Ahhh, February 14th – the day of and for romance. Today, more than any other day of the year, couples are permitted to become super- and sugar-soaked sappy with their significant others. Flowers, chocolates, cards, poems, jewelry, movies, dinners, and of course, the *ahem* activities that can often follow from the dishing out of romance for 4 or 5 consecutive hours have become requisite components of a “holiday” that apparently is not really based on solid ground.

In the days that lead up to February 14th, roses (and flowers in general) double in price. Delivery charges are added, normally gratis filler stuff like Baby’s Breath and simple green branches become “arrangement materials”, and bargain basement glassware that normally sells at dime-store and dollar store prices suddenly become $10 vases (or is it a vas?). Yet despite the evidence that suggests this is sheer marketing and a capitalist ploy by retailers across the globe, we still find ourselves trotting out to florists, Kay Jewelers, movie theaters, restaurants and the Hallmark store. It’s no longer a supply and demand type of market, it’s become a market based on the concept of “a fool and his money are soon parted.”

Don’t get me wrong – I am very much a romantic sap, and like many other millions, an equal in the foolish games we play – just ask my “Sweetie Beanie” – she will say her “Sweetie Beanie-ford” (we can’t both have the same silly name now can we?) is a romantic fool at heart that tears up in the corner of his eyes when Tom Hanks kisses Meg Ryan at the end of You’ve Got Mail… or is it Sleepless in Seattle? And let’s not forget When Harry Met Sally where Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan spend ten+ years as friends before hooking up for good on New Years Eve, right after they kiss. By the way, is Meg Ryan a requisite component of chick flicks or is it just me – a full 25% of her movies seem to fall into the category of romantic comedy, including:

  • My Mom’s New Boyfriend
  • In the Land of Women
  • Kate & Leopold
  • You’ve Got Mail
  • Addicted to Love
  • French Kiss
  • When a Man Loves a Woman  (my wife said this is not a romantic comedy)
  • Sleepless in Seattle
  • When Harry Met Sally

Quite the laundry list, eh? Anyway, back on topic, I’ll even admit to contributing to the deluge – I spent $50 the other day on a floral arrangement, another $5 on a card and chocolates, and tonight, that’s right, another $30 will be shelled out for dinner (thankfully the mother-in-law has a long-standing tradition of sending us a gift card that gets used for this purpose). My guess though, is that we are on the average to low end of sappy splurging. After flowers, chocolates, cards, dinners, and movies, it all ends up to a spending spree most likely in excess of $100 to $150 dollars per person – and all in order to tell the person we are already with how much they mean to us.

It’s a good thing we have Valentine’s Day – I don’t know how Florists, Jewelers, Hallmark and the rest could survive economically without it.

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