Valentine’s Day was designed to be a day in which we celebrate the love we share – or hope to – with someone important to us. But it’s degenerated into one of the most financially and emotionally illogical holidays around. Here are the 7 biggest scams of every Valentine’s Day.
Photo credit: danielmoyle, Flickr
7 Valentine’s Day Dinner Specials
Many restaurants offer special Valentine’s Day deals, offering full meals for discounted prices. Or so they want you to think. According to a Zagat study, spending for dinner more than DOUBLES on Valentine’s Day, leaping from an average dinner-for-two cost of $70 to over $140 on Cupid’s Big Night Out. The net result, according to the National Retail Federation, is over $3.4 billion in income for the restaurant industry. Do the right things for all of us and get your money’s worth on the Cheddar Bay Biscuits at Red Lobster tonight. Never has diabetes and increased chances of heart failure felt so much like justice.
6 Ordering Flowers Online
Ordering flowers online is infinitely more convenient than trying to do it yourself. The odds of my taking up gardening in the dead of winter to save a few bucks is not particularly high. But would it be cool if we just label the flower e-commerce industry as extortion?
Let’s pick an unnamed flower site that may or may not have a 1-800 number in its URL. You pick the cheapest, most generic option of red roses: $44.99 marked down to $34.99 for the holiday. Not too shabby! Oh, but if I want it guaranteed to be delivered on February 14th, there’s a $5 surcharge. Well, hey, $39.99 for something so convenient is fine…they even give you a complimentary card! COMPLIMENTARY! Wait, I’m about to check out and there’s an $18.98 shipping charge? I thought that was the point of the surcharge? And taxes? We’re now up to a total of $58.76, a 60% increase on the listed price. All for something that’ll die in two days and remind your special gal of how pointless and forgettable you are. At least you didn’t have to deal with the manure.
The various scams of Valentine’s Day aren’t limited to just men. Some women feel pressure to be extra sexy for the holiday. It’s Valentine’s Day, after all, and nothing says pure sex appeal like dressing up like a Victorian prostitute in the middle of winter. I haven’t worn lingerie so perhaps I can’t speak to how comfortable or how uncomfortable it is (I’m going to assume, based solely on the number of wires and scratchiness of the fabrics, it’s probably not too great). But look at this bit of lingerie pictured; this girl looks like a complete and total asshole and she’s a professional model. So imagine how ridiculous your average Middle-American mother of three would look. I’m more turned on thinking about my first proctological exam than I would be about that.
4 Kids Exchanging Valentine’s Day Cards
Some schools started banning the exchange of Valentine’s Day cards years ago. Future generations might be saved from the secret shame of not getting Valentine’s Day cards from their chosen classmate (or anyone at all). But the seeds of decades of intergender mistrust and disappointment began during the ritualistic exchange of stationery featuring Snorks canoodling while saying punful things like, “You blowfish me away!”
3 Anti-Valentine’s Day Parties
No, it’s totally not a lonely cry for attention to throw a party showing how you’re not conforming to society and you don’t care about sharing your life with someone. Yes, we all just assume that you had countless (!) Valentine’s Day dates offered to you…you just turned them all down to send the rest of the world a message that your feelings will not be bought. Cool? We can stop this now, then. Thanks.
Not to sound like the type of person who’d say things like, “Valentine’s Day, psh. I’d prefer to spend the night alone, watching episodes of Downton Abbey while tweeting a bit too often about how comfortable I am in my decisions.” But let’s say the idea of love actually exists. Maybe it’s a beautiful, genuine thing that two people share in the most deep and meaningful ways imaginable. Doesn’t it seem like the odds of you having those transcendent emotions come to life on the most commercialized and pointless days in which gifts are commodities to be bartered in place of actual feelings seem pretty illogical?
It’s like taking a trip to what’s supposed to be a tropical island with a night full of delicately strewn rose petals and surroundings of lit scented candles, only to find the cat shit-strewn bed of an elderly woman on Hoarders lightly scented with drug store perfume.
1 Those Disgusting Candy Hearts
If you show me a person who finds these stale, heart-shaped pieces of chalk to be a delicious treat, I’ll show you someone who should celebrate Arbor Day by eating buckets full of lead paint chips.