J.Lo said “Love Don’t Cost A Thing” sheeeeeeeeeeit we can’t tell…
The visual assault happens pretty quickly after stores clear out their winter holiday displays. It starts with a few standard candy bars discreetly forming into heart shapes, and then the contagion spreads. By February 1, your favorite retailer is hemorrhaging pink and red.
The signs all proclaim “Happy Valentine’s Day!” Subtext: “Buy lots of our stuff! It’s the same stuff as before, but a different color. You know, to prove your love!”
This is out of control.
According to the National Retail Federation, the average American will spend $126.03 on Valentine’s Day this year. That’s the highest amount since the survey started ten years ago. Those numbers are enough to give my frugal heart a coronary.
I don’t do Valentine’s Day. I’m not anti-love and I’m not anti-gift, but I just can’t participate on principle. Call me a Valentine’s Day Grinch, but I don’t think I’m just being contrarian here.
I don’t see a lot of equality in this love-inspired holiday. The NRF survey found that men spend nearly twice as much as women on Valentine’s Day. Informal polling of my male colleagues indicated an even wider spending gap. It was also implied by my co-workers that they think women expect gifts and that the dollar amount can matter. It’s hard to support a holiday that may make men feel inadequate and women seem materialistic, not to mention one that marginalizes all those single Americans.
$126 seems like a bit much you say? Perhaps for some ladies it’s not enough. Let’s take a look at the stereotypical things that this money is spent on. Maybe it will help some of you fellas save a buck or two and be a lil more creative with how you tell your significant other that you love them.
A card is nice and relatively inexpensive, but how about a hand-written note that is a little more personal than some generic mushy goop that someone thought up on a subway train somewhere.
Lobster and shrimp isn’t the only food that shows how much you care. A couple of steaks from your local grocer can be just as tasty and furthermore cheaper. Plus it shows that you are willing to put in the time to cook.
Yeah diamonds are a girls best friend, but we’re pretty sure she’d rather be friends with rent, heat, gas in the tank, you know…things of that nature. Skip the jewels and save that money for a future vacation.
Chocolates don’t have to be expensive unless you go to Godiva and go HAM on cherry cheesecake truffles. Baked cookies can get you some “cookies” just as easily as chocolate.
Women will always love flowers, but if you’re the type to always buy your lady flowers, perhaps you can skip the stems this time and figure out something a little more unexpected.