The pros and cons of Feb. 14

Valentine’s Day, Hallmark, bad jewelry and commercials are what you make them.

It is Valentine’s Day. We know this because of the painfully apparent abundance of pink and red balloons, roses, teddy bears with hearts and expensive candy floating around the University, waiting to be delivered to thousands of starry-eyed significant others.

But ironically, the day meant to honor love often fuels not-so-warm-and-fuzzy thoughts among many University students. For singles, Valentine’s Day can bring sadness, anger and even depression. But to those despairing over their lack of a sweetheart to send them roses and those retching uncontrollably at the sight of one more crooning gorilla holding an “I love you” heart, take heart! Your time will come – don’t make yourself and everyone else miserable by wallowing in it.

Critics call Valentine’s Day “one of those Hallmark holidays” that means nothing and was created just to make money for the greeting card, flower and chocolate industries. But what is so terrible about that? A day celebrating love – even in the form of nauseatingly cute socks with pink hearts – might be just what the world needs when so much of our attention is focused on money, power and violence.

Granted, it is true that bombardment with commercials for “the perfect Valentine’s Day gift” – mainly jewelry – can put undue monetary pressure on the poor boyfriends and husbands who are subjected to them. Sappy girlfriends and wives love those shiny things – no doubt about it – but they should also be realistic about what lengths they expect their knights in shining armor to go to.

So, for the average financially challenged University student, Valentine’s Day should focus more on the love and closeness aspects of relationships than material things. Going out to do something both partners enjoy, be it a Shakespeare play or a monster truck rally, should trump diamonds and rubies.

The same goes for singles with single friends. Just because you can’t have a romantic candlelit dinner for two doesn’t mean you can’t go out and do something fun anyway and show the world Valentine’s Day isn’t just for that annoying couple on the bus that really needs to get a room.

So, what are you waiting for? Show a little love today, when it’s widely accepted and won’t be misunderstood.