Valentines Day: Meaningful or Marketable?

Trip over love, you can get up.  Fall in love and you fall forever.  ~Author Unknown

Every year, February 14 rolls around on the calendar, stores turn bright shades of red and pink, and florists business starts to pick up again.

TV channels start showing A Charlie Brown Valentine, and all our favorite TV shows start having Valentines day themed episodes. Some of which are fun (like the video clip here), some are just sappy (like… anything on LMN or ABC Family).

I know that many people are so wrapped up in the immediacy of our world that they often forget to stop and think about the people they love and care for. But really, shouldn’t we be thinking of those people all the time? If they’re people we claim to care the most about in this world, we shouldn’t need a special day to recognize it. We should just do it whenever we can, however we can, for whomever we can.

If love is blind, why is lingerie so popular?  ~Author Unknown

One Friday morning, about a week and a half ago, I was surprised to open my car door to find a dozen red roses and a note from my husband telling me not to make dinner.  When I talked to my husband that afternoon, he told me that it was an early Valentines surprise, that we were going out to dinner, and he had gotten me a ticket to see his show that he was performing in that night. (Which was hilarious, I tell you. I haven’t laughed so hard in a long time!)

When we were talking about it again yesterday, he told me that it wasn’t because he had to do it that day, but because he wanted to do it that day. We agreed that we shouldn’t force people to do something nice for people on one day, because it’s all just in the marketing. We feel inclined to buy the cards because the card company’s are telling us too. But they sell “I Love You” cards year round, you know. You can pick up flowers at any florist or grocery store any time. I can cook heart shaped cookies any time of the year. Why do I need a special day to tell my family and friends that I love them? They (I hope) should know it any time of the year. They shouldn’t have to question it just because it’s not Valentines Day.

I stopped at Target over the weekend to pick up a couple of (not-Valentine’s-related) things. The first thing I saw as I walked through the door, right there, in front of even the dollar bins were dozens and dozens of roses in all colors of the rainbow. Last I knew, Target didn’t even typically carry flowers except, apparently, for Valentine’s day, and the Easter lily’s I’ve seen there at Easter time. Usually, those aren’t even surviving that well there, because there out  weeks in advance. I have been lucky in that the flowers my husband has picked up at the grocery store are nice, because I know he takes the time to look for the bouquet that looks the best. But seriously? Target? Come on people – running in and picking up a new shirt, a scarf, lipstick, your prescription, some diapers and… flowers for your Valentine? That’s pushing it, in my book. I don’t know.

Every year The Greeting Card Association reports about 190 million Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged across the U.S. The National Retail Federation predicts 2012 will be a record year for V-Day spending over the last decade. The report noted that people celebrating Valentine’s Day will spend an average of $126.03 between cards, gifts, flowers, candy, and dining. This figure is up 8.5% from last year. Total spending is expected to reach $17.6 billion.

Really? Really?? $126.03 on Valentine’s day? You know what I could spend that on? My electric bill, for starters. My electric bill for a three person family, living in a four bedroom house spend less than that monthly on our electric bill. Dinner out, I get that. I enjoy a nice dinner at a nice restaurant with my husband. But we’re smart about it too – we go on a less busy day of the week in order to use a gift certificate from My husband buys me flowers because he wants too (though, I wish he wanted too more often sometimes…. but I digress), and we enjoy dinners out because we enjoy trying new places together. Not because Valentine’s day dictates that we should go out.

With all of this said, if my husband showed up tomorrow after work and didn’t even acknowledge that it was Valentine’s Day, I’d be mad. I’m ordering us a “nice” pizza from one of our favorite pizza places – you know the kind with the brick oven and the gourmet pizza types like Buffalo Chicken and stuff like that. My daughter is getting some chocolates from us, as well as some seed kits I found at The Christmas Tree shop.

This post ended up being a lot longer than I anticipated it being, so I should probably wrap it up. I hope you all have a happy Valentine’s Day, no matter how you celebrate it. If you’re interested in some of the history behind Valentine’s Day, I suggest this website to get some interesting info.


5 thoughts on “Valentines Day: Meaningful or Marketable?

  1. As someone who worked at a Hallmark store at one point in her life, I can tell you that it gets so crazy… over what? A day for red and pink and hearts and candy and… okay, I’ll give you the candy, that’s okay. But still.

    Last week one of my students proclaimed this year’s Valentine’s Day “Forever Alone Day” because she’s single. She showed me her planner. “6:00 am, wake up alone. 6:30am, eat breakfast alone” and so on. And I was like, “Why are you harping on this? Why does any of it matter so much?” BTW, she’s FIFTEEN!

    As for me: I plan on downloading the ME3 beta and having a ball with it. And the only romance I’ll probably be thinking about is rekindling my flame with Kaiden Alenko.

  2. In college I was always single on Valentine’s day, so friends and I would have an “Anti-Valentine’s Day” party that would consist of junk food, laying on an air mattress and watching movies with two of my friends. I used to despise the holiday because I had no one to dote on me.

    As I started getting older I just started thinking “So… what’s the big deal??” and the whole day just didn’t even make sense to me anymore, even though I haven’t been single in many years on Valentines day, the whole idea of it of it is just so ridiculous to me.

    • It’s a good thing I know who you are, because I almost deleted your comment as spam since there was just a link in it!
      That aside, that comic was AWESOME. That’s pretty much exactly how Valentines makes me feel.

      • Lol, that was actually a thought I had: crap, that looks like spam! I’ll be honest, I didn’t think – I’m so used to facebook just immediately putting the preview image of the comic up there with the link…

        Glad you enjoyed it though!

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