With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, I am forced to once again evaluate my romantic choices.
As is the case with most college students, there have been some wrong decisions; as the fairytales say, I have kissed many frogs but unlike those tails, I have found no princes.
Thus, you might assume that Valentine’s Day is a day of depression, despair, and Ben & Jerry’s for me. Such is not the case however, partly because I’m lactose intolerant, but also because I’m a glass half-full kind of gal.
Sure, I may not be currently tied to any particular member of the opposite sex, but that most definitely doesn’t mean I can’t dish out the homemade valentines to the people I love most.
My mother taught me at an early age that Valentine’s Day isn’t about the person you are with at that moment, that month, that year, but rather the people who will ten years down the line call you on the day to say they love you, the people who give you embarrassing smacks on the cheek whenever they see you, and the people who know that despite all your food allergies, chocolate is always welcome.
The slightly cynical would say that Valentine’s Day is simply a formerly authentic holiday that, thanks to the evils of Hallmark, has been turned into a capitalist outpouring of putrid pink and red cards, teddy bears, chocolate, edible thongs (yes, those exist), and roses so unnaturally perky they can only be made of genetically modified flower seeds.
But fear not, fellow students! You don’t need to throw down on jewelry and expensive Godiva goodies to make your love known.
After all, have you ever noticed that awkward pause present when two college-age students exchange gifts as they both think “Oh my god, did he/she/they spend more than I did? How much did this cost them? Are they broke now?! Did I make them broke!? WHAT IF THEY CAN NO LONGER AFFORD ANGRY ORCHARD?!”
No one wants to experience that if they can avoid it. Instead, go for the homemade gift! A nice poem, card, a batch of cookies- all are far more meaningful than any V-day swill you bought at your store of over-expensive choice.
Another great way to show some affection, whether platonic or romantic, is with an “experience.”
According to the newest studies, people tend to feel better buying experiences rather than possessions, because experiences are more fulfilling than receiving the spawn of capitalism.
Why not consider seeing a movie together down at the Charles, or going to an art exhibit? Or, if you happen to be a Goucher student not yet in tune with their hipster side, a nice dorm-kitchen-made meal could suffice.
So, if this February 14th was cause for anxiety, next year try to remember a few things:
1. The people that truly love can always use a reminder of how you feel about them.
2. Food is always a safe gift (just check to make sure your friend/friend has no vegan, gluten-free or vegetarian food restrictions, as most of us do).
3. If you make Valentine’s cards, give one to each of the cleaning people on your floor. They deserve some mid-February appreciation!