Valentine's Day: love and hate

BlogHer Original Post

I've never had a boyfriend on Valentine's Day, so I've never really done anything special to celebrate. There have been card exchanges with friends and chocolates from my parents when I was little—but the holiday has never been a big deal to me. The upside to this is that I don't get depressed when this "holiday of love" rolls around. I treat it as just another day. But, unlike me, there are many people out there who have strong feelings: the thought of Valentine's Day can easily bring about a love/hate response.

But first, a few things that I found interesting:

15 percent of U.S. women send themselves flowers on Valentine's Day.

More at-home pregnancy tests are sold in March than in any other month.

Women purchase approximately 85 percent of all valentines.

One billion valentines are sent each year worldwide, making it the second largest card-sending holiday of the year behind Christmas.

[Although there are more women than men in the world]...For every 120 single men who are in their 20s, there are 100 single women in the same age range.


Katie resents the message that she has to be given permission to do something nice for herself. When she saw someone on TV telling all those depressed single gals to get out and "Do something nice for YOU," she had this response:

Oh, really? Can I, please? Because all of these floggings I give myself on a daily basis for being such a loser-y single can get tiring and it seems a day off might be nice.

I've been single a long time and I've never felt any want when it comes to the "festivities" of Valentine's Day: I don't protest by wearing black, I don't speak about it like "The Black Day of Death," there is no gnashing of teeth or rending of garments, and I certainly DO NOT skulk and mope.

I also liked what Katie had to say about commercialism:

I think it's an amazingly crafted scheme generated by Hallmark and picked up on as "something to talk about" by the media to validate the "greatness" that is Valentine's day—let’s face it, one single person means one less person receiving that too-expensive Hallmark card with a sappy sentiment scotch-taped to a heart-shaped Whitman's Sampler adorned with a red satin ribbon. I'm not sure, but nothing says romance like a totally corporate gift.

Dcrmom doesn't agree with the commercialism of Valentine's Day either, but she's more conflicted about it since she enjoys receiving gifts:

So here we are, once again, on the brink of Valentines Day. [My husband and I] haven't discussed it yet. If it does come up, we will likely tell each other, "Don't spend any money on me." And we will both mean it, probably him a little more sincerely than me. Ahem.

...when all is said and done, we will be satisfied that we did our American duty to boost the economy while at the same time attempting to rekindle the romance that all too often gets trampled on by demanding kids and the hectic grind of the day-to-day.

Although down deep inside, we will know that we sold out, once again, to Hallmark's grand scheme to rule the world, one commercialized holiday at a time.

Heather is no longer single, but she remembers having some strong feelings in the past:

I resented all the commercials for diamonds. I banged on the keyboard when I got those e-mails from FTD Florist guilting me because someone wasn't buying me a dozen red roses. I wanted to send them hateful notes thanking them for rubbing it in. I wanted to organize groups of angry, single women to picket local stores.

Nurse M doesn't think people should show their feelings on just one day. She asks, "Which person will you be?"

Everyday should be treated like V day... everyday we should show the person we love that we care, yet unfortunately we don't. We save it up for that special day. Expectations are high. Feelings are often hurt and others left disappointed. Some will walk around with a glow, while others will stomp around saying how much they hate this commercial holiday. You will hear "I hate Valentine's day," (but on the inside hopes of someone sending something). "Her flowers are better than mine, but I guess it is the thought that counts."

An9ie worked in her sister's flower shop in Australia one Valentine's day (a holiday which falls in the middle of summer on that side of the globe), and gives us a florist's perspective.

Florists love and hate Valentine's Day. They love it because it's the one day of the year where they earn enough money to pay off all their debts. They hate it because they have to work their butts off and they know they won't get any sleep the night before.

And, finally, I found this report about how there are many Valentine's flowers coming in from other countries that have been dosed with toxic chemicals. Flowers coming into the U.S. can't have bugs on them, but they're not tested to see if they contain chemicals. Also, Forbes says that "the average lovestruck consumer will spend nearly $120 on Valentine's Day this year."


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