The Socially-Skewed V-Day Mantra

By Meredyth Staunch on February 14, 2017
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Ah, February 14th: often coined the “love holiday,” Valentine’s Day has been the caveat of Godiva chocolate truffles, bright red roses, and, to some people’s demise, a significant other.

Kissing behind the heart-shaped balloon, the couple shares a sign of affection on Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s Day has often been geared towards those in a relationship as pictured with the couple, but this “national day of love” stretches beyond a relationship status and to all those significant in our lives (http://365allfestivals.com).

Scrolling through Instagram and Facebook, it seems like everyone posts photos with his or her boo — from the “I love you baby” to the “Here’s to the third Valentine’s Day spent with the love of my life,” it’s not a mystery why those single men and ladies shy away from the holiday, curling up in a blanket with their lover, a loyal canine, and living it up with “all the single ladies.”

However, is this Lonely-Awareness Day simply for those blessed to be in a relationship, to the extent that we need to contrive a new name for it known as “Galentine’s Day?” Certainly, we live in a society in which each person demands to be included, but it presents itself as a bit of overkill in that we need to fabricate the name of the holiday in order to be included. Weren’t we always part of Valentine’s Day; didn’t we all have at least someone in our lives who we loved, whether it was a sibling, aunt, uncle, or parent?

I understand most of you are probably thinking, ‘But Valentine’s Day would be so much better if I could spend the night with a lover and cuddle up to a romantic movie.’ At least, that is the female’s mindset. I am 20 years old and have been single for all but two Valentine’s Days. This Valentine’s Day weekend, I was extremely blessed to spend it with my boyfriend — from going to the zoo to watching romance comedies and chomping on Russell Stover’s dark chocolate blueberry bites, it was perfect because I spent it with one of the people I care most about in my life.

Do not let my relationship deter you from Valentine’s Day if you are single, though. For 18 years, I spent my Valentine’s Day chowing on “Ben and Jerry’s” Cherry Garcia and often made fun of the holiday while in high school, but I realized that I missed the point of this national day of love. While there is national taco day and national dog day, Valentine’s Day does not specify who you spend your day with or how you spend it. The Galentine’s Day mantra has been utilized to make fun of the holiday and more so insinuate the lack of a boyfriend or girlfriend — but how about we actually work the term more passionately instead of callously?

Ladies, I have one proposition for you: spend your Valentine’s Day with your best girlfriend or your mother. Wear pink, drink wine, cry when Allie finally decides to spend the rest of her life with Noah in The Notebook. Those females closest in your lives will stay with you through your high school and college experiences; through every break-up; through every tear shed; through the drastic and yet unassertive midlife crises — these women are your backbone and there does not need to be a re-coining of Valentine’s Day to Galentine’s Day to exemplify this point.

To the men out there, although I am not one, I understand how important guy time is. Spend it with your best buds and hide away in your so-called “man cave.” Do something a little bit reckless, but not stupid; pick up a rugby ball or baseball and play a midnight game. If you have someone you love dearly back at home or attending a different university, call her for she will truly light up.

Valentine’s Day is not a matter of needing to be in a relationship, it is finding the time to spend it with those you care most about. If you are committed to a significant other, it is an extra bonus. Valentine’s Day, regardless of status, is showing every person around you how much of an impact he or she has had in your life.

If you don’t take my word for it, go ahead, though, and spend it anticipating the end of the day. Valentine’s Day is nearly over by now — purchase the reduced-price chocolates and curl up in a ball in your Snuggie. It only comes around once a year, and while you might characterize yourself as lonely compared to your best friend who is in a relationship, who says you can’t enjoy the other’s company? Each day, whether it is a holiday or not, should be identified as loving those who matter most to you and making that impact.

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Whether I'm in the lab, formulating some unknown concoction, laying out for a disk for my college Ultimate Frisbee team, muddied and sweat smeared in my eyes, or interviewing anyone from civil activist leaders to app programmers, you will always find a smile from ear-to-ear and a head of hair that Little Orphan Annie would be jealous of. As a Saint Louis University sophomore, you can say that I am in "dangerous territory" as the Cubs just won this past World Series, only to the demise of those loyal Cardinal fans. Even though sports are a touchy subject, I have wholeheartedly adopted the Saint Louis culture -- everything from Fitz's root beer floats to the oh so famous ooey gooey butter cake. However, Chicago's famous Lou Malnati's pizza is still number one in a far off dimension. Call me a foodie, call me a movie fanatic, but my ideal night would be making homemade seafood pasta with a nice glass of wine and curling up with my boo to "Rent" or "Annie" while chomping on those infamous (and deadly) Brookside dark chocolate covered bites. Yes, I know, quite basic, but I promise you I am far from the "ordinary white girl." After majoring in Biomedical Engineering for a year and a half, I realized this field was not my area of expertise; although I loved medicine for the simple reason that my older brother has a fair amount of mental health circumstances, I missed the free-form thinking that was so inherent in my life in high school as a Yearbook Committee editor. Therefore, I switched my major to Journalism with a minor in Biomedical Engineering, and have not regretted my decision yet. Maybe a medical writer in the future, or broadcasting/journalist/blogger extraordinaire? I'm only 20 and have at least 80 years left..yes I plan on living a kickin' life till I'm 100 years old, sassy and ready for a new adventure. Therefore, I have no rush, only an "unwritten" page ready to be filled.

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