Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Spartan Daily

Spartan Daily

last update 7:29 pm
February 13, 2012

Class Reports
San Jose

Celebrating the freedom of being single on Valentine's Day

by Megan Mills Feb 13, 2012 4:40 pm Tags: love, relationships, single, Singles-Awareness Day, SJSU, valentine's day

Megan Mills is a Spartan Daily staff writer.

The smell of materialistic gifts is in the air — chocolate hearts, the teal image of Tiffany and Co. boxes and the gigantic stuffed animals all fit our perception that today is Valentines Day.

“Is it just me or is Valentines Day on steroids this year?” Miranda said to Carrie on an episode of "Sex and the City," referring to the amount of heart-shaped balloons covering the ceiling of a restaurant on Valentines Day.

Each year, this holiday seems to become more extravagant and outrageous, from the commercials on T.V. to couples scrambling around trying to find the perfect gift for their partner.

Today is the day when society demands couples express their undying love for each other through roses, diamonds and expensive dinners.

A person should express their love for their significant other every day of the year, not just on February 14 — It should be life-long.

According to aboutflowers.com, 19 percent of men and women send themselves flowers on Valentines Day.

This statistic truly breaks my heart.

Why are we wallowing in our self-pity instead of celebrating as singles? We have the freedom to do what we want, when we want.

Being single on this Hallmark holiday reminds us that we don’t need to spend our money on a cliché gift that will probably be forgotten by the time the next holiday rolls around.

We should not be singled out because our status on Facebook says we are "single."

We should acknowledge the fact that we do not need another person to constantly remind us how special and unique we are.

In addition to being independent, we can skip the stress of having to figure out what to purchase, where to eat and sweating over whether your date enjoys it as well.

We should look at this as a positive day to celebrate being single instead of giving into the “singles-awareness day” (SAD) theme, which says that singles should realize they are alone and sink into a depressive state.

We are not alone.

Of course I always enjoy the Valentines Day “pity” card I get from mom and dad, equipped with an abundance of candy to ease the pain — mine arrived in the mail yesterday.

Today, remember not to be discouraged if you are not in a relationship.

Today is a commercial holiday, which lets companies take advantage of love-struck couples.

Instead, relish the freedom and opportunity we have as singles.

Being alone on Valentine's Day can be just as entertaining as going out with friends or taking the time to do a little something for the most important person — yourself.

Unfortunately we can’t avoid this plague of every product and food item suddenly becoming heart-shaped or made of chocolate, but singles can turn this day into a positive experience.

Three simple suggestions include throwing an anti-Valentines Day party, taking a friend out to dinner or treating yourself to whatever you want.

Declare today the day when being single means Valentine's Day is cheaper, easier and all about you.

What could be better?

So the next time you see Cupid today, resist the urge to tackle him to the ground.

Simply think to yourself, "This manufactured holiday only lasts 24 hours."

It will be over soon.

Ted Rudow III, MA ·

History books tell us that during the Feast of Lupercalia, an event which evolved into the celebration known as Valentine’s Day, it was the custom for Roman youths to cast lots to pick a girl to not only bestow gifts upon, but to court the following year. In this modern day and age, such a random way of selecting a sweetheart has been abandoned. Instead, on February 14th, lovers in many countries give cards and gifts to express their love to the one they have romantic feelings for.

The Greek language has various words for love. One of them is agape, meaning love without expecting anything in return. This is not selfish or self-serving love-it is selfless and unconditional. But is it possible? How can we not feel slighted when we don't receive the treatment we want or feel we deserve in return for some good deed? How can we not "keep score," or not desire recompense or at least a response?

What is real love? It is wanting the best for someone else. It is putting their welfare above yours. It is being happy when they gain what they wanted or worked for. Can you love like that? No, none of us can of ourselves. But if you ask the Lord, He can give you this kind of love-love that seeks the good of someone else, even above your own, even to your own hurt. And it is a beautiful thing when that happens. Even if no one else notices, God does, and He will reward you in Heaven.

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