Roses are red, violets are blue, Valentine’s Day’s a crock and I don’t love you

February 14 is coming.

It’s a day that makes every man’s hair on the back of his neck stand piloerect.

It’s a day that fills the city and shopping centres with the sound of ringing cash registers and swiping credit cards.

It’s a day that sees pink, red and varying tones of white enshroud the city, country and its people in a testament to the always seemingly elusive, forever difficult, largely misunderstood and eternally whimsical thing we humans can’t seem to live without. A thing called love.

Somewhere along the line and by many varying accounts, Valentine’s Day was born to pay homage to romance and love in the general sense.

It still stands in Western culture today as a day for the same reason, although, the purposes behind said romance is somewhat skewed with commercial viability and influence; something I quite enjoy the odd chuckle at.

Born from the tales of woe faced by St. Valentine in the early formative years of Roman Catholicism, the stories of St. Valentine defying a Roman Emperor’s rule to disregard marriage for the benefits of war, his love-sick attempts at winning the adoration of his jailor’s daughter and the heralding of the Spring season are all very sweet and emotive.

Be that as it may, the power of the all blinding dollar has swooped in and killed what most of us consider a romantic day, turning it into a tense, forced and money-spending, retailer-loving love fest that doesn’t quite ring true to the original intent and purpose of celebrating the love we feel, privy to that of old St. Valentine.

I can’t help but chuckle at the fact we’re encouraged to buy roses for triple their regular price on the day and the weeks leading up to, gifts for highly inflated prices and make bookings at restaurants that charge more than an arm and a leg for little-to-no romance.

Where’s the justification? Because we’re forced to tell our spouse, lover, partner, girlfriend, boyfriend that we love/like/care for them? Hardly. Most of us do that anyway, don’t we?

James Stevens, the ‘nice guy who runs the joint’ at leading internet retailer, Roses Only loves Valentine’s Day. He says that while it is commercial – as every other major event in honour of someone or something is – it is still a great time to check-in on a relationship, a great time to start one and a great time to tell the world you’re loved; for those who care…

“I know the effect a rose or a token of affection has on the person that receives it,” explained James, “just ask them how they feel when everyone else in the office is receiving bouquet after bouquet of roses or bundles of gifts. You’ll see how much it matters.”

He did explain too, that the reason behind what many of us consider to be exorbitant prices of roses on this day is simply to accommodate for the demand in what a retailer like Roses Only has to offer.

“I don’t believe the prices skyrocket, I think the increase is fair and reasonable. When you take into account the casual staff we employ, the increased hours of our permanent staff, the couriers with time guarantees, and the fact we’re sourcing the finest roses from Australia and all around the world, it makes sense.”

Yes we should definitely show our other halves we are there and care, but being commercially forced to do so kind of debunks the love behind the gesture, doesn’t it?

I’d much prefer to – and have done in the past – buy my partner a gift on any haphazard day of the week out of thought to signify ‘I was thinking of you’, rather than being told I have to. And for a regular price, at that.

However, money makes the world go ’round.

Business thrives on days like these. It’s just like the end of financial year sales or Christmas but instead of celebrating a jolly fat man in a red suit, we celebrate a jolly red muscle that sits in our chest and all the ensuing emotions and feelings that it is said to guide us on.

Funnily enough though, as James explained, Valentine’s Day is not the busiest day of the year for a retailer such as Roses Only. It represents only five per cent of the company’s annual business. Mother’s Day and Christmas are bigger in terms of demand for them.

“February doesn’t compare to May and December, which are much bigger months. Many people have this idea that Valentine’s Day is a ‘crazy busy’ time because of the high concentration of deliveries on the one day,” explained James.

Were it not for these days and business’ opportunity to capitalise on them, spending would remain relatively stagnant, business would struggle and consumers would have nothing to provide a competitive edge nor inflow of cash to.

But, it is the retail industry that is struggling at the moment, it is the economies of the world that are facing disrepute, credit destruction and bankruptcy and it is our money that, when carefully channelled into certain industries will aid them and fight even further our still-a-while-away-off-but-still-possible economic downturn.

In that regard, spend up. But do so wisely. Rest easy in your knowledge that you’re contributing something to the bigger picture, while working wonders on your own.

As James Stevens says, “The day is beautiful.”

One Response to “Roses are red, violets are blue, Valentine’s Day’s a crock and I don’t love you”
  1. Rina Chia says:

    Hubby & I celebrate our first date anniversary each Valentine’s day. This year it will be 15 years and we will have a celebration lunch at Vue De Monde. We don’t go for the cards, flowers and the other bull***t.

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