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The Comenian

The student news site of Moravian University

The Comenian

The student news site of Moravian University

The Comenian

Kameenian Korner: Why Valentine’s Day Matters

Photo courtesy of Liz Kameen
Photo courtesy of Liz Kameen

I have been around long enough to see every excuse for partners who don’t participate in Valentine’s Day for a variety of reasons, whether they believe the holiday is just a corporate grab for money or previous poor experiences. However, Valentine’s Day is more than just buying your partner a gift; it’s showing them that you care about them in general. 

For some context, I grew up in a small town where, for most of my childhood, the closest grocery store was 30 minutes away, and we lived off bulk-buying. However, once they built a Weis, I visited the grocery store almost every day, reaping the benefits of something I once did not possess. In the most complex terms, these trips acted almost as an observational social study; in simple terms, I people-watched. 

During these daily trips, I witnessed women of all ages purchasing groceries for their families. I, myself, was usually there to pick up some milk or butter for my mother, so I understood. Sixteen-year-old girls who were already taking on the responsibility of shopping for their families barely old enough to drive, seventy-year-olds who had been purchasing groceries for decades, and middle-aged women with children wrapped around their shoulders. And not a single complaint. 

The day before Valentine’s Day is filled with men, last-minute shuffling around, trying desperately to find their partner something in the sold-out aisles. And yet, I never see any frantic girlfriends desperately searching through the chocolate aisle during this period. 

Now, I don’t know if my observations are clear enough to show what I’m trying to demonstrate, so I’ll spell it out. Women have been mothers, caregivers, providers, and anchors during times of hardship for decades. Modern feminism aside, there is still a prevalent stigma that women will take care of the household, stay in the kitchen, go shopping, and complete laundry, and most women accept this in some form. 

Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely family dynamics that defy this; my father always did the cooking and shopping when I grew up because he knew my mom hated it, and that is how you know you have found a good partner. 

However, my point stands that Valentine’s Day is one of the only days during the year that these populations feel thanked and feel like the work they do might actually mean something to those around them. Whatever your opinions are on the holiday itself, your partner deserves to feel like you thought of them, even if you don’t buy them anything. Believe me, I have four dollars in my bank account, so I will be finding another way to show my love for my boyfriend this year, and I would never hold it against him if he made me something instead of buying it – actually, I might even enjoy it more. 

Even if your mother or partner enjoys the work that they do around the house, you still need to find a way to thank them for it, or they will inevitably feel unappreciated. 

And, as previously mentioned in my Birthday and Anniversary Gift article, try to stay away from cliche, overused tactics – obviously, unless your partner shows interest in that. One example is the oversized bears often featured in grocery stores; some people may love these (such as me), while others may think you put no thought into it. It’s always a safe bet to pay attention to what they’re interested in talking about, like their favorite show/music memorabilia or a guilty-pleasure snack. 

If you’re looking for a bang for your buck, visit the dollar store and get creative. Last year, my boyfriend weaved pretty ribbon around a hamper and pink streamers around a floral foam base and then filled it with a few of my favorite things. I got a wonderful gift, the experience of the presentation (some of the letters fell off and upset him, but made me giggle), and I even got a hamper to use at the end of the day. 

And, if you have no money, hand-make your partner a card. Draw them something; even if it’s ugly, they’ll appreciate the effort. Make them little DIY coupons, such as a free kiss, a get-out-of-jail-free card if they mess up, a date in the future, or blanks to fill in on their own. You can also buy these if you don’t want to put in the effort. There are so many free things to get your partner, so money is no excuse. 

As always, thanks for reading the column! If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to fill out the Google Form, reach out to my email at [email protected], or comment below.

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