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All in the Name of Love

February 14, 2015

“It’s such a delight
To watch them dance
Free of sacrifice or romance
Free of all the things that we hold dear
Is that clear, Your Excellency?”

– Patti Smith, from “Amerigo”

Love is in the air.

Evidently, love is red. Pink also. It’s hard to miss. Look around you and you will see it.

Love is candy, mostly. Over half of Americans will buy some of this sweet poison for their loved ones, spending a total of $1.7 billion.

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Love adorns one out of five of Americans with $4.8 billion of jewelry.

Love smells like flowers, 93% of which were grown in Columbia and Ecuador. Americans will spend over $2 billion on these industrial-grown pretty objects by their neighbors in the south.

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Love fills the tummy with favorite foods and the blood system with wine and other libations. Throw in a movie about a person who shot the bad guys with unheard-of and remarkable precision in the Middle East or a film about a hot-shot wealthy young man who seduces and intimidates a vulnerable young woman into what appears as nothing short of a hellish experience. Americans will spend $3.6 billion on a night out today.

Love barely covers the body. Americans will spend $2 billion on lingerie and other clothing.

Love says, “you figure it out” with $1.5 billion of gift cards.

Love is a call to action. As many as 6 million Americans will express their marriage proposal today.

Love is outrage, indignation and hurt feelings. More than one-half of women will leave their partners if they don’t receive something special from them.

Love is inclusive. Americans will spend an average of $26.26 and $6.30 on family members and their classmates or co-workers, respectively. And of course, our pets. We will spend over $700 million on the furry critters in our lives. I just don’t think that these four-legged beasts care about Valentine’s Day, but nonetheless, we don’t leave them out.

Love appears to be careful and cautious. Contrary to what we may think, sex doesn’t lead to as many new pregnancies on Valentine’s Day as other days. Those deeds take place during the end-of-year winter holiday season. That’s what the NY Times tells us. However, if you want to believe the tech-savvy app crowd over at Ovuline instead, it seems that people will throw prudence to the wind. They tell us that today is the biggest day for these life-changing decisions.

Here’s something that might even make Don Draper demur and blush. Using Pandora radio, a diaper company will try to manipulate us into becoming a new customer with a station that will play music that they believe will lead to unprotected sex today. Play along and they will send you a free package of diapers.

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Love is expensive. Americans will spend almost $19 billion for Valentine’s Day. How about that? For this, we could pay a good salary to over a quarter-million school teachers for one year. I know, I know. We’re not trading holidays for our kids’ education. I’m just saying…

From → America, Consumption

38 Comments
  1. Great post! Gives one pause between bites of Godiva…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I know what you’re sayin’. It all does seem silly and superficial, doesn’t it? I do not discriminate re chocolate. I promise, I buy it whether it’s Valentine’s Day or not! Same with flowers. Living in Boston now, flowers are a necessity to fill the house with pinks and reds to break up the all-white scenery outside. Chocolate is a necessity for survival in New England. Without my dark chocolate caramel with sea salt, I just might not make it through another blizzard.
    Oh, by the way, Happy Valentine’s Day to you. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh yes, dark chocolate is so, so good. Who can deny that. And the excellent choices there at Manipulative Central, aka Whole Foods, are plentiful. Survival anywhere, New England included, requires all sorts of measures. Flowers and other artifacts of beauty have their spot. It’s just the way it is.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You’ve made me even happier I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day. The hubs and I tend to ignore the day. Between our birthdays, Christmas, our anniversary, and Mother’s and Father’s Day, we don’t need another day to shower gifts on each other and proclaim our love. We’re tired enough already. Sheesh. 😉

    Like

  4. Valentine’s Day is a lose-lose situation, all around — yet I play along anyway, for fear of offending someone. Wait, as you point out, someone is making money out it: we have a winner!

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  5. Ahhh, I see there’s another person who feels as I do.

    Like

  6. “Send me a letter if you go at all.” Ahhh … you had me with Patti Smith.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Love is a great beautifier, Louisa May Alcott, xo

    Like

  8. While I did buy little gifts (yes, for the dog too), I think you’re right. But then I’ve been convinced for a very long time that our priorities are totally messed up.

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  9. Well said, amen, amen, amen.

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  10. Very good!

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  11. Great post! One special day for love in the year is not good enough for me. And it has become a commercial circus, an artificial holiday…I’d rather put those moneys in children’s education. But of course, that’s not up to me. Six roses for the price of 12 on any other day. Sigh. I think I’ll have another piece of Fazer Wiener Nougat.

    Like

  12. Wow. That last paragraph puts it all into perspective, doesn’t it?
    People are so willing to pay for stuff … but not to improve education, increase access to healthcare, care for the earth.
    You’ve made me think today, Bruce

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’ll be the day. Instead of folks lining up to lay their money down for candy, they do the same to fund their local school teachers.

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  13. Excellent perspective. Since when did celebrating love come with a price tag

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  14. This guy wouldn’t try to get away without refilling the dark chocolate jar, no way. He’s smarter than that. 🙂 –Curt

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  15. It looks as if one of the things you might feel Valentin-ish about is the warm back-and-forth banter you’ve engendered in all these virtually loving hearts who comment here. And that sure doesn’t need a special day for celebration, or any expenditure of cash. You celebrate it every day you post. Keep on ramming.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. These statistics were so interesting, and I get a kick out of your introduction to each of them. “Love barely covers the body.” ha ha ha!!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I have never subscribed to all of these expensive holidays. Once I became a legal adult and went off to college, I quit doing Christmas presents, birthday presents, Valentine’s day cards and candy, etc. Life is much simpler and easier for me.

    Like

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