By MaryAnne Shults
Candy is customary, but lavish me with love…
For some, Valentine’s Day symbolizes only commercialism while the meaning of romance and love is shoved to the lowest rung of importance. Looking at sales forecasts, this proves to be true.
This year, the average person will shell out nearly $120 on the traditional gifts of candy, flowers, stuffed animals and jewelry, according to a survey conducted by the National Retail Federation. Total spending is expected to reach $15.7 billion.
However, for me, V-day is all about taking time to show love and to receive the same in return. Sure, I love the little gifts, especially See’s candy, but the gift with the most significance is when my husband gives me a hug and says, “Have I told you how much I love you today?” Or the memories of when my children were small and the only show of materialism was the valentine made in school out of red construction paper and pieces of paper doilies with cherished messages of unconditional endearment.
Looking back, Valentine’s Day was not a happy day when I was single. As I watched my co-workers, family and friends lavished with cards and gifts, I was reminded that perhaps I wasn’t the strong-willed independent woman. I was lonely and wanted someone to love me. In hindsight, this sounds a bit pathetic, but those emotions of wanting someone special in my life were only exacerbated as the calendar moved closer to Feb. 14.
Being in a loving relationship has its benefits, no doubt about it. A few that come to mind are someone to listen at any given moment, someone to rub your sore feet after a hard day’s work, and someone with whom to share common interests. Oh yeah, and someone to keep you warm at night, even though he snores like a grizzly bear. But the best part is someone to make you feel special and loved, especially on V-day.
So, come on honey, bring on the See’s candy, and remember, I like the caramels the best. And I’ll remember to wear those red heels you like so much.
By Sarah Black
All the single ladies (and gents), put your hands up. Now smile, because I’m about to tell you how lucky you are.
Being single is not “unfortunate.” It’s not a “transition,” and it’s certainly not “pathetic.” Being single, in this day and age, is practical.
Let’s get real, if you want someones hand to hold, just go to the movies with your grandfather, do you know how happy that will make him? If you want someone to go to dinner with, bring some friends and not have to worry about who’s paying the bill at the end of the night. If you want someone to cuddle with–get a dog. They don’t get all pissy when you don’t return their phone calls, and they don’t have sweaty palms either.
When we have homework and school taking up 40 hours of our week, and then we have part-time jobs taking up another 30, we have hardly enough time to lead a normal social life, much less put all of our concentration on a relationship that, let’s face the music here peeps, probably won’t last another year.
Being single isn’t just practical, it’s smart. The statistics are out there, and they’re not that far off. Only 80 percent of the American population gets married, and of those 80 percent, nearly half of them end up in divorce. In my opinion the other half is just too caught up financially to cut the rope or too old to care.
This isn’t to say all romance is dead, by any means. I know of at least two couples who are happily together, in love after many years of marriage. But I also know of hundreds of other couples, married and unmarried, who are completely unsatisfied with one another and only in it for, you guessed it, the sex and having someone to bitch to after a long day of no one caring about your feelings.
I just think it’s sad to waste your time on a spouse or partner that also doesn’t care.
So when I look at guys, I think “Friend,” not “Boyfriend,” because guys who are friends have so much more to add to a relationship than being able to stick their tongue down my throat.
So if you’re alone this Valentine’s Day, think of it rather as being independent. Because if you can’t take care of yourself, why should anyone else want to?