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15      Overly Commercialized, Indeed

  I know, I know, it was Valentine’s Day yesterday.

Ah, another Valentine’s Day. Time to get all those lovey-dovey greeting cards. Time to purchase those sexy lingeries for the other half. Time to grab that last big box of Lake Champlain. Time to make a last-minute reservation to Rocco's on 22nd. Time to pick a bouquet of twelve red roses. All over again.

On days like yesterday, I was, once again, reminded of how some (holi)days had become overly commercialized. Last time I discussed Christmas. Now, make way for a discussion on Valentine’s Day.

There is no other day but Valentine’s Day when you can find so many women, in pink or red or in a similar color scheme out, at the same time. When you can see so many street vendors sell nothing but flowers. When you cannot find any availability at any restaurant because they are all packed by couples, husbands who take their wives our for Valentine’s Day dinners, boyfriends who give their girlfriends treats of the day. In all, a busy day for lovers out there.

Days like Valentine’s Day can easily be related to commercialism. The targets are, of course, people — people like you and me. Everything has been hyped up for the sake of consumerism. It all comes down to profitability of days like Valentine’s Day can bring in.

Whether you celebrate Valentine’s Day or not, ask yourself honestly — would it be the same without a dozen of roses, reservation at a zagat-reviewed restaurant, a room at a five-star hotel, a box of solid dark Chocolate, a bag of Victoria's Secret, or a bottle of Dom Perignon?

The fact that there are tons of overly-commercialized holidays is not an issue. In fact, it is interesting to have them around because common people like us can look forward to them, regardless of celebrating them or not. We might say we do not care about those days, but they are there, no matter what, whether we like them or not.

Being single back then, I loathed the fact that we had Valentine’s Day. Why did these girls have to carry those colorful bouquets around? Just keep them at home, will ya’? Why did those couples have to express their passionate love in front of single people like me? How heartless! Why could I not find any availability at my favorite restaurant around the corner where I used to have my Pad Thai?

In other words, Valentine’s Day was a pain for me as a single person because it was painful to see other people in love while I was not. Valentine’s Day is still a pain for me as an attached person because it is painful to see other people out of love while I am in.

To celebrate or not to celebrate is your call. Of course, being tolerant with others is equally important and being victimized by an overly-commercialized holiday is uncool.