Struck By Cupid’s Arrow


Josie Wenzell

A gift that is common for Valentine’s Day is chocolate.

Josie Wenzell, Staff Writer

Mid-January, local grocery stores and shops start to decorate for what some singles view as the loneliest day of the year. Valentine’s Day is the day celebrating love. Red and pink fill the aisles with heart-shaped chocolate boxes, stuffed animals, and other trinkets for couples to exchange. Today, the American society is very materialized, but despite that, with the holiday’s history and sweet meaning, it is not simply a “Hallmark holiday” even if single individuals feel left out.

The tradition of showing love to a significant other goes back over a thousand years,

The origin stories for Valentine’s Day abound, from the Roman fertility festival of Lupercalia to the tale of the martyred St. Valentine Chaucer’s late 14th century poem Parliament of Foules mentions Valentine’s Day as the time when birds selected their mates. Even Shakespeare got in on it. In Hamlet (written around the turn of the 17th century) Ophelia sings, ‘Tomorrow is Saint Valentine’s day, All in the morning betime, And I a maid at your window, To be your Valentine,’” said writer Merrill Fabry from Time Magazine.

Poetry and other forms of writing were used to express true feelings of love towards others. Famous poets like Shakespeare set the stage for love expression. Romantic language enhanced literature and other art forms like theater at the time.

Modern day Valentine’s day may look a little different than it used to, but that does not mean it is any less special. Exchanging small gifts and cards can have a much deeper meaning.

Junior Connor Nguyen is excited to spend Valentine’s Day with his girlfriend,

“Valentine’s Day to me means it’s a day where you can just relax and spend time together with a loved one. This year I have a swim meet and I’m going to swim fast for her and then we’re going to go out and grab sushi after,” said Nguyen.

Dr. Gary Chapman released his popular relationship book, The Five Love Languages, ten years ago. The book describes how everyone has a specific love language they respond to,

“It became apparent to me that what makes one person feel loved isn’t always the same for their spouse or partner. I discovered every person understands and receives love in a specific language, one of five to be precise. The other four are just as important and offer other ways to express love to each other,” said Chapman.

One of the five language is receiving gifts. This goes hand and hand with Valentine’s Day as couples can exercise this love language,

“The thing that works best is picking the right gift that shows you understand your partner and the effort you made to express love. Think about finding a gift that your partner has been asking for or would enjoy receiving and plan for a special way of giving it; make it a surprise,” said Chapman.

As Chapman states, it is not about the numeric amount spent on the gift, but the love and effort put into picking it out.

Dr. Tina B. Tessina, a psychotherapist and author of Dr. Romance’s Guide to Finding Love Today, also sees the value of using these terms to demonstrate love. She states,

“The act of giving a gift tells your partner you cared enough to think about him or her in advance and go out of your way to get something to make your partner smile,” said Tessina.

Yes, it is a holiday for people in love. But with that being said, no lover? No problem. The holiday does not have to be just about romantic relationships. It can also be a time to show love to anyone who is important in your life. Senior Giulia Isopo shares what she does to celebrate Valentine’s Day,

Giulia Isopo
Giulia Isopo got roses for her mom and sister on Valentine’s Day.

“Usually if I don’t have a date, I’ll just celebrate with my family. I remember sometimes with my sister we would buy things for each other. Last year she bought me some earrings and I got her a necklace. Sometimes on Valentine’s we would spend time together at local restaurants. I know some think it it’s just for love and couples, but we love each other. I like to buy my mom flowers too,” said Isopo.  

Close friends should be commemorated on the 14th. Everyone deserves love regardless if they’re in a relationship or not. Parents or any close relatives who play a role in one’s life can also be shown some love. And it is not about the money spent on tangible gifts. Assisting with household duties could show appreciation for a parent or just spending time with them. Junior Isabella Davies puts Valentine’s on the back burner. She does enjoy the whole Valentine’s atmosphere created by the holiday,

“I enjoy the Valentine’s Day food like chocolate covered strawberries and candy. My cat Lola is also a nice companion to snuggle. I appreciate the good energy and Valentine’s Day essence,” said Davies.

One can also plan a fun day with a friend on Valentine’s Day. Visit a local coffee shop. Take a walk in a park. Go out to eat. There are so many options for singles on this day, that there is not reason for one to be grumpy.   

America has commercialized and turned Valentine’s Day into a billion dollar industry, but when it comes down to it, it it really about showing love and appreciation for people. Single or cuffed, Valentine’s Day is a lovely holiday that everyone can enjoy.