Is the Rose Sale Just Another Way to Display Popularity
by Olivia Risoleo on Friday, February 24th, 2017
Every year, the varsity field hockey team holds a Valentine’s Day rose sale to raise money for cancer research. They sell red “love” roses, pink “crush” roses, and yellow “friend” roses. Students (or faculty) buy red, pink, and yellow paper hearts, write personalized messages on them, and send them to friends or significant others. Then, anyone who has been sent a heart can go pick up his or her hearts and corresponding roses in Withington. This year, the team sold over 2000 roses in total. But not everyone received a rose, and many students received more than one.
Because not everyone receives the same number of roses, and some people receive none, the sale can leave students feeling bad or left out. When I asked Erinma Onyewuchi (IV) how she felt about the rose sale – if she thought it was just a popularity contest – she replied, “It shouldn’t be viewed as a way to measure popularity, the authenticity of a relationship, or your self worth. Unfortunately, some people do use the rose sale in that way.”
It shouldn’t matter how many roses you receive because, even though someone may care about you, they may choose to not buy and send roses that year. However, seeing someone with fifteen roses while you have only one could make you feel friendless or unloved: something that is definitely untrue.
I asked a sophomore boy, who wishes to remain anonymous, about his feelings towards the rose sale. He responded that buying roses for 10 or 15 people is over the top. Sending friends roses with no real significance really only converts the rose sale into a popularity contest, with the purpose to show everyone else how well-liked you are. He does believe, however, that a couple’s sending roses to one another is really cute and genuine.
While the rose sale raises money for a great cause, it quickly becomes a way for students to show how “cool” or “well-liked” they are. The rose sale should simply be about conveying appreciation for true friends.
More importantly, if someone chooses not to send roses, that does not mean that he or she has less authentic or less meaningful relationships with friends. As Nia Atkins (I) said, “Roses are trivial, and people need to remind themselves that they don’t necessarily equate true friendship.” Yet, if one chooses to send roses as a real way of showing his affection, that is perfectly okay too, but not everyone makes that decision.
The rose sale should simply be a fun way to send a cute or funny message to your friends, and no one should have to worry about receiving a certain amount because it really does not matter. Every person is different, so every person will make a personal decision to partake in the rose sale or not. Similarly, every relationship is different and cannot be judged or compared to other relationships based on one event – one day of the year – which is ultimately meant to be about raising money for a good cause.
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