The Weekly Ringer

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

Sexclamations: V-Day (Validation Day)

3 min read


Gone are the days when we decorated an old shoebox with glitter and a red marker and everyone in our class dropped the new “Spiderman” Valentine’s card into our “mail box.”
Back then, our feelings for one another were easily written on the back of a two by three inch card with a cartoon the front.  In the good old days, everybody was our Valentine; in these times, one can never be sure.
College relationships run the gamut between sex buddies to completely committed.  But one thing the in-between relationships have in common is ambiguity.  In these cases, the ominous V-day lurking around the corner stands for “validation” not “Valentine’s.”
Nothing is more terrifying than Hallmark/society making you buy a gift of a romantic nature for your significant other—except not knowing whether you should/need to/are obligated to do something for that person who may/may not be your Valentine.
We’ve all seen a relationship on the cusp of moving from friends with benefits into serious territory, but nothing puts on more pressure than the impending holiday.  If you’re sitting on that proverbial fence you’re probably plagued with these questions: “do I get her something,” “what do I get” and “if I do something for her, but she doesn’t reciprocate do I look like an idiot?”
It feels like all your Christmases coming at once when the boy you want to be your boyfriend sends you a dozen roses and chocolates.  But it may require a pint of Häagan-Dazs and a Gilmore Girls marathon if he doesn’t even call on the big day.  V-day: it either validates your relationship or validates your worst fears.
That is why Dan and Elz think Valentine’s day sucks. Well, not sucks per se, but was way cooler in elementary school. So, Dan and Elz devised a few guidelines to make Valentine’s Day more fun.
First off, if you’re in that sticky situation then Elz, the constant strategist, says ambush your significant other. Casually just drop the bomb: “Hey, are we doing anything for Valentine’s Day? I was just wondering, because I have no idea.” Bam. The ball is in their court.
Or you could go low-key. Send your lover an ambiguous card, condom-gram or vagina shaped sucker that the Vagina Monologues are selling in the Nest. At the very least you recognized the holiday without making overtures about the relationship.
The gift you give on the big day should reflect the level of your relationship. If you just started dating someone dropping your life savings on an expensive piece of jewelry is not only a bad idea, but pretty creepy.  Similarly, if you’ve been in a relationship for three years you might want to go above and beyond a box of conversation hearts.
Another guideline: spend time, not money. We’re college students, hence we’re broke.  Instead of splurging on a nice restaurant, use the internet to find a romantic meal and make it.
Or, put the Chinese food on real plates and light some candles. Bake cookies, red velvet cupcakes, offer to clean their house (or mine) or sit through their favorite (boring) movie.
Whatever you do, make it creative and tailored to your significant other. For example, if you’re dating Dan, a photographer, then buy him a print of a really artistic photograph or frame a nice picture he has taken. If you’re Elz’s boyfriend, giving her anything edible will do.
The most important guideline: do not over analyze your gift. If your significant other didn’t go the great lengths you did, it is not necessarily because they don’t like you.
Your significant other could have been worried about putting too much into the gift and scaring you off. If you’re disappointed in your gift just remember that the purpose of this holiday should be to appreciate and recognize the one you have feelings for and whatever stupid gift they gave you, they did at least that.
Point being: have a great time next Wednesday, but do not worry too much. If you are single or miserly, bust out the glitter, an old shoe box and red marker and make everyone your Valentine.

Dan and Elz would like to wish Sexclamations a happy birthday! Last Valentine’s Day, The Bullet ran the very first column. Shout out to Betsy Crumb, the co-founding mother.