It's Valentine's Day. Today, all the cutesy cards and nauseating couples will be everywhere, and poor single people will have nowhere to hide from all that darn romance.
I don't think there's a more detested holiday in the entire world. I mean, single people hate Valentine's Day like Mario hates Bowser. Think about it. Who ever says, "Oh God do I hate Flag Day!"
And that animosity isn't misplaced. After all, Valentine's Day has become the bastion of lovers, romance, candy hearts and clich/d roses. And without a significant other, this day can bring more anxiety and self-doubt than affection and bliss.
And even for those of us in a relationship, what does today really mean? According to the card/chocolate/flower/jewelry industry, it means spending megabucks on trite gifts that will probably be forgotten before St. Patrick's Day.
Valentine's Day has been hijacked by corporate America, belittling the day when we celebrate the emotion that makes all other emotions possible. Without simple, honest love for one another, we would never come together and create the kind of meaningful, lasting bonds that keep us going when everything else is falling apart.
And I'm not just talking about romantic love either. The love we have and should celebrate today includes every kind of bond we've made.
Today, fight back against Hallmark and its idea of how we should commemorate our feelings for people who matter to us. Don't buy chocolates from a big chain store. Don't send flowers via a corporate courier. Don't purchase diamonds from an international jeweler.
Instead, make a gesture, tiny as it may be, to show the people who matter to you how much you care. Guys (and girls), call your mom today and tell her how much you love her. You have no idea how that five-minute phone call will change her day. Send your dad a funny e-card online, with a little note telling him how great you think he is. Go to lunch with your best friend. Have dinner with your brother or sister.
Frankly, it doesn't matter what you do. Just do something to indicate how much you care about the people who bring joy, support and love into your life. And if you do have a boyfriend/girlfriend, don't stick to the clich/s. Figure out something that will really be special to the person you're with based on the times you've shared so far.
Think back to first grade, when just one tiny cardboard Valentine made your whole world light up. Remember when one chalky roll of Smarties made you so happy. That is what Valentine's Day is all about.
This Valentine's Day, celebrate the little things. It's not what you get, but who you get it from that makes all the difference.
Matt Hitt is a sophomore theatre major. His columns run on Mondays in the Collegian.