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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.



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