Valentine’s Day expenses are for nothing

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It’s that time of year again. The time where boyfriends and husbands make gushy gestures in order to somehow express their true, undying love for their significant other by showering them with expensive gifts and a dinner reservation at the swankiest place in town.

We all secretly – or not so secretly – loathe this day. Men hate it because they have crazy expectations to fulfill, and if they don’t, they’re in the doghouse. Women hate it because no man can ever live up to their expectations.

If you’re single, you hate it because it’s a reminder that you’re alone, and no amount of tequila can make you forget that all your friends are out and about with their dates. Now before I come across as a bitter, cynical and lonely person with more cats than cousins, I should say that I’m not anti-love or anti-romance. In fact, quite the opposite is true; I’m a total sucker for romance and cheesy lines.

I just can’t stand Valentine’s Day. I understand the point, which is to acknowledge, admire and treasure the person you’re with. Kind of like how you would show appreciation for your mom on Mother’s Day. But the fact is that commercialism and awful chick flicks taint this once seemingly pure intention of showing someone you love them. Consumers spend nearly $18 billion on Valentine’s Day in the United States alone, according to IBISWorld.com.

One perfect example of this absurdity is roses. A quick Google search will show you a bouquet of roses cost $45 on average, but those same roses ordered for Valentine’s Day will set you back upwards of $80. Don’t kid yourself, those carnations from the closest convenience store won’t make the cut, so don’t bother trying to pull a fast one.

That expensive box of chocolates is really just leftover Christmas chocolate in a pretty, new heart-shaped box that was listed for clearance prices just one month prior. It’s hard to find someone who honours the meaning behind all the commercialism.

I have always thought the easiest way to show someone you love him or her on Valentine’s Day is to be original. Grab some popcorn and watch that movie that you saw on your first date, burn a mix CD with songs that remind you of each other, or find out your date’s favourite meal and cook it, then eat together by candlelight. Putting the extra effort and thought into it can turn a clichéd holiday into something a lot more meaningful. The best part? You won’t look into your wallet the next day and start crying.

Why stop there? Why do we need one specific day in the year to show our love and affection for someone? We should really be paying attention to the other 364 days of the year and ensure our loved one feel special all the time. Knowing you have a mutual understanding of love and care will hopefully, halt that panic before mid-February rolls around.

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