Valentine’s Day loves single people

Pamela Estrada

Marcy Palacios senior at SF State kicks off Be My Player 2 with a quick greeting and rules to how the event will be played. ( Pamela Estrada / Golden Gate Xpress)

The world holds over 7 billion people, 329 million are in the United States alone. San Francisco roughly holds 883 thousand of those people. As we narrow in,SF State currently holds about 21,087 people for its Spring 2020 school year. Our relationship with any of these 7 billion people will differ and so will the type of love we feel for them.

Every year on Feb. 14 we celebrate a day of love. Due to advertisements and possibly the history behind the holiday, we have forgotten that love extends to more than just couples.

Depending on where one looks , they will find disagreements as to how the holiday became centered around romance. Legend says the holiday is named after a priest named Valentine who married couples in secret during third century Rome. The couples had to be married in secret because Emperor Claudius II outlawed marriage to ensure his soldiers would be less distracted.

There are also stories that after Emperor Claudius II imprisoned priest Valentine he fell in love with his jailor’s daughter who visited him during his confinement. This led to the first letter showing that well-known signature “From your Valentine” because of a letter he sent to this young girl before he died.

 The love letter is what may have marked this holiday as romantic one for couples. English poet Geoffrey Chaucer wrote “Parliament of Foules” a romantic poem about the selection of a mate during the Middle Ages. This is actually the first recorded reference to St. Valentine’s Day marking it once again as a romantic holiday between couples.

Records dating back to the Middle Ages show the English poet Geoffrey Chaucer as the first recorded reference to St. Valentine’s Day in a romantic way in his 1375 poem referencing the selection of a mate.

Every story seems to center around love between couples,giving single people the notion that they cannot join in. So, it’s time that the narrative of Valentine’s Day changes to be inclusive of all of us. Other times the holiday doesn’t even make a dent in people’s lives— and that is okay too.

“I have worked every Valentine’s Day for the past 5-6 years, so it doesn’t mean quite much,” says Kieran Eng a fifth-year English Lit student at SF State.

Our culture around this holiday has definitely changed.For the past 10 years single people have been standing up to the romanticized Valentine’s Day holiday by renaming it to be more inclusive. The most popular new slogan for the holiday is Galentine’s Day which first appeared on an episode of Parks and Rec titled “Galentine’s Day” back in 2010 and over time,Palentine’s Day was added to the mix.

Yet other countries like Mexico and Guatemala ference Valentine’s Day as Día del Amor y la Amistad which translates to Day of Love and Friendship on the 14th of Feb.

 Motion to transform this holiday to something much more than a romantic one has definitely been in the works.

 With clear understanding that love holds many forms, the Women’s Center at SF State in collaboration with Rack N Cue and the Depo presented students at SF State with Be My Player 2? on Feb. 11. The purpose of the event was to meet people while playing games. 

“The idea originally stemmed from us wanting us to have a Valentine’s Day event that was more Galentine’s or Palentine’s—geared toward community and just making friends and getting yourself out there,” said Haley Fonseca, a second year BECA student at SF State.

The event showcased four hours of love from platonic to romantic relationships. The first hour was intended to just play games and create platonic encounters. The following two hours were to play games with possible intent to maybe find romance. LGBTQ+ game players who wanted to find some romance were encouraged to play during the second hour. Those seeking a heterosexual romance were encouraged to play during the third hour. The last hour of the event was saved for those looking for friendships.

The intent to be inclusive is showing in the way the holiday has been renamed and the way celebrations are being put together.

Whichever way you name the holiday, love is universal and can be romantic or platonic. On a day which we celebrate love, defining it to just a couple’s holiday would be small minded.

“It’s hard losing someone you love, relationship wise, but just thinking about losing a friend – like that hurts. People should be aware; they should realize the importance of how much a friendship is,” says Alisha Jauregui a second year student at SF State.