All You Need is… Money?

Reeves' and His Girlfriend Imagined as Characters from the Fairly Odd Parents

ARTWORK | Cal Reeves

It’s the season of love, friends! February is the month of the infamous Valentine’s Day where, supposedly, all the couples have couple-fun and single people miraculously fall in love. Or, well, that’s what we hope for, at the very least. 

The reality is, Valentine’s Day can end up being a point of contention in couples’ relationships and often tends to make single people miserable with the reminder of their singleness.

When we think about it, Valentine’s Day is a holiday. And just like any other holiday, there are plenty of products to sell for the season! I do not believe that there’s a single person who’s unaware of the deep need for consumerism and selling things.

Everyone wants to make more money, and everyone wants more stuff. No better way to exploit this part of human nature than to create constructs around things such as holidays to convince people into believing a necessity to buy around these times. Although I am not here to crap all over capitalism and dish out a whopping fist of economic commentary and opinion, I do want to call this out for what it is.

In relation to Valentine’s Day as a hobby, this is supposed to be a celebration and season all about love! Love is in the air, and we have this special day to commemorate that. When paired with the consumerist side of holidays, however, the idea of love itself becomes soured.

If you love somebody, you’re supposed to get them a gift on Valentine’s Day! If you don’t have the means to get a gift, I guess you just hate that person then. If your gift doesn’t match their standards or isn’t expensive enough, you clearly don’t love them that much. 

Are you catching my drift? I do not think V-time’s Day is inherently bad, of course. Showing appreciation to others through gifting and celebrating love is a worthy endeavor. But, at what point does it become that we only love on this day and we only love through gifts on this day?

Can we just not give gifts at any other time?

Should we not love at any other time?

It may sound silly, but love is such a complex and broad thing that we cannot narrow it down to just a singular day of celebration and an idea that gifting and the quality of such an expense is equivalent to more love.

When there are philosophies and texts present saying things such as “God is love,” how exactly can you quantify that? 

I have said all of that to say this: maybe we ought to re-evaluate our biases and ideas of love. We should recognize that, truly, love is beyond comprehension.

It is more than just a feeling. It is more than something we celebrate. It’s more than trying to give somebody gifts in order to vie for attention and affection.

No, it’s much more expansive and eternal. Love is beyond all of us, and I think that’s the magnificent part of it all. It’s not just limited to a singular day, but we are invited into a lifelong “wild goose chase” for love & understanding of it. 

Does that guarantee it’s always 100% perfect? Certainly not. I have had my fair share of broken relationships, and it was not pleasant. However, I wouldn’t trade it for the world because it was worth it. I was able to learn more aspects of love — what it can be, what it shouldn’t be, and how I can better walk in it.

While some of you may enjoy the traditional ideals of Valentine’s Day and others may hate it with a burning passion, I urge you to broaden your scope on what you think love is. 

To quote some parts of 1 Corinthians 13, it says that “Love never ends” and “the greatest of these [faith, hope, and love] is love.” It’s much deeper than you realize.