Valentine’s Day: Dual Perspective

Valentine’s Day: Dual Perspective


Russell Stevens:

I find that with each passing year, I sour on opinions I used to have in my younger days.  Now that I’m a month removed from turning 30, I’ve grown quite contemplative about my 20’s.  I am known in my circle of friends for only having strong opinions – for only loving or hating things.  One thing I DEFINITELY hated was Valentine’s Day.  I would wax philosophically about how it was a manufactured holiday meant only to sell greeting cards and candy to people, and to make people think their significant other owes them something on that day.  That might not be far from the truth, but if I had the opportunity to talk to 22-25 year old Russ, I’d tell him to shut up for a number of reasons.

  1. You’re just being Debbie Downer: I didn’t love Valentine’s Day because I didn’t have anyone who mattered to share it with (sorry girlfriends of Russ’ early 20’s).  If you can’t be apart of all the happy shining people, it’s a ton easier to bitch about it.
  2. It is manufactured, but so what?: EVERYTHING is manufactured.  This is America.  We start with a product, and then create a desire.  Nothing exists because it needs to.  Someone tells you ‘you need this’ and then you go buy it.  So that argument doesn’t really hold up anymore unless you live out in the woods like Ted Kaczinski.
  3. You don’t have to love or hate things to do them:  This is the biggest lesson I’ve learned with regards to life, and Valentine’s day. Just because you don’t inherently love something, does not mean there isn’t some value in it.  Sometimes, making another person just a little bit happier is just perfectly fine.

I guess what I’m saying is there are a lot worse things in the world than Valentine’s Day.  When I was younger, I thought that if your “principles” were being compromised that’s a problem.  It isn’t.  How much brain power must you be wasting by sticking to and telling EVERYONE about your principles of not celebrating a holiday about loving the people you love?  Sometimes being counter-cultural is a huge waste of time.  What I have found in my life now is that you can still be you’re authentic you, within the confines of a well-oiled holiday like Valentine’s Day.  Do something for your significant other that is specific to you guys.  Don’t just get card, a flower, and candy because its what everyone else does or go to a prix fixe dinner.  Whatever reminds you of the people you love is worth thinking about tonight.  And for the single people out there, relax.  It’ll all be over soon.


Matthew Cargile:

Take a cup full of being single way more than having a relationship.  Add a teaspoon of only being broken up with around the holidays.  Throw in a pinch of only celebrating Valentine’s Day twice, in the proper sense, in my life.  And add in not really being all that great with girls in a general sense, what do you get?  You would think someone who would be wholeheartedly and vehemently against Valentine’s Day.  But you’d be wrong. What’s not to love about love?  Seriously.  Everyone is welcome to their opinion but, I don’t get the hate.  I have to agree with my more positively dispositioned writer who defends Valentine’s Day.  “Obviously he likes it now, he’s in a great relationship”, is what some of you will say.  But that doesn’t account for me.  I have every reason to hate this holiday but I just can’t.  I’ve heard all the arguments. You don’t need a special day to show someone you love them.  Well we should all be thankful everyday too, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that Thanksgiving is freaking awesome still.  Not only that in terms of manufactured holidays, Thanksgiving takes the cake.  We took a slaughtering of a native race and turned into some thankful holiday.

Look I hate the unspoken competitiveness of who spent more trying to make up for being a terrible boyfriend otherwise. But I also hate spoiled kids that only worry about gifts on Christmas.  At it’s core Valentine’s is about love.  That’s it.  Anything else you want to add to it, is of your doing, good or bad.  I get it if you’re single, or if your counterpart isn’t into it, maybe it’s not that special to you.  But here’s my issue with that.  Why are you against other people being happy.  Even if you have nothing to do, no one to share it with, isn’t it enough to just see some friends having a good time.  We all have our moments being on the medal podium, don’t you want everyone else to be happy for you when you have the equivalent Valentine’s Day joy in your life.  So I understand the critiques, and some definitely need to be vocalized, but in the end i’m a fucking sap, so any thing that equals the possibility of more Hugh Grant movies, the opportunity for some slow dancing (which never happens enough) and the celebration of love is good in my book.  And if you’re not down with that, I got two words for you: Happy Valentine’s

About Russ Stevens

Russ Stevens is an editor and writer at Rookerville and a guidance counselor at Nyack HS. He mostly writes about either loving or hating things. In his spare time, he performs Improv comedy with his troupe Priest and The Beekeeper and is a co-producer of their monthly variety show Pig Pile. He loves all the New York sports teams that are historically bad, and he hates lateness more than anything in the world.


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