Opinion

To valentine or not? Part 2

One might think that Valentine’s Day is this wonderfully sweet holiday on which you tell someone I love you, and give them flowers, a card, or even a box of chocolates. But the truth behind Valentine’s Day is much more darker, much grimmer. The societal pressure on single individuals, the expectation that everyone must have a mate, can be overwhelming. The countless number of TV commercials pushing people to buy presents, the red colored hearts plastered around shops, radio announcements and table-for-two restaurant seem to say: “If you don’t have someone, you’re a loser.”
On Valentine’s Day, some may not be as lucky, or unlucky (depending on your view), to have someone special in their life. Those who do not have someone with whom to share this day are left wondering just why they do not have someone special in their lives. There are of course many questions also. Who was St. Valentine anyway? And further more, why was he a saint?
There are varying opinions as to the origin of Valentine’s Day. Some historical accounts refer to Valentine as a Christian priest who was executed on Feb. 14 270 A.D. after he defied Claudius the Goth. Legend also says that St. Valentine had left a farewell note for the jailer’s daughter, who had become his friend, and signed it “From Your Valentine”. Yet another story says Valentine was a bishop from Terni who was executed on Feb. 14 270 A.D. In 496 A.D. Pope Gelasius set aside Feb. 14 to honor St. Valentine.
Commercial valentines were introduced in the 1800’s and now the date is very commercialized. In the United States, Esther Howland receives the credit for manufacturing the first valentine cards. Maybe we should look at the real possibility that Valentine’s Day was a conspiracy created by card companies to create a larger profit during a time of the year where business slows down immensely and does not really pick up again till mid-May. Thus, Valentine’s Day could be considered a cruel way for corporate bigwigs to amuse themselves back at Hallmark Inc. They may even sit back laughing at the fact that they created this fallacy of a holiday and we all so foolishly bought into it. For those who swear by this sacred day in February, this is a concept that has never crossed their minds. Maybe back when Valentine’s Day began, or the rumors of St. Valentine and his hopeless love for his one and only started to circulate, people needed to believe that as companions they had this day all to themselves. People get engaged, married, and lose their virginity all in the name of the honored saint. I’m sure all of us know someone who has done all of the above. Others go out with our single friends for a girls’ or guys’ night out. Yet many sit at home with an utter feeling of despair. Valentine’s Day might be as sweet as one may say, but what good is a day designated to something that causes happiness when the day itself causes so much misery?
Denise Kolb is a sophomore majoring in criminology.

February 12, 2002

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

So what’s UM getting with this recruiting class, among players already committed, most or all of who ...

On the eve of the early signing period, the new University of Miami defensive coordinators met the m ...

The early signing period is finally here and the Miami Hurricanes’ class is, at least for now, disap ...

Photo Gallery: UM football availabiilty | Tuesday, December 18, 2018 … Click to Continue » ...

Zach McCloud said he never doubted whether he would return to the Miami Hurricanes for his senior se ...

Feelings of depression and anxiety rise during the holidays, but there’s plenty you can do to keep u ...

The Foote Fellows Honors Program offers students added flexibility to pursue multiple academic inter ...

Commencement speakers share gems of insight and wisdom as more than 1,000 UM students graduate in tw ...

During a news conference Wednesday, a UM medical team talked about the clinical findings after exami ...

Your one-stop shop for University of Miami fall commencement information. ...

Things have changed in Coral Gables since the end of the regular season, but there will be a familia ...

Canes and Houston Baptist play at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Watsco Center. ...

The No. 24/23 Miami women's basketball team will begin play at the Florida Sunshine Classic in ...

Hurricanes Name Banda, Patke Co-Defensive Coordinators; Promote Simpson to Associate Head Coach ...

The Miami women's basketball team is ranked in the top 25 of both major national polls this wee ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.