Valentine’s Day is tacky and useless

Of all the useless holidays we celebrate in America, I think Valentine’s Day is hands-down the worst of the bunch. 

This is in comparison to holidays such as Drinking Straw Day, Dress Up Your Pet Day and Talk Like a Pirate Day. Those kinds of holidays at least have an amusing purpose, do not really require spending money to celebrate properly and do not perpetuate misogynistic ideals.

My first issue with Valentine’s Day is the color scheme: red and pink. Red and pink are not colors that I believe go together. In my personal opinion, and in the opinion of my grandmother (the queen of fashion), this combination is one of the most horrendous ones in existence. They are different hues of the same color. With any other color, this would probably be okay, such as in the case of royal purple and lilac. However, in most cases of pink-and-red atrocities, they are not only different hues, but they are also different shades. This makes it come across as gaudy and tacky, and I cannot stand the gaudy red and pink heart decorations that cover every inch of the seasonal area in stores, especially when it seeps into my personal chocolate-buying habits.

Secondly, what is the exact point of Valentine’s Day? What specifically are we supposed to be celebrating? There are a few different theories about how the holiday came to be. In the Christianized version, it is to celebrate Saint Valentine; which Saint Valentine, no one is quite certain, as there were three separate saints named Valentine. The two most popular theories, according to, are that it celebrates a priest that married young couples in secret when Emperor Claudius outlawed marriage, or a different Valentine that was imprisoned and fell in love with his jailer’s daughter, sending her a love letter signed “from your Valentine.” However, it is also thought that Christians chose to place the feast of Saint Valentine in mid-February to overshadow the Pagan holiday, Lupercalia. During Lupercalia, after the sacrificial traditions were performed for the Pagan gods, the names of all young maidens were put into a bowl, to be drawn individually by eligible bachelors. These pairings often ended in marriage. Whatever way you slice it, it is very apparent that these original reasons for celebration are no longer common knowledge, and the “true meaning” of Valentine’s Day are all but lost to modern-day society.

The third issue I have with Valentine’s Day is the associated costs. This holiday has become so commercialized that it is virtually impossible for both people in the relationship to not spend upwards of $50 minimum combined on this holiday. To go to dinner at a nice restaurant, you are looking at a bill of at least $30, presuming you get no appetizers or desserts, and each meal including drinks is approximately $15 (which is the average at Hoss’s Steak and Sea in Meadville, where I spent many Valentine’s Days in high school). Additionally, Valentine’s Day is often celebrated with the giving of gifts by one or both parties. Depending on extravagance, a person can spend anywhere from $10 to $100 and beyond. I’ve seen people completely over the moon with cute, cheap stuffed animals from their partner, and angry and unsatisfied by hundreds of dollars spent on luxury gifts from Sephora, Bath & Body Works and Nike from their partner. Both scenarios can happen either way, with any gender identity being at either end of the stick. One way or another, Valentine’s Day gift giving is a dangerous game that I for one do not have the time or money to play. The amount of money being spent in attempts to satiate a partner is beyond ridiculous and I would prefer it stay in my savings account, to later be spent on my guinea pig.

On top of being commercialized and tacky, Valentine’s Day is also disgustingly heterocentric. Very rarely, if ever, do Valentine’s Day ads ever feature LGBTQ+ couples. Additionally, the heterosexual couples featured are almost always white, and always in perfect shape. I for one am tired of seeing skinny white girls and buff white men kissing and giving each other chocolate on my television. I see enough of that in my everyday life. Given that this is the twenty-first century, it only makes sense that if we are going to keep Valentine’s Day as a holiday we bring representation into the picture.

Lastly, Valentine’s Day is terrible because of the unrealistic expectations and comparison culture that come with it. We have all seen viral photos of women who were excessively showered in gifts from their partner, including everything from balloons to rose petals and a bubble bath. When we see photos of other people’s Valentine’s Day on social media, our natural instinct is to compare it to our own experience. If, for example, a person had a nice, quiet night with their significant other, only to then see extravagant photos of someone else’s relationship, comparison is going to happen. The person will start to feel dissatisfied, and if they have existing problems with anxiety, will likely experience an increase in anxiety levels as they worry if their partner is enough for them and they are enough for their partner.

As a last point, I would like to state that the only thing that makes Valentine’s Day worth it to me is Brach’s conversation hearts. Yes, those chalky, virtually flavorless cubes of sugar are my all-time favorite Valentine’s Day candy. I buy multiple bags of them in February and slowly eat them throughout the year. The amount of hate I receive for this is appalling; truly, conversation hearts must only be for those sophisticated enough to appreciate them and understand that Valentine’s Day is stupid and pointless anyway.

In short, Valentine’s Day should be left for elementary school students to give cheap cards and candy to each other. As a child, there was nothing more satisfying than choosing which valentines to give to each person in my class, as I could give ugly ones to the people I did not like. Truly, there is almost no better feeling in this world than the smug joy I felt when haphazardly placing the heart sticker on a card with a skunk on it to give to the girl who called me a nerd in math class. Valentine’s Day was the perfect time to enact petty, unspoken revenge on those who had wronged me, and to this day, I honestly believe that that is all Valentine’s Day should be for: children learning how to properly and politely express their feelings to other people in a safe and healthy setting.