The Trouble With Valentine's Day

As if my cripplingly low self-esteem could take another hit. 

Valentine's Day is one of those holidays that gets really in your face. For one thing, the commercialism is insane. It's so lucrative for businesses that the National Retail Federation estimates an average of $20.7 billion dollars was spent on Valentine's Day alone in 2019.

This year, spending has increased to a total of $27.4 billion with the average consumer planning to spend approximately $195 dollars.

If you don't think that's mind-blowing enough, just February 15, the day AFTER Valentine's Day. Head on over to your local grocery store and check out all the stuff that's suddenly on sale, when prices aren't inflated for the holiday. 

So if it feels like everyone is making a really big deal out of Valentine's Day this year, you're probably right. Valentine's Day is a really big deal, but not always for the right reasons. For example, the diamond ring has long been established as quintessential to engagement and marriage when the De Beers company monopolized the diamond industry in the 1930s. However, people living in a post-depression era America could no longer afford such luxuries. So in an effort to boost product demand, the De Beers company began advertising diamonds as a symbol of "indestructible love". This ad campaign also insinuated that diamonds (and only diamonds) were an appropriate gesture of affection, so naturally, the bigger the better.

By today's standards, the average diamond is worth a staggering $4,000 dollars. Their resale value, however, is not nearly as much. 

These expectations of love and dating have been so deeply ingrained in our societal standards that it's hard not to feel incredibly alone on a day like Valentine's Day. Despite what you may think and feel, you are not going to die alone. Remember: just because you're spending Valentine's Day alone this year doesn't mean that you are unloved, and just because someone isn't spending money on you doesn't mean that you lack value as a human being.