Oh Valentines day, a hallmark inspired event that usually leaves us with empty wallets, huge expectations - and for the singles - a big fat reminder of just how lonely we are.
Every February 14, across the United States and in other places around the world, candy, flowers and gifts are exchanged between loved ones, all in the name of St. Valentine. But who is this mysterious saint, and where did these traditions come from?
One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men.
Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death. I mean in what sense is that “romantic”?
So, now we took an event based off a saint getting viciously killed and connected it to diamonds, roses, and boxes of assorted chocolates. St. Valentines day morphed over the centuries from a day of memories and remembrance, to sharing your love through small gifts and notes, to a day where the bigger the present the better.
Valentine’s Day is also celebrated in Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France and Australia. In Great Britain, Valentine’s Day began to be popularly celebrated around the 17th century. By the middle of the 18th, it was common for friends and lovers of all social classes to exchange small tokens of affection or handwritten notes.
By 1900 printed cards began to replace written letters due to improvements in printing technology. Ready-made cards were an easy way for people to express their emotions in a time when direct expression of one’s feelings was discouraged. Cheaper postage rates also contributed to an increase in the popularity of sending Valentine’s Day greetings.
Today, according to the Greeting Card Association, an estimated 1 billion Valentine’s Day cards are sent each year, making Valentine’s Day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year (an estimated 2.6 billion cards are sent for Christmas). Women purchase approximately 85 percent of all valentines.
After the research I conducted regarding Valentines day and witnessing the expectations couples set today, I am confused as to how everything changed so drastically. The over exaggeration of gift buying is brought about from places like hallmark and jewelers. These places trick couples into thinking the bigger the gift, the happier your partner will be, and then people start expecting bigger and nicer presents.
And if they don't receive it what happens? They get teed-off, and who are they angry at, the ones who they are supposed to love no matter what. So, if Valentines day was a person it would be a hypocrite. Why should a huge expensive item express something that is supposed to make you speechless and not being able to have the ability to connect it to a materialistic item.
Okay, rant over.