Women love it, men dread it and singles hate it. Welcome to Valentine’s Day.
When I was newly married (eons ago), one of my first Valentine’s Day gifts was a Hoover vacuum. Clearly he had missed the meaning of the occasion. Sadly this was not the worst gift I’ve ever received on the day of love. There was the talking magnetic pig head that squealed each time the refrigerator door was opened, twelve pairs of tube socks and a not so lovely tumble weed bouquet. I have often been left with “what the hell was he thinking?” ringing in my head.
VD (I know it’s a rather inappropriate abbreviation for Valentine’s Day but just go with it) has some pretty quirky facts that surround it. I thought it might be fun to share them with you.
The average man spends twice as much as a woman on his Valentine gift, approximately $156. This being said, I have no memory of any man ever spending even half that on me. I am not amused.
Condom sales are the highest around VD and March is the month when the most home-pregnancy tests are sold. Somebody’s doing something wrong.
Teachers receive the most Valentine’s. Next in line are children, moms, wives, sweethearts and then pets. I love that teachers are first in line but do I have to come in next to last just before the cat?
Speaking of our beloved pets, those of us who are owned by our furry friends spend around 9 million bucks a year buying them Valentine goodies. I confess to have contributed to this astronomical number and apologize to no one for rewarding my dog and cats for loving me just as I am. I’m thinking that’s worth a squeaky toy.
Sixty four percent of men make no advance plans for VD day. No big shocker here.
The city of Verona, home of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, receives more than 1,000 Valentines a year addressed to Juliet. The last Valentine I received in the mail was in 1972. I’m not sure how I feel knowing that a fictional character that has been dead for hundreds of years receives a thousand more Valentine’s than I do, but I can share that it’s a bit of a blow to the ego. For those of you who are interested, my P.O. Box is listed on my website. (hey! I’m just offering up the info).
It’s reported that more than a third of men prefer not receiving a VD gift (this is probably because they don’t want to suffer the indignity of having to wear briefs with cupids and hearts on them). And less than 20% of women prefer not to receive gifts. Clearly this is the group of women who have just flatly given up of ever receiving a suitable gift (a group I am probably destined to join).
Probably the most startling fact is that VD is the biggest relationship break up day of the year. I think breakups happen when our expectations don’t meet our realities. I’m not sure which of these needs adjusting.
The bottom line is that love sells. Whether its dreams or diamonds, flowers or fantasies, candy or brandy, it’s sure to soar in price on VD day. Being the consummate business woman, I take offense to the excessive prices tagged on to ordinary dinners, flowers and candy. Money doesn’t buy me VD happiness, but backrubs go a long way.
My best VD day was when I was treated to a professional home massage, a candlelit dinner and a DVD of Wuthering Heights followed by chocolate sundaes. My worst was when I was taken to Burger King and treated to an oil change on my car.
If you have a VD story that is worse, share it; it will help me to feel a little less pathetic. If you have a VD story that is wonderful, share it too, it will give us hope for a brighter tomorrow! If you’d just like to vent about this goofy holiday, nothing would please me more.
As far as I’m concerned If you bring home one of my favorite movies, some Chinese take-out, mood candles, and throw in a foot rub, I will be yours forever; or at least until you buy me a lawn mower for my birthday.
Angel The Alien - I’m not expecting any Valentines from anyone (other than my dad maybe… he gets me a candy bar) but I DID get Valentine’s Day treats for my dogs and for my brother’s dog!
Nancy Fox - I’m pretty lucky. I’m married to to love of my like and we don’t do anything special for Valentine’s Day. Everyday is Valentine’s Day to me!
Marilyn Tichauer - I’m always hoping for something!! But it is true we celebrate our love everyday, not to be too mushy. I must confess I do love flowers!!
mel glenn - Really one of your best and funniest columns. I laughed out loud, even though this gender comes out second best. Even though it is a “manufactured” holiday designed to line the pockets of Hallmark, I enjoy because I take it semi-seriously.
In fact, every year I write my wife a Valentine’s Day poem.
I agree – love lives. Do you know there are people in Verona, Italy that actually answer letters to Juliet?
Tammy - Hi Angel, candy bars are ALWAYS good! Clearly you and I are not alone … America spends 9 million dollars on their pets for Valentines Day. Power in numbers. I enjoyed your blog and relayed your message to Mel. I will private message you with his email address should you wish to correspond with him directly. Happy to have you here Angel The Alien!
Tammy - Hi Marilyn, SO lovely to hear from you. Good to know you are still out there! I’m with you…flowers are always wonderful. But in our house, every day is Valentine’s Day, mushy be damned. We are lucky, lucky ducks to be so loved and to love so much in return. Have a happy, my dear friend!
Tammy - Hi Mel, you are a romantic at heart. Love that about you. Bet your beautiful wife does too. No, I did NOT know that people in Verona answer mail to Juliet. Somehow, that makes it worse. Bah! So happy to have given you a chuckle today. Have a wonderful day of love, you two crazy kids!
Lee Lefton - Well, I guess I’m not the average guy. I don’t dread VDay, I actually enjoy it. I don’t spend anywhere near $156, and yes, love definitely sells. I got Anne a little red box with four chocolates for $12 (yikes), which she will appreciate a whole lot more than your run-of-the-mill red roses.
Smart Living 365 - Hi Tammy! Yes VD can be a confusing time for us all..even those of us who’ve been married forever. My husband tends to think VD (and most holidays) are promotional marketing days for companies like Hallmark. In some ways he’s right…but he married someone (me) who will celebrate just about anything anytime anywhere. So what I do is take my beloved to a long happy lunch and then come home to for our in-house massages–and yeah, that’s a pretty good day! Kathy @ SMART Living 365.com
Kitt Crescendo - You know, I’ve been one of those girls that was spoiled on Valentine’s Day…for the most part. Worst Valentine’s day to my recollection? A couple of years ago hubby got me a card, some Edible Arrangements and chocolate covered strawberries while I got him a card and made him a special Filipino meal…only to have him wind up in the ER for an emergency appendectomy. Yeah, it wasn’t the gifts…it was the following event.
As for break ups? Not surprised. Sometimes I think it’s the stress of having to figure out the gifts (or not wanting to bother/the other party getting their feelings hurt). I also knew guys who would deliberately break up with their girlfriends on gift giving holidays simply to get out of having to purchase a gift. Others…yeah, I think you’re right. Expectations have a lot to do with it.
Tammy - Hi Kitt, eeeek, that sounds like a horrible Valentine’s Day! A story you can laugh at now (hopefully). Damn good for you that you have always been spoiled on VD! That’s as it should be. I’m a big low key girl. Less is ore in my book. Probably why I don’t do Thanksgiving dinners with a lot of grace. I’d so much prefer to just keep it all simple, sweet and meaningful. I agree with you…. the breakup stat is not as surprising as it may seem. The second biggest break up day of the year is New Years ever. Go figure! So happy to have you here, Kitt. Thanks for that!
Laurie Schwarz Hurley - My VD card is sitting in my husband’s truck, unsigned, sealed, and undelivered. But you know what? Who cares? I bought him $1 package of Lindt chocolates and left it near his coffee cup this morning. NO card. The big smile on his face was priceless. Big whoop over nothing in my opinion. He only got the chocolates because I ended up not going to a networking meeting – it was my raffle giveaway! Joke’s on him!
Jenny - I did “marinate” kitty toys in catnip. I put their toys in a zip baggie and shake, let them sit for a few days. Meows of “please can I have it NOW” bring smiles any day of the year. This Valentines Day I just loved listening to my sweeties heart. It is beating so strong and he is doing great! My daughter and I did venture down the aisle with heart cards, red boxes of candy, and a whole bunch of flowers in bouquets ready to be purchased. I was specifically looking for gummi bears, actually for her, but she didn’t know it at the time. I enjoyed watching her watching all the guys frantically looking for a card. This was 2/13 at 5pm. She said, “They clearly have to know that this day is coming for sometime, right?” Ah, youth, she is 22 and life is just
beginning! Happy Valentines Day to you Tammy on 2/16.
Tammy - Hi Jenny, Hope it was grand! It doesn’t get much better than listening to the healthy heart of the one you love. So happy to hear it. As far as the naiveté of youth, it is a wondrous thing. I sometimes wish I still lived in that world. Life has a way of teaching us the obvious…whether we want to know or not. Happy to see you here, grateful for that! Love to those catnip sniffing kitties!