Is that Love in the Air? Or is the air tainted with a bit of spending and stress?
For school children and their parents, Valentine's can be a fun time of crafts, baking, and class treats. Although, I suspect, for the teachers it is a time of "Oh no, another day of dealing with children on a sugar rush".
For retailers it is the second top grossing time of year. According to the National Retail Federation, the average person will spend over $126.00 celebrating Mr. Cupid's holiday. Total spending is expected to reach $17 Billion! Even in these challenging economic times that is an increase of 8% over last year.
So what are we buying our true loves to let them know just how special they are? An estimated 18% of celebrants will buy jewelry (Take note dear husband, my personal favorite!). 36% will buy flowers. In fact, last year the estimated number of roses produced for Valentine's Day was 196 million. Red roses beating out their multi-colored cousin hands down.
Even the U.S. Census Bureau gets in on the game tracking romance related figures and facts for us. Romance is not dead with 2.1 million new marriages in 2009. That is 5800 weddings per day! And if you are looking for love, they report that you have over 393 dating services to choose from. Cupid would be proud.
Judging from my excursion to the mall this pre-Valentine's weekend, these numbers are not exaggerated.
I too wanted to lavish my true love (think I just spit up a bit) with gifts. So I dragged him (It's true. He has only visited a mall 4 times in ten years having an apparent allergy to malls and the like) to our local shopping mall to try on sport coats. It is one of the few things he has to be there for me to buy due to the tailoring.
As he sulked his way through the department store, he remarked on how very crowded the make up area was. I explained this is were many ladies make ourselves look gorgeous by buying things to enhance our natural beauty. In reply he just shot me a look of pure bewilderment. Then he was assaulted by not one but three young ladies with perfume samples suggesting gift ideas for the romantic day ahead. And I lost him.
Eventually reunited, shopping complete, we made our way home vowing to avoid the weekend prior to Valentine's in the future.
Restaurants and stores crowded with those demonstrating their love makes makes me smile as I make my dinner reservations for the week after. Some holidays are best spent sheltering in place!
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