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article imageOp-Ed: Love shouldn't be just for Valentine's Day

By Scott Sawitz     Feb 14, 2014 in Lifestyle
Why is romantic love so closely associated to Valentine’s Day? This is the question I have asked myself since elementary school.
In grade 4, Valentine’s Day meant creating your own cards or buying the fancier “brand name” cards, if you could afford them, but nobody really understood the origins or meaning behind this “love” holiday and if you didn’t get at least one Valentine card — there was something wrong with you. It was a social stigma!
In the mid 60s when the economy was booming, many kids received weekly allowances and would save their money for three weeks, prior to Valentine’s Day, so they could buy Superman, Disney or the Barbie edition of Valentine’s Day cards.
Coming from a large family, I never got a regular allowance. My parents gave me pocket change for doing extra chores or my brother, who had a paper route, would pay me to do his chores. I earned my pittance through hard work and wasn’t so eager to spend it on Barbie Valentine’s Day cards. I saved my cash — for the movie theater.
As a tomboy, I actually preferred the Superman cards, but as a creative child, I liked to design and construct my own cards for a few worthy recipients like the teacher and my best friends, never for any romantic love interest, because at age 10, boys were a nuisance. Teachers got duplications of the same Superman or Barbie card, as it was very rare for students to give them candy or flowers. Romance was not an option here.
As an adult, my thinking became more analytical and I soon realized that all the hoopla over Valentine’s Day cards and gifts was driven by commercial profits and not true love, even though my girlfriend (at the time) would spend a small fortune on flowers that faded four days later.
Statistics show that in 2013, we spent an average of over $13 billion on Valentine gifts with 47 percent on candy alone, which helps to support the dental and diet industries. This is how most people celebrate the impeccable emotion of love….why?
The facts of folklore
The origin of Valentine’s Day is where the paradox begins. Who is the true mascot — cupid or St. Valentines? The story of cupid is ambiguous and St. Valentines is not much better. In Greek mythology, cupid was born of Aphrodite, goddess of love, but according to Roman mythology, Venus is the baby mommy and the more popular goddess of love. The story of St. Valentine is so vague and varied that it seems he’s more of a mystery than a patron saint of Love.
In conclusion: Love should be celebrated every day, not just on February 14th and we all know that money can’t buy love or happiness. Romance is “nice to have” but it doesn’t define the love you feel for your dog or grandmother and chocolate is never a good thing for them, so give your loved ones a gift from the heart and save your cash — for the movie theater!
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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