Editor not one for ‘mushy-gushies’

IUS Horizon

Well, IU Southeast, it is that time of year again — flowers, candy, teddy bears and other “mushy gushy” love items.

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, it is the one day a year boyfriends and girlfriends shower their partners with material affections or otherwise face relentless amounts of scorn from their significant other.

Well, that’s the idea, right? Not originally.

Year after year, couples participate in the “I love you” gift charade without really knowing why they are doing it.

Before it became the Black Friday of florist and chocolate industries, Valentine’s Day had an interesting start.

A sensationalized version of this tale claims that, while in jail, Valentine fell in love with the daughter of the jailer.

Just before his execution, he sent her a love note signed “From your Valentine,” thus surrounding his death with an air of dramatic romance.

Bishop Valentine soon became known as Saint Valentine, and his story spread across nations.

As the fame of Valentine’s tale grew, Romans began holding an annual festival in which they exchanged cards with words of romance.

This festival occurred every Feb. 14.

Some museums display Valentine cards that date back as far as 1415.

Go figure — a holiday known for love and affection was based off of someone’s tragedy and despair. How romantic.

However, this does not explain where the chubby naked kid with arrows fits into the equation.

Perhaps I do not really want to know.

According to Research American, on average, Americans spend $14.7 billion on Valentine’s Day gifts each year. That is right — $14.7 billion.

For those who fall into this trap year after year, take a second to ponder what contribution these purchases have made to that astronomical number. After all, the average person puts $103 toward Valentine’s Day each year.

Maybe I am stingy, but, to me, that sounds crazy.

I probably also sound like a lonely, cynical and loveless Debbie Downer.

Rest assured that is really not the case.

As a matter of fact, my boyfriend is more into this holiday than I am. I try to be the voice of reason.

To spend that much money each year on a holiday that is not even important enough to keep the mail from running or keep students out of classes seems idiotic.

OK, maybe there is a little bit of Debbie there.

Whether someone is unlucky in love, happily single and looking for something to do or madly in love but bored with the same old stuff year after year,  I suggest tossing around a little bit of creativity to celebrate this un-holiday, such as hosting an anti-Valentine’s Day party rather than a traditional Valentine’s Day party.

There are several fun things that can make a great anti-Valentine’s Day party a hit:

• Decorate with photos of famous celebrity break-ups on the walls. Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries? I think so.

• Serve heart-shaped cookies for snacks — ones that are broken in half, of course.

• Enforce a dress code. No pink or red are allowed, but shirts with phrases such as “Cupid is stupid” are encouraged.

• A party is not a party without good music, and this one calls for some serious anti-love songs. J. Geils Band’s “Love Stinks” is sure to set the right mood.

If the thought of having an anti-Valentine’s Day party is appalling, then I guess there are people out there who genuinely enjoy having one day a year specifically set out for wining and dining lovers, regardless of what the price tag may come out to be.

Well, apparently there are if people are spending billions each year doing so.

If this is true and simply nothing different will do, then by all means, carry on. We are in a recession after all.

By DESIREE SMITH

Newscast Senior Producer

demismit@ius.edu