Time for a Road Trip
Published: Friday, February 14, 2014
Updated: Monday, February 17, 2014 15:02
What are some symbols of Valentine’s Day? Most people think of all the commercialized hearts, candy, extravagant cards, and teddy bears you can buy at nearly any store this month. It is the holiday hallmarked for couples. But why should we celebrate this holiday, and why should it matter if you’re single, in a relationship, married, or just confused about your relationship status? The point of Valentine’s Day is to love in general. Love does not have a limited use that applies to a small portion of people.
The Christian roots of Valentine’s Day go back to the ancient Roman festival of Lupercalia where a man would pick a woman’s name out of a hat and keep her as a companion for a year. Pope Gelasius I was against this practice, and changed it so men and women would pick saints to emulate for the year. The name Valentine comes from two men, whose names were both Valentine, executed in ancient Rome and their martyrdom was recognized by the Catholic Church.
Okay, enough of the history. The point I’m trying to make is that Valentine’s Day is supposed to be about emulating love and honoring sacrifices that were made out of love, not scrambling to find a person you can label as “lover” or “valentine.” Why should we only have one valentine? Shouldn’t we be able to show our love for our friends and family as well? Valentine’s Day was fun as a kid because everyone in your class who you gave a card to was your valentine. This whole notion of Valentine’s Day only applying to couples is a misunderstanding of what the holiday should truly mean.
If you’ve given up on Valentine’s Day at least hear me out on this one point: use this day to celebrate love and friendship. Go on a day-trip with your friends and enjoy each other’s company. Take a trip to Boston or go skiing. Worry about who’s going to make the music playlist on the drive up, not how you’re going to sulk in misery tonight. Celebrate with your friendship like it is someone’s birthday or a vacation. If you don’t confine the concept “love” to two people, then you shouldn’t confine Valentine’s Day the same way either. Think of everyone you love, and those are the people that should motivate you to enjoy this holiday.
Now, call up your family and tell them you love them. Start sending out that group message about making plans together. Be spontaneous or meticulous, extravagant or practical in your plans. Make Valentine’s Day exciting like it was in elementary school where everyone is included.