Or just inescapable?
by John E. Peracchio Feb 3, 2021
Each year, it seems as if retailers unveil Valentine’s Day décor earlier and earlier. Some even advertise as early as December as if the holidays that fall between November and January aren’t enough sensory overload. While it is rather festive to peruse the lavish holiday displays of department stores, there are commercial benefits to the experience: driving awareness and encouraging a purchase.
Let it be known that I am not trying to downright bash V-Day or your celebration of affection nor is this a pity parade. I’m merely pointing out that companies utilize the very foundation of love and devotion to their advantages, and with no blame to them. Advertisement is essential for any brand’s survival in today’s increasingly digitized marketplace where you, the consumer, have the power to purchase a rose bundle at your street’s corner shop or elect to not even leave your home (thank you, online shopping!).
Then there’s commercialism aka the inflated prices of dinners and bouquets just because it’s V-Day. An upscale restaurant, where there will likely be a set holiday menu, can easily cost $40 per person (possibly higher depending on the location), with an automatic 20 percent gratuity locked into the bill. If you’re looking to add flowers to the mix, well you just increased your spending by about the same; high-end florists and online flower delivery services tend to charge upwards of $40 for a bouquet of roses before delivery and fees, with $97 being the nation’s average cost for a dozen roses in 2018, according to flower delivery service BloomNation.
Makes sense when you consider the goal of any business is to attract a consumer base to turn a profit. In the case of V-Day, advertisement companies bombard the public in an array of mediums—commercials, personalized emails, social media posts, online banners, magazine articles, direct mail, and more—just to drive holiday awareness. That said, is V-Day overrated or just inescapable?
If you live in a crowded city like New York where it's nearly impossible to not notice how single you are, advertisements can be a bit overwhelming. That’s when the you who remembers V-day is one day out of the calendar year emerges. After all, businesses shift focus to whatever holiday’s next, so what’s stopping you from moving on? For everyone else in a committed relationship, it’s important to reflect on what Feb. 14 means. If it’s a day for you and your S.O. to showcase affection, celebrate away! But if your partner expects a you you can’t afford, it’s okay to not want to shell out an entire paycheck on this one day each year. You might also want to have a chat with your partner if their feelings are so opposite to yours, your relationship is negatively affected.
Either way, if your only goal is to make it through Valentine’s Day, I get it. Sure, the love shared between you and bae may be priceless; forecasting each other’s adoration on V-Day, however, can come with a hefty price tag. So if you’re single on Feb. 14, don’t be so down. Treat yourself to an intense workout followed by pizza and cheap wine. You’ve earned that much, and your bank account will love you for it come Feb.15. And if you find yourself cuffed on this day of romance, might I suggest a home-cooked meal and a grocery store bouquet? To quote 2001 J-Lo, “Love Don’t Cost a Thing."