Another year, another Valentine's Day. Commercialized, you say? And how! But whose fault is it? According to an article in BusinessWeek, in a survey of men and women earning between $30,000 and $60,000 a year, 70% of the chicks said they were interested in marrying for money. 50% of the dudes agreed! They were looking for over $1 million in net worth. Romantic! And since love and cash are linked, Valentine's Day is one of the biggest days for dropping dollars. "People between the ages of 25 and 34—when many couples are dating or engaged—plan on spending the most this year on that day with those in that demographic planning to shell out, on average, $160.37, according to the NRF," writes BusinessWeek's Alison Damast. Sociology professor and Perfectmatch.com adviser Pepper Schwartz claims, "I've had men say to me, 'I just don't want to get into a relationship because it's going to cost me a tennis bracelet.'"
Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal has a he says/she says look at V.D. [Hah! -Ed.] gifts with Alan Murray, an executive editor and Laura Landro, an assistant managing editor: He suggests fair-trade roses at $64.99; she gently points out an upgrade to roses and calla lilies in a vase at $69.99 would be nicer. Murray offers chocolates from Neiman Marcus at $38; Landro prefers $45 candles instead. In the words of Kanye West, "Ain't sayin' she's a gold digger..."
The fact remains, even though are there ways to show someone you care without going broke, most people seem oblivious. For some, says Pamela Danziger, author of Shopping: Why We Love It and How Retailers Can Create the Ultimate Shopping Experience: "When the idea of romance comes in, then sanity goes out the window." And the problem is, even if you think it's a stupid holiday designed to keep post-holiday consumption up, eventually the commercials, ads and billions of stuffed animals nuzzled on a shelf in the drug store conspire against you to make you feel like you have to do something. How do you boycott a holiday without seeming, in a word, heartless? And ladies — be honest: If you didn't get a present from your loved one on Valentine's Day, would you be pissed?