February 12, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 74  

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Cupid, Microsoft Valentines and the little red purse

Stuff & Things
Kelly Marcella

Campus Life Editor

Before I begin, let me preface this column by saying that I’m not bitter. I have completely legitimate reasons to dislike the pink and red holiday other than those who simply whine about being single and depressed.

With Valentine’s Day upon us once again, it seems natural to assess the validity of such a blatantly commercial “holiday.” In my books, there are two main reasons that the favourite holiday of sappy romantics is a sham.

To begin with, I think V-Day is some super construction on behalf of card, flower and chocolate factories to boost sales. There’s nothing better than a holiday designed specifically for your products. Ah, capitalist creations — I bet Bill Gates is kicking himself for not thinking of his own holiday, or laying claim to Microsoft Valentines or something of the like.

On a similar note, perhaps the patron saint of this day shouldn’t be Valentine but Hershey, Hallmark or those florist delivery dudes. (Why do people tip the pizza guys but not the flowers ones!? They’re bringing ‘love’ not just food. Sad. Tip them, cheapos.)

Anyway, I do not agree with the concept of having a specific day devoted to showing someone you love them, or even just cho-choo-choose them. It is absolutely ridiculous that on one specific day of the year all couples are required to be sweet and kind.

In my opinion, it is much more thoughtful to do something special for someone you care about for no reason at all. Without question, I would much rather receive some token of affection or just some kind words at a time when it is not prescribed by social codes and conventions. Valentine’s Day states that you must profess your love from the highest mountain or be subject to ostracism equal to that suffered by lepers. Bah. Some may even say humbug.

Hey — I like chocolate just as much as the next gal, but not if it’s simply a gift someone felt required to buy for me as a result of some cheap holiday. I would much rather accept a gift on a day whose adherents do not hiss vehemently at people who don’t sell their kidneys to buy “thoughtful” gifts for their significant others. A gift has more meaning attached to it if it is independent of any outside pressure to do so.

And to make an important point, single people shouldn’t feel guilty for not having a valentine to call their own. Instead, you should be rejoicing in the fact that you’re not receiving a gift simply to ensure your boyfriend/girlfriend stays out of the dog house.

I’m not a hypocrite. I told my boyfriend not to buy me anything for Valentine’s Day and he probably won’t. That makes me all the happier — at least he’s listening.


Maggie Wrobel

Campus Life Editor

I’ve always been a girly-girl.

Just ask my mom about the time I threw a full-fledged, spazz-tastic tantrum at the train station at age 3. The reason for this display? My beloved red plastic daisy purse was left behind on a train that was already several miles away.

My reasons for loving Valentine’s Day primarily stem from this incident (and many others like it). That little purse was one of the first things I ever remember my mom giving me and it reminded me of her. The purse was special because it made me happy and losing it made me realize that I place symbolic worth into material things sometimes.

Basically, I’ve always been a person that appreciates sentiment, even if it comes in the form of a heart-shaped candle from the dollar store. I’m not trying to say that love and capitalism are inextricably linked; far from it, actually.

Money can’t buy me love — I’ve heard it before and I agree — to a certain extent. I know love don’t cost a thing, but at the same time, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with buying cute things that give you a warm, fuzzy feeling when you look at them. Cute things like, say, little decorative heart pillows with angel wings.

I know real love and romance are much more than things you can buy at The Bay, but the things that I do buy there on V-Day and beyond, put a smile on my face by reminding me of the love I have in my life.

The best thing about Valentine’s Day for me is definitely the fact that pink and red surge to the forefront and colour ninety per cent of store merchandise.

I know I’m corny, but I don’t care. I love pink and red. Last Monday I almost spent $12.99 (plus applicable taxes) on a pink metal ‘special Valentine’s Day box,’ (yes, I understand the sketchiness of this item) simply because Snoopy and Woodstock were printed on it.

Girly-girls like me are identifiable by a number of factors, and I pretty much rule them all. I own a pair of huge red and white plastic heart earrings. Most of my clothing is pink. Both my school bag and the walls of my room are the same bright shade of magenta.

One of my honest-to-goodness life dreams is that one day I’ll be one of those eccentric old ladies in a café in Paris wearing a hat and carrying a little frou-frou dog in a pink purse. Of course, I have other goals as well, like having a successful fulfilling career and curing world hunger.

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve read No Logo and seen The Corporation and I know that branding and supporting the overwhelming bulldozer of capitalism is bad. I guess I just want to stress that loving Valentine’s Day and all its trimmings doesn’t make me shallow. Schmaltzy and sentimental? Definitely. But not shallow.




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