V-Day please: Rather than a celebration of ‘love,’ let it be a celebration of me! January 24, 2023 — by Saachi Jain Photo by Leyna Chan The widely celebrated holiday, though not a federal one, leads to a rush of red and pink each February.My eyes crack open on the morning of Feb. 14, and I squint as they adjust to the blinding lights of my bedroom. The sounds of my family singing a particularly identifiable tune in egregiously bad pitch jolts me out of bed as a rush of excitement washes over me. Rather than hearing choruses of “Happy Valentine’s Day” at school on Feb. 14 each year, my ears single out the specific phrase — “Happy Birthday!” Valentine’s Day has always squandered the ever-important celebration of my birthday, and has fundamental faults that should forbid it from being what many people call a holiday. Valentine’s Day forces people to materialize their love — a concept that is far from any healthy relationship. Giving each other a box of chocolates or a bouquet of flowers once a year and calling it a day becomes the reality for many, and they feel satisfied, knowing that they have participated in the useless holiday of “affection” and “appreciation.” As someone who is (currently) single and content with it, walking into CVS or Target every February presents me with a pink and red reminder of my solitude. Whether it is caramel-filled chocolate hearts or a new purple stuffed animal that wasn’t there last year, seeing people go crazy over sugar while supporting our capitalist society sours the few weeks leading up to my birthday. Now I would be wrong to deny the joy that comes with being a second grader making rounds in your classroom or dropping off little Jolly Rancher Valentines for your classmates that you made with your mom. It was truly an experience, and one that I cherish to this day. It was non-binding, noncommittal and just plain fun. Additionally, the fanfare of Valentine’s Day at school while growing up only helped make my birthday a more enjoyable experience; however, does that justify the reasons for the actual holiday? It has become all about real life relationships, appropriate for the stage of life many high schoolers are in. Rather than racing to find the perfect gift for your loved ones once a year, we should learn to appreciate one another all year long, regardless of whether a “holiday” tells you to.