Misnomers ahoy!

Ron Soltys

Why does Valentine’s Day carry such a lofty reputation when vast amounts of people perceive the holiday as nothing more than a binge-eating bout of depression?

I think our high opinions of the day get their foundations in grade school, where we stuff cheesy cartoon valentines into each other’s possession. This faux fraternization is supplanted by fantastic amounts of candy and a perhaps dangerous level of the color pink.

We’re all convinced the day is wonderful, but somewhere the magic gets lost and by high school, people start considering the holiday as nothing more than a grim reminder of being without that special someone.

I honestly almost always forget what day it is, and even when I do remember, it doesn’t amount to much more than “spend 50 bucks” day. The holiday’s history has been so obfuscated by chocolate and flowers that the standard modus operandi is to just bury a significant other and express — sometimes through stuffed animals — your love for them.

Here at college, little can be preached on the altar in defense for Valentine’s Day. A seeming majority of college relationships shrug off the innocent wonder that the holiday initially seems to represent. It isn’t my aim to state that meaningful or loving relationships do not happen in college; it is more my ambition to state that they exist within a sea of relationships that exist for much less noble reasons.

I’m two-thumbs-up on expressing yourself through whatever means seem comfortable, but the implications of love juxtaposed to a sea of one-nighters and mix-tapes seems to taint the prestige the holiday attempts to govern.

I don’t know why people hate the day so much. I don’t know why people break up in spring so much. I never claimed to be wise; I just felt it weird that we all considered Valentine’s Day a holiday dedicated to love, when it has been bastardized and often hated as a result.

Not only that, but why do we symbolize the holiday with a flying, naked baby? How seriously tripped-out is that for an icon of courtly love? Originally, Cupid was a Roman god of erotic love and sex. I think they kind of shrugged off that interpretation — both the idea that the tiny cherub was a god, and that his domain would be wild sex — and instead opted for a random diaper-wearing, flying kid with heart-shaped arrows.

What can we do to alleviate the seeming awkwardness of a peculiar holiday entrenched in mixed emotions and skewed expressions? Well, I suppose we have to get back to the fundamentals. Buy a card; buy a gift; go on a date — something simple. My wish is that a holiday dedicated to love can somehow be less hated or trivialized, and so I leave it to all of you to celebrate it in whatever way seems best to you.

Ron Soltys is a pagan who trivializes the celebration of Christian martyrs. Belittle him at [email protected].