Girl on Fire: Valentine’s Day is approaching

[As seen in Creston News Advertiser, January 21, 2016]

Everyone who hasn’t been living in a hole the last month may have noticed the shiny red and pink packaging glaring from that first Hy-Vee aisle. The dreaded day of love is fast approaching.

In 2015, Valentine’s Day spending was expected to reach about $19 billion, between all the candy, cards and gifts we give our significant other.

What a waste.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the romance of the holiday. I just don’t think love should be celebrated for one day and ignored the other 364.

According to a U.S. News story published in February 2015, the average person celebrating V-Day will pay more than $140 on their significant other and family members. While I’m sure that’s much appreciated for those couples who celebrate the holiday, I can only imagine what other uses $140 can go toward.

Here are some examples of what you can spend $140 on:

• You can buy nine $15 books from Barnes and Noble.

• That’s 35 pints of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream!

• You can buy the entire Harry Potter book series that comes in a cool, Harry Potter-style trunk and still have money left over.

• Or, if you’re feeling frisky, you can buy a yearly cat nap calendar for the next nine years.

I’m sure this makes me sound cynical, but honestly, I just feel love should be celebrated all the time. When you find that perfect someone you want to spend the rest of your life with, why only devote one day in the middle of winter to sharing that devotion? Why wouldn’t you want to celebrate that person every chance you get?

Not to mention, when it comes to love, it’s not about money. Love is about making your person happy. I suppose that could mean buying them a pint of Half Baked when they come home from a long day at the office or gifting them that piece of jewelry they’ve been eyeing for ages. But, that’s not what I mean.

I mean writing little notes when you want to say how thankful you are they helped with the vacuuming or sending cute meme of tacos with the funny quote: “Feed me tacos and tell me I’m pretty.”

Or, if you really want to get serious about this, why not donate that $140 to someone who really needs it? Love isn’t just about loving your immediate family. We can’t forget about the homeless people who live down the street, or those war veterans who can’t find jobs, or even children in other countries whose parents couldn’t afford to care for them. Those people need love just as much as that woman or man you plan to buy a fancy dinner and gift for.

Anyway, no matter how you spend your Valentine’s Day, I wish you all peace, love and happiness while I’m at home cuddling my monster of a cat, eating a pint of ice cream and watching “Conan the Barbarian,” because, let’s face it, Jason Momoa is so much sexier than any man in Creston.

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