Five reasons to … Valentine’s Day


Alyssa Sykuta

Alyssa Sykuta (left) and Maria Kalaitzandonakes (right) emote how they feel about the holiday. Photo by Patrick Smith
 Do you love or hate Valentines day? Here are some pros and cons…
[heading style=”1″]Five Reasons to LOVE Valentine’s Day[/heading] I’m a single, teenage girl – I should hate Valentine’s Day, right? Wrong. I love it
5. It’s all about the ‘L’ word
It’s an excuse to be mushy, to tell your friends who are opposed to hugs or afraid of the L word that they mean a lot to you.
4. Let’s get crafty 
I never buy my valentines (shut up you “Valentine’s day is a corporate holiday” zombies.) One year I bought used books and wrote in the margins little notes to my friends about why I chose that book, underlining particularly meaningful quotes. Then the next year I captured the “thinking faces” of all of my friends, tongues out, eyebrows furrowed, in a black and white photograph and printed them out with the line – this is the face I love. This year I focused on the little things, making little lists of tiny things I loved about my friends. The way they laugh, or say a word, their catch phrases or a quality I couldn’t live without. I always try to make ‘em pretty too.
3. All you can eat
Muffins. Cupcakes. Chocolate. Necco Wafers. Chocolate covered strawberries. WHO DOESN’T LIKE THIS?!
2. Fashion takes a back seat
Perfect time to wear my pink pants. Boo-ya.
1. Being young again
I am a child still, and this is fun for me on this day. I like building forts. I like watching Charlie Brown. I like assuming that life is good. Valentine’s Day isn’t that shiny balloon and huge bear some girl gets. It’s a child’s holiday that adults have ruined. Go out and give your best friend a hug. Go up to your crush and tell them you think they’re neat. Go up to your mom and tell her you’re sorry you never clean your room and that you always leave dirty dishes downstairs but that you will always love her the most. Go be a kid. Stop sitting there thinking you can only be happy in a relationship or with a huge, way too pink bear. It’s time to be imaginative. MAKE your valentines. LOVE your friends harder. TELL your family that you are lucky to have them.
I love Valentine’s Day because when it’s used right; it’s a time of pure imagination. It’s a time of childlike awe and love.
By Maria Kalaitzandonakes
[heading style=”1″]Five Reasons to HATE Valentine’s Day[/heading] Some things about Feb. 14 just make me sick, and it’s not the overabundance of sugar. Valentine’s Day parties when I was younger were always fun, and I remember my mom making sugar cookies for each of my classmates, carefully crafted and decorated with their names in chocolate icing. But since the days of elementary school celebrations and passing out candy came to an unfortunate end and the years of boyfriends and girlfriends began,  I have slowly given into more pessimistic views. While most of the complaints heard around Feb. 14 are from single folks, I would like to note that it is possible to be in a relationship, like me, and still dislike the holiday. Therefore, I present to you the top five reasons I hate about Valentine’s Day.
5. Roses are red…
I am not the biggest fan of the color red or pink. While I don’t mind them, the colors certainly aren’t my favorite. After a month of pre-Valentine’s displays at every store in town, I have to say I’m a bit sick of the “color of love.”  And I most certainly will not wear a red shirt, red pants, red socks and a red hat to school. I wore blue today in defiance. Take that, world.
4. Bittersweet
I’m pretty sure I spend at least 50 percent of Valentine’s Day eating. At the end of the day, I feel like I have eaten my weight in chocolate and assorted candy, and I’ve probably gained at least five pounds since I woke up in the morning. For the last few hours before crashing from a sugar rush, all I want to do is throw up. Yes, it’s my own fault for consuming so much junk, but you have to admit, once you get that box of chocolate, you are not giving it up.
3. No way to win
If you’re single, there is this pressure to be dating someone, and all you see everywhere you look are happy couples. If you’re in a relationship, there’s this pressure to be all cutesy and adorable and perfect, and I know that I, for one, am not normally that person. Also, you tend to notice all the happy single people partying it up for “Singles Awareness Day.” YOU JUST CAN’T WIN.
2. Forever alone or forever in love?
I do my best every year to stray away from social media on Feb. 14. Why? Because my Twitter and Facebook feeds are always filled with obnoxious posts from both single AND taken people. And it’s pretty easy to categorize them, because you have two extremes of emotions. On the one hand, you have, “I am so lonely, nobody loves me, I guess I’ll just have to wait until next year, boohoo, woe is me.” on the other hand, you have, “Like OMG my boyfriend is the best and sweet and perfect and we are perfect together and we are so in love like OMG we were meant to be I love you baby let me use no punctuation so you run out of breath just reading this sentence.” All right, take a breath now.
With the latter of the two examples, may I also bring up the point that clearly, not all of you can have the best significant other? While I could easily argue that my boyfriend is better than yours, you will not see me taking it to that level of obnoxiousness on Facebook for Valentine’s Day, much less any other day, for that matter.
1. “Can’t buy me love…”
By far, the thing that ticks me off the most about Valentine’s Day is its materialistic nature. How early do stores begin advertising for chocolate and roses and such? Pretty much as soon as New Year’s is over. And now, it’s not only every grocery store in town; the advertisement is reaching our social media accounts. Every time in the past month I have gotten on Facebook, the first thing to pop up is, “Alyssa, add a $1 cookie to your list of Valentine’s gifts for __________.” Like, no, Facebook, I can take care of things myself, thank you very much. I know what I’m doing for him and I don’t need you enticing me to buy your $1 cookies.
What happened to homemade cards and things? Since when does money equate to love and friendship?  Though I sincerely appreciate the gifts I receive — yes, the roses are absolutely beautiful and the chocolate is delicious — their worth comes from who gave them to me. You don’t need to go out and spend the money you may or may not have just because of society’s idea that the more expensive the gift, the more you “love” the person. Seriously, a nice hug is never out of place.
By Alyssa Sykuta