Every day should be time to celebrate the special relationships we share

It is one thing to be obliterated by love, but it is another thing to dismantle its beauty for the preservation of American candy brands and floralists one day of the year.

Nearly every gesture of love I have made has come with no substantial monetary price tag. Whether they took the form of a handwritten letter or a CD burned with mild-mannered “love” songs, these simple emotional expressions garnered no insane press coverage and did not offer me any sort of elite reputation. They also were not arbitrary motions that a calendar date assigned me to complete. Instead, I drew inspiration from my own feelings and gave sincerely, waiting not for Feb. 14 to express myself.

Valentine’s Day, like many other celebrated holidays, has strayed far from its original intent. While it began as a celebration of earnest love in the 14th century, this holiday has evolved into a despotic demand for an unencumbered stream of flowers and confectionaries, devoted by one half-hearted lover to an equally-bored taker.

The materialistic aspects of Valentine’s Day are evident in grocery store aisles, where Mars products wrapped in a faux-rose tint appear from all angles, miniature cards inscribed with wicked puns are sold in bulk, and heart-shaped balloons bloom over a display of unsettlingly arranged flowers. Scenes like this expose the conditioned craving people have for objects that look like love, no matter if they were lazily paid for the night of the 13th. Twelve new moons later, the paradigm is repeated.

Even for those that acknowledge the level of insincerity visible in these last-minute pickups called “presents,” there is room for criticism. Expensive Valentine’s presents may appear more glamorous, but their gilded looks mischievously mask the often selfish motives of their givers. One who spends a Croesus amount of money on a gift fails to express their intangible love for the other person, yet succeeds in advertising their wealth to the recipient and to the outsiders who may encounter the gift. This is not to say that expensive presents may not be given- they may. However, they must come from a place of sincere love and come with an earnest declaration of said love, free of charge. A six-figure Clé de Cartier is nothing but a Casio if it is given only because Feb. 14 said to.

The degree of corruption that has overtaken Valentine’s Day can only be backpedalled one way: delete it. As a society, we must collectively decide to stop celebrating the holiday and instead make the time to show our affections throughout the whole year. Even ironic spins on the day, like “Galentine’s Day,” should not be limited to a predetermined date on the calendar. Instead, we must celebrate romantic love, platonic love, and self-love from New Year’s day to its inevitable eve.