The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

Face-off: Corporate greed has ruined Valentine’s Day

Joshua Britt

As the bitter, cold January nights turn into still bitter but slightly more tolerable February days, a funny feeling starts to fill the atmosphere.

A feeling of warmth and compassion. A sense of empathy and affection for those you hold near and dear to your heart. The tenderness of love, and the desire to show that love to those special people in your life.

Valentine’s Day is upon us, and what better way is there to show love than by emptying your wallet on a ton of meaningless, expensive, materialistic garbage that is as emotional as the receipt from the cashier when you ring this dreck up?

After all, what could be more meaningful than a paper card depicting a creepy-looking cherub shooting arrows into a heart? What could bring more joy than a giant teddy bear that says “I wuv you beary much?” What else could show that your love will last forever besides a dozen red roses going for twice their normal selling rate that will probably be dead within a week?

According to a survey conducted by the National Retail Federation, Americans are expected in 2024 to spend a total of $14.2 billion nationally on Valentine’s Day presents for their significant others. All to show that they understand the true meaning of love as defined by the gods of love themselves: Corporate America.

It comes as no surprise to me that corporations are willing to exploit any holiday they can get their hands on.

They have turned the legend of a generous Saint into an excuse to demand your loved one buy the most expensive gifts they can at Christmas.

They took a holiday of death and rebirth, of sin and repentance, and made it about some bunny who hides eggs and candy for little kids to find.

Corporations take the holidays people hold so dear, twist and warp them into an excuse to buy their merchandise unless “you do not have the holiday spirit,” and in the process erase what makes those holidays special and meaningful in the first place.

Surely Valentine’s Day cannot be about telling your significant other how much joy and happiness they bring into your life, and how grateful you are to be loved by them. Obviously, you need to get them a diamond necklace and a ring from Tiffany & Co., or else you are a terrible partner.

The very idea of spending time with your family and friends, telling them how grateful you are for everything they have done for you and for shaping you into the person you are today? All of that can be explained with a box of chocolates and a gift card to Starbucks.

Maybe these are just the ramblings of a man who cannot be with his family over the holiday on Wednesday due to the distance between them and his college, but if you offered me an option between all the chocolate, roses and gift cards in the world, or the chance to be able to visit all of them for just one day, I would much rather have my family.

This is going to sound cheesy, but I find that there is far more value and worth in knowing that there is someone in this world who cares for you than all the money in the world.

About the Contributor
Michael Cassidy
Michael Cassidy, Staff Writer
Michael Cassidy is a senior communication major. Michael is currently a staff writer for The Reflector.
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