February 14, 2006 – Ah Valentine’s Day. A day of carefree romance. A
day when couples and lovers everywhere can hold hands with their
partner and exchange gifts of flowers, candy or a simple card in honor
of their love and commitment to each other. Images of heart-shaped
boxes filled with chocolate, memories of young love and Shakespearian
prose resound in the hearts and minds of all. A day dedicated to love.

Everyone loves Valentines Day.

Or do they?

According a CNN report, a 26-year-old man from Oregon named Gerald
Krien was caught by police for trying to organize a mass Valentine’s
Day suicide on the Internet. Krien’s plan included 29 other
individuals, including a mother of two who planned to kill her
children and then herself. Happy Valentine’s-anyone want Kool-Aid?
Now, while I have no idea what Gerald’s motivations were, something
tells me that in elementary school his little decorated Valentine’s
Day brown paper bag – you know, the one your teacher would make you
decorate and then tape to the side of your desk so that everyone in
class could leave you a Ninja Turtle or Barbie valentine with a piece
of candy taped to it – yeah, well, his must have gone empty once or
twice. That or he never got a valentine from the girl or guy he had a
crush on.

As much as Gerald finds Valentine’s Day a good day to die, I bet he
wasn’t always such a stick in the mud. At one time, he probably even
liked Valentine’s Day, or at least all the expectations and potential
which accompany it. While I have no idea what caused him to turn to
the dark side, I’m guessing at some point, Gerald was disappointed on
this day.

As joyful a day as Valentine’s is, it has a flip side: Disappointment.
Society has conjured up so many expectations around this day, that
when someone doesn’t have a picture-perfect Hallmark-esque valentines,
they can be left heartbroken.

Maybe Valentine’s isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be.
I don’t mean to piss on your glee, but Valentine’s Day sucks. Even if
you’re not single – in which case Valentine’s Day is just a slap to
your lonely face – Feb. 14 is just an annual pain in the ass.
Don’t get me wrong; I think it’s great to be in a relationship and/or
to be in love. But love and relationships aren’t easy. Not to diminish
the importance of this day or anything, but I’ve got midterms. I don’t
have time to be buying cards, candy and dinner. Quite frankly, I just
don’t need the added stress. So, St. Valentine, unless you’re planning
on sending Cupid down here to put an arrow through my professor’s
heart on his way to administering my midterm (or through my head),
please, just F-off.

Everywhere I look there are disgusting combinations of pink, red and
purple. The only thing I dislike more than the Valentine’s Day hues
are those nasty sweetheart candies – you know, the ones that taste
oddly like Pepto Bismol. A fact that I doubt is just mere coincidence.
I think those sweetheart candies are Pepto Bismol. Which makes perfect
sense considering that this arbitrary day – and all the expectations
that come with it – is cause enough for indigestion, heartburn and an
upset stomach.

If you ask me, Valentine’s is a racket: Men and women, eager to please
their loved ones by living up to society’s (false) expectations, fight
tooth-and-nail to get the best reservations, candies and cards, while
Hallmark, candy-makers and flower peddlers laugh all the way to bank.
What was once a pleasant religious holiday has been twisted into a no
holds barred corporate moneymaking scheme, much like Halloween and
Christmas. That alone is reason to boycott Valentine’s Day; people are
so caught up in meeting the expectations that they forget what today
is supposedly all about.

I suppose that I, much like Gerald, just don’t like the pressure to
conform to normative societal expectations. There is just too much
importance placed on the minutia. So on this Valentine’s Day, save
yourself and your loved one some stress and heartache. Don’t get all
caught up in the commercialism and consumerist crap. And should, God
forbid, your significant other forget this loathsome day (or just
doesn’t perform up to par), please don’t be like Gerald; cut your
loved one a little slack.

Jack Ingram is a political science senior and a Mustang Daily columnist.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.