Opinion | Feb. 15 is the best holiday ever

By Livia LaMarca, Staff Columnist

Years ago in middle school — at least a solid four or five years before I even caught a whiff of any sort of a romantic relationship — Valentine’s Day was the worst day of the year. And if I’m being honest, it still is. On that fateful day, all the little middle-school boys brought their little middle-school girlfriends gifts of candy, chocolate and bears. I remember vividly this one boy, whose preteen relationship had yet to be confirmed officially, brought his girlfriend the biggest card and the biggest teddy bear I had ever seen in my young 11 years of age.

Of course I was jealous, just like most girls who didn’t receive a gift. I would have rather died before I admitted it at the time, but of course all I wanted was for my little middle school crush to profess his love to me with chocolates and a heart. Instead of this dream coming to fruition, he gave another girl some candy and a kiss on the cheek. How dare he. We were past the age where we gave everyone in class those little Valentine’s Day cards, so unfortunately, on Feb. 14, 2014, I went home defeated and empty handed, hating Valentine’s Day ever since.

My best friend was in the same boat as I was — alone and jealous of all the other girls. But she kept her head held high and has in all the years since. I’ll never forget sitting at lunch, everyone in my friend group huddled around the table eating cupcakes someone’s mom bought for us and poking fun at all the gifts the boys brought their girlfriends. My best friend piped up and said it was the next day, Feb. 15, that was the best holiday anyway. It would be another year before we dealt with this awful day again and she was having her mom drive her to go get some discounted chocolate — every person’s dream. Who needs Valentine’s Day in the first place?

Ever since that mildly traumatizing day, my answer to “What’s your favorite holiday?” has always been the same — Feb. 15. This year, any person regardless of relationship status should shift their focus off of the over capitalized Hallmark Valentine’s Day we’re sick of seeing over and over, and start paying attention to this much better day instead.

There’s a handful of reasons why this day is the greatest day of them all, starting with the fact that all the delectable chocolates we didn’t receive the day before will go on sale.

You heard me — the fancy truffles and the candy bars that are way too expensive to purchase the day before are all much cheaper just 24 hours later. Target Valentine’s Day candy is usually around 30% cheaper than it was the day before and Walmart’s romantic candies are 50% off, if you’d rather go there. Even if you aren’t willing to hop on a Port Authority bus to travel to the lovely Shadyside Target, CVS and Rite Aid usually feature discounts ranging from 50% all the way to 75%. If you weren’t planning on doing anything special with your partner the day of, maybe wait the next day to buy them some heart-shaped candies. They’ll never have to know your secret, and you’ll even save a few bucks.

If discounted chocolate wasn’t enough to make this day great already, just remember that Feb. 15 is also the day that everyone finally shuts up about their Valentine’s Day plans. It doesn’t matter if you’re in a relationship or not, you no longer have to make Valentine’s Day plans or hear about Valentine’s Day plans for a whole other year. Congratulations! 

It’ll be at least another 11 months before you hear the moaning and groaning from your friends about what they’re doing on this romantic holiday. You won’t have to moan or groan either. If you’re single, you get a whole year before people start asking what your Valentine’s Day plans are, followed by a pitiful look after you explain that you’re not in a relationship and no, you’re not lonely. No more searching for — or helping people search for — the perfect gift or the perfect restaurant to make reservations at. As of Feb. 15, you are officially a free individual free from the constraints of Valentine’s Day plans.

As a relatively active social media user, Feb. 15 marks a special day in my heart. While the 14th is a day where our apps are flooded with intoxicatingly romantic photos, the 15th finally ends it. Seeing that around 70% of young adults use photo sharing apps such as Instagram and Snapchat, very few of us are immune from these loved-up Valentine’s Day posts.

From videos of proposals to photos of dates sitting at their dinner tables, our feeds get clogged with grotesque Valentine’s Day content that gets annoying after the first post or two. On Feb. 15, those kinds of posts start to dwindle and eventually fade from the timeline. It’ll be a whole other year before we see extreme PDA on the timeline. That is definitely a cause worth celebrating if you ask me.

I can’t sit here and pretend that I’m single this Valentine’s Day, because I’m not. But 18 Valentine’s Days alone leaves me as a pretty reliable source for this kind of information. Even though I will have somebody to spend the holiday with this year, I will always love Feb. 15 more. If there’s one thing I enjoy, it’s seeing my friends happy and smiling. Because most people are busy on Feb. 14, whether that be on a date or ignoring everybody to spend some much needed alone time, Feb. 15 is a day to reconvene and hear what everybody did the day before. I can’t wait to hear about the thoughtful gifts some friends receive, the awful kisses goodnight others receive and the single shenanigans the others were up to just a few hours previously.

So even if you’re single this Valentine’s Day and upset about it, here’s your reminder that Feb. 15 is right around the corner, and the discounted chocolate lining the shelves is calling your name.

Livia LaMarca mostly writes about American politics and pop culture. Write to her at [email protected].