By JACQUELINE HUERTA
The aisles of the grocery store are now flooded with a sea of red and pink candies, cards, and teddy bears galore, which can only mean one thing: Valentine’s Day is near.
While Valentine’s Day is universally recognized as a celebration of love, the holiday can become rather daunting to anyone not receiving a brightly packaged, chocolate covered symbol of affection from a significant other.
Ms. Nora Seager (Social Science Dept.) thinks, “It’s easy to feel like if we don’t have a boyfriend or girlfriend in high school, then somehow we didn’t do something right.” She recalls feeling left out during some of high school, because she did not have a boyfriend to send her flowers or teddy bears on Valentine’s Day.
However, there is one unexpected gesture of love that she still holds special. Seager shares, “I have an older sister and a younger brother, so every Valentine’s morning, even if it was just a card, my mom gave all three of us something. It kind of made me feel like I was important.”
In the spirit of giving that she learned from her mother, Seager decided to bake her whole basketball team brownies for the Valentine’s Day of her junior year and realized, “Wow, I made so many other people happy.”
These acts of giving, to both her friends and family on Valentine’s Day, are a tradition Seager carries on to this day. Over the years, she has come to realize that, “It’s neat to get something, but it’s really nice to give something… It’s more fun. It makes you smile.”
Mr. Martin Stibolt (English Dept.) echoes a similar sentiment. In high school, Stibolt considered himself a “hopeless romantic,” and thus believed Valentine’s Day to be really special day.
His perspective on the holiday has slightly shifted since then, as he now states, “I see it as just a commercialized event, not necessarily worth celebrating, when every day we should be celebrating the value and importance of love.”
Sophomore Scott Ortega says, “I relate to Mr. Stibolt, but I think [both Seager and Stibolt] have a valid point, which is you don’t really need to be in a relationship.”
Since Scott currently has a boyfriend, he does not feel any pressure from the expectation to have a significant other on Valentine’s Day. However, he still believes, “Even if I didn’t, I don’t think getting a cheap teddy bear and chocolate from another person will be any different than if my best friend did it.”
Although the stereotype for Valentine’s Day mandates that one must have a significant by their side to feel truly loved, it is important to remember that extending acts of love to friends and family as well can be just as heartwarming of a gesture for someone.
As Seager sums it up: “Valentine’s day is about love. It doesn’t say only love from boyfriends and girlfriends. Why do we define love as just between boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife, or significant other?”
Instead of wallowing in bitterness and self-pity over not having a significant other this Valentine’s season, perhaps one should try challenging the status quo. Give a gift, instead of expecting to receive one. Let a friend know that they, too, are loved.