Stupid Cupid


Jack Rittendale, features writer

February. A month that comes with red roses, heart shaped everything and more pink than most can stomach. Aside from the usual romantics tied to February, there is much more to Valentine’s love/hate relationship with the masses.

To me, Valentine’s Day is bad for two types of people: those who are single, and those who aren’t. It’s well known that single people struggle with Valentine’s day. But to me, it’s the ones in a relationship who have a tougher time. What used to be a celebration of love and compassion has turned rotten by an escalating strain on relationships. The need for chocolates, cards, dinners and romance has set the bar too high for most couples.

Before the holiday took the grotesque form it has today, Valentine’s Day was originally meant to commemorate Saint Valentine. Saint Valentine originated as a simple priest in Rome, 270 AD. The Roman emperor at the time cancelled all marriages because soldiers were unwilling to leave their wives to go off to war. Valentine defied this order as a political statement against the emperor. The emperor found out about the priest’s defiance and sentenced him to execution. His final note was signed, “from your Valentine,” A phrase used commonly by card companies and modern day sweethearts.

While Valentine’s Day is recognized as a day of love, it’s been diluted with big business capitalizing on the hearts and wallets of many. Dinner prices slowly went up along with the price of candies, roses and other “necessities” to properly celebrate the holiday.

Even people who have yet to be struck by Cupid’s love arrow feel the effects of Valentine’s Day (dinner prices don’t go up just for couples). Those of us who aren’t in a relationship feel our budgets stretched for a simple night out with friends. Aside from anything monetary, the very idea of the holiday tends to foster ideas of “missing out” on something. Single people of all ages feel impacted each year by the admonition of no significant love life.

To my surprise, many still love the holiday. After asking around KHS, I found that students seem to carry a positive perspective on Valentine’s Day.

“I feel like Valentine’s Day doesn’t really affect me negatively at all,” Vivian Howard, junior, said. “Even though I’m single, my friends and I will exchange Valentine’s, and I love the candy aspect.”

To my surprise, many still enjoy the holiday. Some celebrate Valentine’s Day with their friends. Others with their families. But most are willing to ignore it altogether. Even though February does have a love/hate relationship with some, it’s still a good reason to binge on chocolates.