When the month of February arrives with all of its inherentgrandeur, especially on a leap year, one would suspect that theadditional day, namely the 29th is the most celebrated. However,that coveted title lies with one special day situated at the cruxof the calendar month. To merely characterize Valentine’s Day as agathering of amorously entranced individuals is insufficient. Thisauspicious day is a calling, a beckoning for those who have foundthemselves in the midst of festive passion to openly and candidlyexpress that zeal for one another.
Aside from the archetypal notion of exchanging cards andexorbitant gifts, couples actually set aside some time in which toreflect upon themselves, the pathway meticulously carved by thereality that they share, and of course the essence and spark thatignited their liaison.
The fourteenth of February is a curious 24-hour block that isexperienced differently by residents of varying geographic localesand various domestic milieus, such as college campuses. Sometimes,an overlying cultural dictum determines exactly what takes place onthis emotional day. A conservative belief system may outlaw meetingand courting altogether, while a liberal approach may test theboundaries of human sentimental and physical limitations.
To put this discussion in perspective, we veer off the road ofconfusion into familiar, cozy territory – the college campus. Whileits certain that most of us have seen the observance of Valentine’sDay in various sectors of the school, many of us fail to understandwhat is actually taking place.
For example, a student seated in a campus dining facility maywitness coupling firsthand but will fail to derive a plausibleexplanation as to what this signifies. This leaves the loomingquestion – what exactly is Valentine’s Day? What does it representaside from the apocryphal shot with an arrow by the cherubicCupid?
While we have come quite afar of the ancient rituals such aswhispering sweet nothings in eager ears and sweeping people offtheir idiomatic feet, we have preserved some elements of thequixotic wooing scenario that once existed.
For example, the showering of a person with gifts is of littleuse, since people tend to place more emphasis on the thought behindthat gift rather than its actual value. However, there areoccasionally people who lend themselves to being “bought.”
Suffice it to say, this type of relationship is the veryopposite of what should be represented on the fourteenth day of thesecond calendar month. Rather, people who consort with anotheraloof of the desire to be spendthrifts enjoy themselves more.
The implication here is not that I promote dogmatic parsimony,but that finding one’s wallet or purse decreasing in mass far morerapidly than a human being would is an indication that a person isbeing taken for a ride, consciously or unwittingly, on the dollartrain, or more properly, the money train (yes, the Wesley Snipeskind). A money train is a persistent vehicle that enables huge sumsof money to reach its destination free of interruption, overseen byan avaricious and wily receiver. If you find yourself swiping theturnstile at the station for the money train, know that unlike theIRT and IND, it has only one stop, and there, all the cash isremoved.
Now that I’m done bashing this issue, let’s move to somethingmore cheery – positive relationships!
In my experience, I have seen relationships come to fruition,collapse, come to fruition, collapse, and repeat this process tocreate as prolific an ex as possible. Valentine’s Day is abouttogetherness of another kind (unless misused). Before I begin,remember that this is simply an objective analysis of prevalentnotions of Valentine’s Day and coupling.
Most people have already forged a relationship beforeValentine’s Day rolls around. If not, the day presents a wideopportunity to profess one’s feelings in a constructive manner.This does not mean acting like a spineless coward, but at the sametime not being so brazen that an air of hubris surfaces.
Yes, most of these comments are geared toward men. I wouldn’tknow where to begin advising women what to do. Actually, it’s anarea I’d rather not explore.
Perchance, the problem with Valentine’s Day fascination is thatthe event is taken all too seriously. Rather than thelight-hearted, enjoyable, and festive time it should be, peoplestretch it to connote things it really shouldn’t.
One student described it as a day on which “only fools fail to[expletive deleted].” Now, that’s an abrupt and distasteful littleaphorism isn’t it?
Some see Valentine’s Day as an obligation instead of anopportunity. Overlying all of these philosophical ramblings is thenotion that one should be calm, confident, and never apprehensive.After all, it is only one day. It’s up to us to make the most ofit, without making too much of it.
“There is always some madness in love. But there is also alwayssome reason in madness.”
Friedrich Nietzsche (1844 – 1900), “On Reading and Writing.”