The price of flowers shoots up dramatically while shops put up expensive chocolates on tempting display. Women turn extra sweet to men who turn absentmindedly occupied doing the price Math. There’s no room in the inn because hotels run at peak occupancy and restaurants are all booked up. If you haven’t guessed it yet, then the billboards, the flyers, and the ads will tell you … repeatedly. Valentine’s Day is coming.
Famous Words and Staggering Numbers
There are many versions of St. Valentine’s history. February 14 is not exactly his birthday, but he was first to ever sign “Your valentine” on a note. Cupid’s origins have also been much written about. To him is ascribed the cautionary phrase, “Love is blind.”
Together, Valentine and Cupid have been driving consumer business for many years but don’t just take my word for it. Ask Corporate Hallmark which reports approximately 142 million Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged industry-wide. Statisticsbrain.com figures additionally show that an average of 196 million roses are produced for Valentine’s Day while average annual Valentine’s Day spending is $ 13.19 Billion. (It’s unclear if this is in the U.S. alone.)
The Pressure is On
From the same set of statistics, here’s an interesting finding: 53% of women would end their relationship if they didn’t get something for Valentine’s Day. Pretty drastic don’t you think?
This brings me to the downside. The hype that comes with Valentines puts pressure on couples to give presents, dine out, and do something special because friends, peers, movie stars, sports celebrities, and practically everybody else is seen to be celebrating. It then begins to seem like the end of the world if they’ve got no photos to flaunt later on social media.
By focusing on couples, Valentines also makes otherwise perfectly content singles feel unfulfilled and lonely.
We must all remember that billboards, ads, and elegant chocolate and flower displays are really only purchase suggestions, and Valentine celebrations by famous celebrity couples, your peers, and your friends are a choice they make.
Your Way or No Way is Fine
YOU decide IF you want to celebrate and how.
- You can give little cards and candy to your parents, grandparents, children, friends, or to solitary patients in hospital wards.
- You can have a fun group dinner with family, friends, gym buddies, or the choir/jamming pals, and bring leftovers to the homeless.
- You can get your pet a new toy and give her extra cuddles.
- You can buy yourself a huge bouquet of lovely flowers or a bottle of good wine/brandy AND premium Godiva chocolates.
Love, after all, comes in many forms including healthy self-nurturing.
And which business does Cupid push hardest? Matchmaking of course, but ONLY YOU get to choose – and that includes choosing not to choose – to whom you send that lightly perfumed, NON-digital Hallmark card signed “Your valentine.” It doesn’t even have to be dated February 14 and it won’t be anybody’s business but yours.