The Tragedy of Valentine’s Day

As this site continues to grow, the majority of my readership has slowly gone from friends, to Facebook friends, to internet strangers. Due to the stuff I like to write about and the increase in readership, I would like to make some announcements about my personal life. Additionally, please know that I am incredibly grateful for and appreciative of every person who takes the time to read my blog; it makes me very happy.

I want to announce that I recently got a girlfriend. She is incredibly caring and thoughtful and I’ve never met anyone who understands me as well as she does. She is smart, driven and has a very successful future ahead of her. I am extremely happy and lucky to have her. Also her cuteness level is as high as, if not higher than, her awesomeness level. She is also more than supportive of this blog, which is pretty surprising considering the majority of its content. So, I thought it was fitting for me to give her a shout out, especially for what’s about to come next.


Earlier this week, I had a pretty interesting conversation with my co-worker. He complained about how expensive it was to send flowers on Valentine’s Day because everything was so marked up. He spent $150 on flowers and strawberries to be delivered to his wife’s workplace on February 14th. I told my co-worker, who we’ll call Jon because that’s his name, that he was a sucker.

Jon explained that if he didn’t get his wife anything for Valentine’s Day then he would actually end up paying more. He said if she didn’t get anything that day and had to sit through a full day of seeing her co-workers receive flowers and gifts, then come home and see a full newsfeed of pictures of her friends receiving flowers and gifts, she would murder him. It’s almost like girls are secretly competing on how significant of a gesture their significant other will make. Jon and I then talked about how ridiculous that mindset was and we went on to fantasize about a world where men refused to contribute to this competition.

Valentine’s Day is kind of a “tragedy of the commons”. Wikipedia describes tragedy of the commons as “an economics theory… [where] the depletion of a shared resource by individuals, acting independently and rationally according to each one’s self-interest, act contrary to the group’s long-term best interests by depleting the common resource.“

So it’s basically Jon’s best interest to get his wife a present because he doesn’t want to die, however, this sets a bar for the next guy. The next guy will do the same because he also doesn’t want to die, and so on and so forth and in 2013, it’s gotten to the point where we are spending a whopping $18.6 billion (that’s with a B) on a now commercialized holiday, which originally started with card exchanging. So yes, every guy looking out for his own best interest has led to an exponential increase in expectations. If every guy quit being selfish and just agreed to look out for the best interest of our gender and not do anything on Valentine’s Day for the next couple years, we could probably crush this shitty holiday for good.

I am fully aware that this would never happen and I’m digging myself into a hole just for suggesting it, but Valentine’s Day really doesn’t make sense.  Jon loves his wife. Jon’s wife knows he loves his wife. Jon’s wife’s friends know Jon loves his wife. So why does Jon need to spend theirmoney to prove this to the people that sit near her at work? I’ll admit it’s a very sweet gesture and he should do nice things for her, but why does he need to spend $150 when it would’ve cost him a fraction of that any other time of the year?

It’s because Valentine’s Day is a very successful scam to get you to waste your money and we are all suckers. And due to the previously mentioned phenomenon, I don’t think we can ever get out of it. If I had super powers, I would totally destroy Valentine’s Day. I would burn it to the ground. But, since I don’t, I am forced to admit that I am also selfish, and I ended up getting something very nice for my girlfriend this year. And I am telling you this because I am a hypocrite and I don’t want her friends to hate me. And thus, the scam of Valentine’s Day continues…

PS. If you’re interested, I wrote about some Valentine’s Day money saving tips three years ago.

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