Don’t be the Grinch that stole Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day.

For some, the mere phrase brings dread and conjures images of sitting in bed and throwing chocolates at the TV screen — do people really do that?

For others, the Hallmark holiday produces feelings of romance and stress about buying that perfect gift — but, love is an everyday thing, not a one-day thing, so why all the planning?

This may be harsh, but chances are, you’re not doing Valentine’s Day right.

If you are one of those people who hates Valentine’s Day and decide to be the sad-because-they’re-dateless, “Grinch who stole Valentine’s Day” type of person, what you are doing is limiting.

Similarly, if you have a special person in your life, yes, go ahead and celebrate him or her — that’s wonderful! But, if you spend the day only celebrating that one love, you are equally limiting yourself.

There are so many people to love in this world. Celebrate them all. Valentine’s Day is about love, and if you only love one person, that’s pretty sad.

Chances are you feel some sort of love, respect or admiration for many of your roommates, housemates, classmates, professors or friends.

Think about the fun of Valentine’s Day as a kid. We spent weeks cutting hearts out of pink paper doilies and sticking Hershey’s hugs to punny little note cards. The morning of Valentine’s Day, we woke up, maybe had heart-shaped pancakes for breakfast, put on red or pink clothes, arrived to class early, passed out our notes to our friends, then ate enough store-bought candy to produce a sugar-coma and maybe played a round or two of pin the tail on the donkey. Most importantly, we went home happy, smiling and bubbly.

But somehow, as we got older, bit-by-bit, Valentine’s Day lost its magic. Rather than being a pure celebration of those we love best, the holiday became a dating and relationships pressure cooker.

How many times have you had to define an ambiguous relationship around Valentine’s Day? That’s not really fair. How many times have you spent days agonizing over perfect plans for the day? None of this is fun.

Who says we can’t still have those happy Valentine’s Day memories of yore? Who says that Valentine’s Day is all about one person? That just doesn’t seem right when there are so many people in our lives worth loving and celebrating.

So, no matter if you’re in a relationship or if you’re single, I advise you to wake up early.  Throw on a pink or red sweater. Grab a hot chocolate from the Daily Grind with an old friend. Run around campus, placing fun notes and Hershey’s kisses under all your friends’ doors. Listen to the “Pop Love Songs” playlist on iTunes radio. Smile a bit wider; hug people a bit more often.

Spend the day making sure everyone you love in your life knows how much you care. We don’t stop to do that enough.

So, here’s to the second best Hallmark holiday ever (besides Christmas). Happy Valentine’s Day.

Ariel Cohen is a Confusion Corner columnist and will be accepting all hand-made and store-bought Valentine’s cards.


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