Bitter blues

Opinions editor Maddie Hall shares her views on the popular holiday Valentine’s Day. Unlike most, Hall believes that Valentine’s Day is useless and not a holiday worth celebrating. Cartoon by Ashley Lawrence.

By MADELINE HALL – Opinions Editor

Roses are red, violets are blue, I’m not getting flowers and neither are you.

Valentine’s Day is a useless holiday.

The benefits, those being the discount candy and romance, are by far outweighed by the drawbacks. It serves primarily to bring out the cynicism in our single friends and elderly aunts, and the sugar-crazed inner monster in elementary school students. It’s just not fun for anyone past age ten.

First of all, the romance. The romance of Valentine’s Day is restricted to those who are happily in love, and besides, it’s cheesy and non-spontaneous. The expectation is cards, flowers, candy, all of which are nice, but also expected. The gifts aren’t heartfelt, they’re an obligation. The romantically-attached who don’t receive gifts are disappointed, and those who do buy into Valentine’s consumerism gain nothing but the satisfaction of knowing their significant other cares enough to meet a meaningless obligation. Maybe Valentine’s Day is nice for fans of Phil Collins and forced declarations of love, but it’s an unpleasant reminder of these things for the rest of us, couples and singles alike.

As children, we are conditioned to love Valentine’s Day. In elementary school, middle school even, Valentine’s Day is great. The whole class gets valentines, pink lemonade and heart shaped cookies. All of us go home in a good mood, stuffed with candy hearts that tell us we’re cute and that they “heart” us.

Unfortunately, the fun must end.

If elementary school Valentine’s Day is a pleasant walk in the park, high school Valentine’s Day is a dredge through the fiery pits of hell. After eight-plus years of built up expectations and happy memories, post-childhood Valentine’s Day could bring out the bitter crone in the best of us.

There is no celebration. More importantly, no candy. The only indications of the holiday are the occasional bunch of heart-shaped balloons carried around all day by the lucky person whose Valentine’s expectations have not yet been crushed and store windows painted with cheesy cupids. Everyone else is just waiting for the day to end so that the corny advertisements and jokes will retreat for another year and they can go out and buy discount chocolate on Feb. 15th.

It’s true, though: there is an upside to it all once you reach a certain age. Kind of. By that time you’re aware of the bitterness and loneliness that comes with Valentine’s Day, and you’re not surprised by a night spent alone with your television and a box of truffles you bought yourself.

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