 2015

Alexander Nedd
anedd@uccs.edu

Love is in the air, and for many it makes people sick.

Every year during this time, a number of my friends take to social media and blast the image that is Valentine’s Day. Some are bitter over being single; others use the day to show off their significant other and gifts given. The two week run into the middle of February can be a trying time.

I have been on both sides of the fence when it comes to this tradition. I used to rant about being single, blasting Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies” while believing I was a strong independent black person who didn’t need a significant other to fill the role of self-worth in my heart.

I’ve also had the pleasure of celebrating the day’s expected celebrations with my now boyfriend for over two years.

Many believe the key to Valentine’s Day is having a boyfriend or girlfriend to spend it with. But many don’t know that the pressure of having another half quickly replaces the fear of being single.

I began to obsess with what I could give my boyfriend. I was worried he would think I was cheap if I didn’t buy him something expensive. And of course I also thought about what he would get me.

After all, that’s what the holiday is for, right?

This year was no different. I began to think about what I was going to do, and asked my mother for advice. What surprised me was her answer of what not to get him.

“Alex, as long as you show you appreciate and care for him, there is no need to go out and buy the most expensive thing you can find,” she said.

Mom was right.

Through all the chocolates, teddy bears, rings and expensive dinners, the meaning of Valentine’s Day has been lost, swept up by global corporations hell-bent on receiving that extra dollar while crushing anyone who doesn’t fit the standard criteria.

Since when is love and affection a trait only preserved for our significant others, ignoring the ones that surround us every day?

Valentine’s Day isn’t about how far you go to get that great gift, finding the perfect girl or guy or what you can do in the bedroom. Valentine’s Day is about love, and you don’t have to be in a relationship to celebrate.

Call your mother or father and let them know how much you appreciate them. Let your best friend know what it means to have them by your side for not just that day, but every day. Kiss your dog, cat, car, anything that makes you happy.

If you have a significant other, take the time to simply remind them why you like them. It doesn’t have to have a price tag.

Let you define Valentine’s Day, not the other way around.