It’s a unique day when you stop and think about it. I mean after all, it’s represented by a chubby toddler flying around with a bow and arrow. (Talk about the dangers of kids running with scissors – Cupid takes this to a whole new level!)
And if that’s not hard enough to believe, almost $700 million of that $19B is spent on pets = PETS, like cats and dogs! Folks, what the hell is going on?
I’m not one to judge and you can spend your money how you want, but people, really?
Don’t know about you, but those numbers are alarming to me! I’d say we have our priorities a bit out of line. Really this is just another example of American consumerism and marketing at its finest.
Men (who are in relationships) will try and live up to high, lofty expectations – which, by the way, aren’t usually verbalized, but they sure are *hinted* at by significant others (and not to mention the media!). This really sets them up for failure. Last I checked, most guys aren’t psychic and how are they supposed to compete with The Bachelor anyway?
Stat: guys spend close to $200 on average (more than double what women spend!) to show their loved one how much they care – yet many begrudge the purchase wondering why they do it in the first place.
But c’mon Scotty, you know why you do it: you “have” to give her the piece of jewelry so she can take that Instagram-worthy photo, share it with her friends and brag about what a great guy you are. Even though you don’t see the relationship lasting through Labor Day, you plop down the money anyway. You pull some strings to get that last minute reservation at that great restaurant. You succumb to societal pressure and expectations and pay Cupid his dues. Period. It’s the cost of dating someone on V-Day.
Stat: Did you know 53% of women say they will end the relationship if they don’t receive a V-Day gift? Talk about pressure, goodness! Valentines isn’t optional — it’s mandatory for anyone in a relationship wanting to keep it past February 14th! No wonder so many guys dread the holiday and people spend $700 million on their four-legged, furry friends – we all know pets are easier to please than humans!
Among singles, V-Day is affectionately called Single Awareness Day (S.A.D.). It can feel like Cupid is out to strike us with his bow and arrow, driving the point home that yes, we are single and not in a relationship.
Do we really need to be reminded of this again? I mean Facebook already brands people based on their relationship status and to have an annual holiday that seems to segregate people into the “haves” and “have nots” is just cruel.
I believe in the holiday at its core – LOVE and I think we need to have another look at Cupid’s Day and redefine it.
How different would the holiday be if we chose to love ourselves, those around us AND we took time to show genuine kindness and compassion for our fellow human beings?
What if we re-allocated some of that $19B to other things – treating an elderly neighbor to lunch? buying flowers for that single mom down the street?
What if instead of stressing over how to book that rooftop restaurant and what dress to wear, we spent time and energy doing random acts of kindness – letting others know they are loved, valued and appreciated.
Valentine's is about LOVE and we need to get back to that. It’s a holiday for the blissfully engaged, the hopeful single, the recently divorced and the unexpectedly widowed - it's a day for EVERYone.
Despite what society tells us (or your Facebook feed), your relationship status does NOT define you. At the end of the day, we are all just human beings seeking to be heard, valued and live in authentic, honest community.
In closing, I leave you with this:
All is Love. Love is All.
Happiness is an INSIDE job and begins with YOU!
Let's start redefining Valentine's Day this year.
Hugs from Atlanta xox
- http://zap2it.com/2016/02/how-much-is-spent-on-valentines-day-19-billion-dollars/ -- includes a great infographic!