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Explore all the sides of Valentine's day

By Sten Spinella
On February 14, 2014

UConn students will be in the mood for love today, and some will certainly (maybe) wonder why it is this day - the 14th of February - is known for romance.
The holiday's history diverges from the sprawling commercial opportunity it has evolved into. The UConn Co-Op is sporting a sale on Apple products until it closes Valentine's Day night. The UConn Dairy Bar is offering a variety of Valentine's Day cakes. UConn Dining Services ran a competition called the "Show us Your Heart" contest, where students "create their own candy heart." The most creative and well-done heart wins the student a free dinner for two at Chuck & Augies.
Finally, the Union Street Market is holding a "Valentine's Day Raffle" today from 3:00 P.M. to 4:00 P.M. for "a pair of UConn men's basketball tickets, pairs of UConn men's hockey tickets, UConn t-shirts and other great Coca Cola Products." Arnie Seipel of NPR pointed out in his history of Valentine's Day: "According to market research firm IBIS World, Valentine's Day sales reached $17.6 billion last year; this year's sales are expected to total $18.6 billion."
And yet, there is still some meaning to the day. Classical writer Geoffrey Chaucer wrote:
"For this was sent on Saint Valentine's Day
When every fool cometh there to choose his mate."
And Shakespeare in A Midsummer Night's Dream:
To-morrow is Saint Valentine's day,

All in the morning betime, 

And I a maid at your window, 

To be your Valentine."
With the commercialization of Valentine's Day comes the question: Why does everybody buy chocolates and Hallmark cards for Valentine's Day? Is there not a better way to express affection than buying gifts?
With the invention of Singles Awareness Day (S.A.D.), there is. Written on www.singlesawareness.com: "In response to the huge push by retailers for us to buy all of their candy, flowers and greeting cards February 15 has been declared Singles Awareness Day! This is the day that all of the single people can proudly stand up and show that it is OKAY to be single!"
 


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