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Teens commercialize Valentine’s Day

crushing rose
Photo by Asa Lory

I remember in elementary school when every Valentine’s Day was an excuse to just have a party. I wrote out Valentine cards to everyone in the class because no one should feel excluded. And when I gave out your Valentine cards with candy attached, it instantly made me the best person in class for a day, along with everyone else. Valentine’s Day, back then, wasn’t about love, but about trying Sweethearts candy for the first time and realizing how truly bad they taste.

In high school, Valentine’s Day has such an opposite meaning.

Instead of Valentine cards for every kid in the class, you have to have one special person as your valentine. Instead of candy attached to valentine cards, you hope to get flowers or chocolate covered strawberries. And then comes the typical sappy movies that come out on Valentine’s Day.

How much more cliche can the day be?

Valentine’s Day is overrated. It is the same day every year. It is supposed to be a day to spread love and joy around, but instead, it has turned into a business venture and an excuse for people to spend money. And then, it’s another opportunity for people to become more greedy and expect gifts. I don’t understand what is so romantic about getting a huge teddy bear that cost $90 that will be special for that day and then sit in a closet for a few years.

The holiday’s purpose for love is also construed by the idea that without a ‘valentine’, a person should sit at home and mope, according to movies. The amount of tweets I have seen on my twitter feed about being ‘alone again on valentine’s day’ or ‘another year without a valentine’ just makes me angry. It’s like this day determines whether you will be single for the rest of your life or not.

The fact that greed is associated with love on this day is just another reason that the holiday’s true meaning is misconstrued. All stores have whole sections devoted to Valentine’s Day or jewelry stores have special Valentine’s Day sales, because they know that people will go all out to make sure their ‘valentine’ has an amazing gift to show off.

RBHS sells flowers and chocolate covered strawberries to students and parents, and some students expect year after year to get something. The misunderstanding on my part is why the holiday has to include all these monetary things. I mean, I wouldn’t turn down chocolate covered strawberries, but the point is that spending money on all these things to please someone’s wants or to show off what you got is not what Valentine’s Day is supposed to be about.

Valentine’s Day should have the same meaning that it did in elementary school. You weren’t spending all this money to please one person, but giving out cards and making someone smile. It should be about wanting to spread love to everyone and show everyone that you care for them. In elementary school, there wasn’t even a possibility of leaving anyone out of the Valentine’s Day festivities. And it should be the same in high school. No one should be left out. No one should sit in their room and mope about being single because it’s just another day and it’s just another stuffed animal that will sit in your closet and won’t love you back.

Valentine’s Day has the opportunity to be a way to spread love and make everyone smile for a day, but instead it’s just bouquets of flowers and chocolates in heart boxes. On the bright side, after Valentine’s Day is over, you can always go to the store and buy up the marked-down chocolates.

By Alyssa Piecko

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