Commercialism ruins Valentine’s Day spirit

Alysha Catalano, Opinion Editor

Every year, just as the last Christmas melody fades from supermarkets’ Muzak and radios sound waves, a great transformation occurs.

Overnight, the color scheme of the candy that lines the glorious metal shelves at the local market turn from red and green to red and pink. With more than a month remaining until Feb. 14, the candy aisle glows with the same pink intensity as the Barbie aisle in Toy’s-R-Us, and I begin to wonder what Valentine’s Day is really about.

In my early years, Valentine’s Day was a holiday to anticipate. The hand-crafted heart shaped envelopes would always be filled with little cards from all of our classmates, and teachers usually recognized the need to declare the day one extended party.

If nothing else, Valentine’s Day always represented a good excuse to load up on candy and waste the entire school day amped up on a raging sugar high.

However, each year this tradition diminishes. By the time high school rolls around, declaring the day a party is only a memory.

If lucky, and the calendar cooperates, it will fall on advisory, and the person whose day it is to bring food remembers some heart-shaped, sugary treat.

Maybe your chemistry teacher involves candy in an experiment, but you only get to imagine eating it because it’s coated with hydrochloric acid.

Gone are the fun and games, as well as the sweet Valentine’s cards that I once spent hours making for every classmate. Only couples exchange cards, which are usually purchased, not made with glitter, doilies, and glue.

So, what is left of the holiday for people past the innocent elementary school year ? The pressure of buying a hefty box of candy and some flowers, a cute teddy bear and a card that is not overly corny.

At our age, it seems that Valentine’ Day is another consumer holiday hat you either spend alone, shoving chocolate from your parents down your throat, pretending not to wallow in your loneliness , or with your loved one praying that your gift is good enough; you are still paying off the loan you took our for his/her Christmas present.

It’s sad to say that this holiday, supposed to celebrate love, has transformed into one giant marketing event.  However, this is the horrible truth.

Although it is hard to make your own presents, try at least giving your loved one an original card in an effort to bring the day back to it’s more innocent origins.

Also in you are one of those lonely people on this day, exchange Valentine’s cards with friends and reminisce about elementary school years when this was common.

Above all, make sure you know that the holiday is really about recognizing the people you care for; yes, you should get more creative that the typical bunch of roses and extensive sugar highs.