Students are preparing for the Valentine's Day holiday, thinking of dates, gifts and ways to say "I love you." (CU Independent graphic/Adam Milner)
The current recession is causing many lovebirds to share homemade, sentimental gifts with one another instead of the old, pricey stand-by—a bouquet of red roses and a box of chocolates.
Despite the consumer craze that is no doubt striking many committed students this Valentine’s Day, there are a lot of Buffs who are giving creative, financially-friendly gifts this year, while others say they have plans to spend the day that doesn’t involve romance.
Lisa Kostelecky, a 29-year-old student working toward a masters in Japanese and history, described her plans with her special someone.
“David and I have been dating for a little less than a year,” Kostelecky said. “We apparently have plans, but he won’t tell me what they are. If it doesn’t interfere with his surprise I plan on making him some hand-dipped strawberries and cooking him dinner.”
Kendra Mensonides, a 20-year-old junior majoring in English and journalism, said she also prepared an interesting date with her boyfriend of two years.
“We’re doing our Valentine’s Day on Saturday instead of Sunday this year,” Mensonides said. “Our situation is kind of funny actually. [My boyfriend] bought me a spa package for my birthday and we’re going together this weekend. It should be amusing.”
Cupid hasn’t struck all students with urges to cook and get manicures, however. There are many single students who said they avoid the holiday spirit altogether this month.
Some students are looking at the holiday as a time to get together with friends and celebrate being young and available.
Benjamin Jarvis, a 19-year-old freshman open-option major, said he’s not looking for anyone special this Valentine’s Day, but he’s not going to be laying around watching re-runs on Lifetime, either.
“I’m just going to play it off like any other day,” Jarvis said. “A group of friends of mine are talking about going on a group date. There might be one couple going with us, but most of us are single.”
Lauren Lipman, an 18-year-old freshman pre-journalism major, although she said she believes that the 14th is slightly depressing for singles, she offered ideas for people who don’t have a mate this Valentine’s Day.
“It’s fun to get together with a bunch of single friends and get dressed up and go out,” Lipman said. “Another good way to celebrate the holiday is to have an anti-Valentine’s Day party. Sorry, no committed people allowed.”
Other single-friendly ideas include having a themed movie party (Quentin Tarantino flicks, cult classics and foreign films are all ideas), hitting a singles bar or hosting a Karaoke night, students say.
Other students offer ideas of low-key ways to spend the day as well, such as enjoying a relaxing bubble bath, cooking a meal and decadent dessert, or reading a novel.
There seems to be consensus among students, regardless of their relationship status, about the consumer-obsessed stigma surrounding Valentine’s Day. As a single-and-not-wanting-to-mingle male, Jarvis said the “holiday” receives too much attention.
“I think the holiday is a little bit overrated,” Jarvis said. “It shouldn’t take a special day to treat someone with love and respect.”
Similar to Jarvis’ notions on the annual affectionate holiday, Kostelecky described her feelings for Valentine’s Day as being mixed.
“I think it’s a really nice idea to have a day dedicated to love, but it has been over commercialized,” she said.
There are still true-blue fans of the amorous holiday, despite the consumer-driven reputation that surrounds it. Mensonides said the holiday is commercial but it still holds personal sentimental value.
“I got a letter from my grandmother today and it said, ‘Valentine’s Day, it’s true it’s a commercial thing, but I like it anyway,’” Mensonides said. “I agree with that.”
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Jenna Fredrickson at Jenna.firstname.lastname@example.org.
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