One of the most influential figures of my freshman year was then-senior Kinsey Stubblefield. Kinsey was the opinions editor for The Bison, and after my very first Bison meeting, she talked to me and wrote her number down on a Post-it Note (which I still have glued in my scrapbook), which was a super nice move to the freshman who didn’t know anyone on staff. She was opinionated, confident and cool, basically the opposite of freshman year me, and I loved her to death.
Kinsey’s column, which she titled “Little but Loud,” was always well-written, but one opinion of hers that stood out to me then was her vehement love for Valentine’s Day (see “For the love of tunes,” from the Feb. 14, 2020, issue of The Bison). As a former Valentine’s Day hater, I thought it funny that she liked the silly holiday so much. In high school, it never held much weight for me, and as a perpetually single teenager who didn’t like much of anything, that opinion made sense. But Kinsey’s opinion, that Valentine’s Day was a holiday to “celebrate all kinds of love,” helped shift my perspective to become a reformed Valentine’s Day lover.
That shift in perspective has been present in our culture, too. Valentine’s Day is not just for couples anymore. I think it’s clear that this holiday has become, as Kinsey wrote, about “appreciating those you love and who love you and who you love in return.” The popularization of things like “Galentine’s Day” is also selling this holiday as one that doesn’t have to be romantic.
That’s another issue people find with the holiday: the commercialization of it, how it’s being sold to us in the form of flowers, chocolates, stuffed animals — the list goes on. As someone with gift-giving as one of my top love languages, this is definitely something I struggle with. But Valentine’s is an easy holiday to make homemade gifts for, whether it’s a handwritten card or something you bake or a personalized playlist for someone. My boyfriend of three years made me roses out of newspapers this year. (Is that not the cutest thing ever? One even had Dr. Michael Claxton’s face on it.)
But I digress. Back to celebrating the holiday itself. You might say, “But Emma, shouldn’t I be showing my love to these people who are special to me year round?” To which I say of course! Valentine’s Day just gives us a good excuse to make a special occasion of it, to remind our loved ones of our love for them, to wear pink and heart print tights, to buy people flowers and to celebrate love for a day. I think it’s adorable that we have a holiday where we have reason to do all of that, don’t you think?
So whether you celebrated Valentine’s Day with your significant other, or with your friends, or with your club or just by yourself, I hope you found many reasons to show love.