By Fine' Thompson
Valentine's Day is almost here; the one day of the year dedicated to love. With each passing year, it seems like Valentine's Day expectations and gift ideas become more outrageous and far-fetched. People spend hundreds of dollars on jewelry, candy, flowers, enormous stuffed animals and elaborate dates just to say, "I love you."
But with some couples interviewed on the Hampton University campus this was not the case. This year, the theme for Valentine's Day seems to be simplicity. Instead of focusing on the material aspects of Valentine's Day, some couples are beginning to focus on what's really important: each other.
Jermaya Patterson, a freshman majoring in biology, and her boyfriend Brandon Monroe, a freshman majoring in music education, will not only be celebrating their first Valentine's Day together this year, they will also be celebrating their one-week anniversary.
While many couples tend to have high expectations for their first Valentine's Day together, for Patterson and Monroe, this special day is about spending time together. "I think Valentine's Day is about spending quality time with the person you care about," Monroe said, "Not the material things."
Every day is about loving each other for Julien Forrest, a sophomore majoring in political science, and Dara Terry, a sophomore majoring in journalism. The couple is not hesitant about showing their affection for each in different ways. Said Forrest: "Every day with this one is like Valentine's Day. I don't let her go a day without knowing that."
The couple has been dating for over a year and is expecting this Valentine's Day to be full of love and excitement; in other words, an ordinary day. Terry explained that she and Forrest go on exciting dates frequently so they are planning to keep Valentine's Day simple and fun. The two are content just spending the day together.
From the opposite end of the relationship spectrum, after 30 years of marriage, Drew Berry, a professor in the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications, and his wife prefer expressing their love in simple ways. The media management and business Journalism professor explained that in the earlier years of his relationship, he and his wife celebrated Valentine's Day like other couples. They would take the traditional Valentine's Day route by and going to dinner and exchanging gifts and cards. However, as the years passed, Berry and his wife began showing their love for each other daily and Valentine's Day just became another day.
"We have no expectations," he said while laughing. "We've been married so long that it doesn't matter. We celebrate every day."
Meanwhile, being single isn't stopping Kayla Wimbush, a senior journalism major, from celebrating Valentine's Day. She has decided to share her day with an old flame. Although the couple is not together, Wimbush explained that they are still close friends and they are working on rekindling their relationship. In her eyes, Valentine's Day will help their relationship progress.
Wimbush believes in simple, heartfelt gifts and is only expecting one thing from her Valentine. "I just want flowers," she said. "They are a beautiful expression especially, when given from the heart."
The writer is a student in the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications.