No longer just for lovers: Valentine’s Day grows to include platonic friendships, self-love, familial relationships


Lee Katz

Valentine’s Day is the chubby-kid-in-neon-Crocs of holidays.

Both easy to make fun of and tear down, it is just standing before you, trembling, waiting for a blow that may knock one of those stale, chocolate-filled cardboard hearts out of its hands.

People call it commercialized, cheesy, generally undeserving of the attention ladled onto it and money funneled into it.

Mocking the holiday comes naturally to most, especially if you are a single lady like myself, prone to sarcasm and fresh out of a gender and sexuality class that taught you about the futility of monogamy.

But you know what? Valentine’s Day knows something we do not.  It stands up for something we would not dare to. That chubby kid is saying “Hey my feet are comfortable as hell, I am making it rain Jibbitz, and I do not care who sees!” And Valentine’s Day? Well, it is saying “I stand for love, I am a day dedicated to love for whomever it may be, because love is what really matters in this world.”

This is the part where all the cynics may choke on their own bile, but remember, dear cynics, for that bile to get up your throat, it has to pass a heart. We know you have one too.

I love Valentine’s Day. Or rather I love what Valentine’s Day has become.

The holiday started out as an easy fix for the Catholic Church, a way to marry two of their goals into one solution. The church was looking for a way to celebrate Saint Valentine, a man who had helped couples in Rome illegally wed, a crime that led to his execution. They were also looking for a way to squelch the celebrations of the pagan holiday of Lupercalia, which involved a ritual where women were slapped with goat hides dipped in dog’s blood, an activity they found slightly appalling. The church put Valentine’s holiday in the middle of Lupercalia’s celebration, outlawing Lupercalia and promoting Valentine’s Day.

Valentine’s Day has morphed in purpose from one of its original goals of smashing unapproved celebrations into a day that encompasses all love and is inclusive of all ways of showing that love. That is not to say that going around and smacking woman with goat hides dipped in dog blood would be a good idea because as magical as the day seems, there are still laws in this country.

The holiday, while limited in the aforementioned regard, can be celebrated in so many ways. It can be celebrated through the classic couple’s dinner and gift exchange, among friends in a Galentine’s day party, by family members sending each other cards and in a humorous way, with jokes about the holiday or love in general.

An example of a humorous celebration would be the deal that Tulane’s very own Cat Mafia Comedy club is offering, “Clapbacks for your Ex,” a program where they will drunk call or text your ex for five dollars. Its set list includes “Burn in Hell, Brian”, “Your Post-winter Break Haircut is Bad”, “You’re a Fartbag”, “What Does He Have That I Don’t Have??? Herpes???” and other classics.

Satirically, romantically, appreciatively, you can celebrate Valentine’s Day any way you want to. It is a holiday that is so diverse for so many different people, just like love is. That is something worth celebrating.

Raise your heart-shaped box of stale chocolates in the air, shower yourself in a rainstorm of Croc Jibbitz and take a day to embrace love.

This is an opinion article and does not necessarily reflect the views of The Tulane Hullabaloo. Helen is a sophomore at Newcomb-Tulane College. She can be reached at [email protected].

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