Valen-denial? How to treat Valentine’s Day like any other day of the year

Angry and sad CupidWhat box of chocolate? What greeting cards? Oh yeah, Valentine’s Day is coming up. But it’s just another day.

Amanda W, a junior at California State University-Fullerton, is optimistic about Valentine’s Day. “I’m not one of those bitter people who has to burn pictures of their ex-boyfriend on Valentine’s Day,” Amanda said. “Valentine’s Day is great because it gives the people who never have the time in their day for romance a reason to be with the people they love. I’m a very romantic person — mostly because I believe that one day, I will be swept off my feet. But that definitely hasn’t happened yet! Don’t get me wrong — Valentine’s Day is great, but I can’t be swept away by someone whose only thought of romance occurs one day out of the year and consists of commercialized gifts that have no meaning.”

Despite our cultural ideal — Valentine’s Days with that special someone — some people are planning unconventional ways to spend the day.

Come Valentine’s Day, Baldwin-Wallace College junior and Sunday school teacher Samanta Olander will be telling the religious story of St. Valentine to young people — a far cry from the romantic escapades most students have planned on this day of love.

But Olander believes the message behind this ancient tale is more important that roses and chocolates and sexy lingerie. That’s why she is planning on having “a discussion on how God shows his love for us and how we can show God’s love through our own kindness and understanding,” she said.

While most college students probably will not be spending Feb. 14 in church, considering how commercialized and lascivious the holiday has become, Olander doesn’t mind.

“To me, Valentine’s Day is a day to remember those that you love and care for, and those that love you,” Olander said. “Sure I may dress in all black and scowl when I hear the ‘V’ word, but deep down it’s a good reminder of the people close to your heart. As far as being single, call me an optimist, but I try to remember the good times and look forward to the great times ahead. Who knows, Keanu Reeves may be calling me out for a date tomorrow!”

Chris Georgalis, a sophomore at Case Western Reserve University, says for him, Valentine’s Day is comparable to Groundhog’s Day.

“It only happens once a year and when it happens, I usually am not aware of its arrival until the day of,” Georgalis said. “It is true, although, that I have spent most of my St. Valentine’s Days single but it is on this day that I will always stop and think about the importance of human relations. That is what St. Valentine’s Day has been for me.”

And treating Valentine’s Day as an ordinary day is especially important to Georgalis.

“The fact that I can be alone and still be content with my life is something that I hold very dear,” Georgalis said. “On St. Valentine’s Day, I will probably find myself reading and playing the guitar. Being by myself by no means justifies depression. I look forward to St. Valentine’s Day just as I look forward to each and every next sunrise. I tend not to be a cold and bitter person, so the coming and passing of St. Valentine’s Day will not lead to any form of regret whatsoever.”

Olander said she might be a little “disgruntled” this year, despite the lessons on love she will give on Valentine’s Day.

“I am not in the mood for a bunch of love and kisses,” Olander said. Since she rid herself of her last romantic fling, the holiday may sting a bit.

“A card and some candy from dear old dad just isn’t cutting it these days,” Olander said.

“Valentine’s Day can be really crummy for a single person such as myself,” said Matt Foust, a freshman at John Carroll University.

But Foust said he is going to make the best of it. Actually, someone he has never met before is helping him make the best of this holiday.

Foust was asked to a high school dance and with no other plans to celebrate Valentine’s Day, he accepted.

“As embarrassing as it is to go to a high school dance with a 16-year-old girl who I haven’t even met and to be picked up by her mom, I am actually still happy to be doing something rather than sitting around feeling sad for myself and thinking about my ex-girlfriend,” Foust said. “The thing is I don’t know what I would rather be doing on singles awareness day.”

This reversion back to the high school scene might make for an enchanted evening, though Foust “is pretty sure he won’t be making out.”

“I have to look at the bright side of this — I am going to be the ultra-cool college guy! I will have the attention of all the young high school girls. Plus, it will be funny to watch all the high school drama that goes on at the dances — the couple in love making out on the dance floor but watching out for the parent chaperones or the other couple that is breaking up in the corner.”

There’s just one snag in his Valentine’s Day plans — he doesn’t know how to dance.

“It could be worse,” Foust said.