Simply mentioning Valentine's Day can trigger mental groans in a large section of the population -- most often, from men and singles.
Whomever you want to blame for being miserable today, the real culprit is likely long gone. That's because Valentine's Day is a mix of beliefs and traditions dating back to the second century that really exploded when greeting card companies jumped in during the late 1800s.
Whatever the history of the holiday, Valentine's Day has come to be a day of mushy cards, expensive flowers and candlelit meals for adults and the exchange of colorful cards and sweet candy for school children.
Those who are not paired up may feel left out and bitter about the traditions, which have grown and become more expensive over the years. As you grin and bear your way through Valentine's Day, rest assured you're not alone.
Plenty of others share these five Valentine's Day pet peeves.
No. 5: Office flower deliveries
It's just like any other workday -- except for the constant deliveries of flowers through the rows of desks and cubicles at work. If they're not roses, then they are balloons so large you'd think you're watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade from your perch in front of your keyboard.
In a small office? Maybe you're the only one who doesn't receive flowers. Maybe you don't have anyone's name to write on a card. Either way, the whole "Valentine's flowers at work" thing reeks of elementary school and leaving people out.
Many would vote that couples should celebrate this fabulous holiday in the comfort of their own homes, not as allergy-carrying displays in the workplace.
There are few other times that roses are as expensive as they are at Valentine's Day. If you are sending flowers, you may want to be a little more creative.
No. 4: Facebook wall posts
Couples love to pepper each other's Facebook walls with messages of undying love and names such as "Baby," My Love," and "Honey."
Single? Newly single? Simply annoyed? Couples' short exchanges appearing on your Feed will be enough to make you say, "Ugh" -- and not just in your head, but out loud.
People should save those well thought out thoughts for private messages, words inside a card, a text message, a phone call or even smoke signals -- but they don't need to be right out there on the Wall.
You know what they say, the people you try so hard to convince the world of their love for each other, probably have a rocky relationship anyway.
No. 3: Proving love with jewelry
The number of jewelry commercials seems to quadruple around Valentine's Day. Whether you're in a committed relationship or single, the jingles and slogans of national and local jewelry stores ring through your head like an earworm you just can't shake.
This might be annoying for the single folks but it can be down right terrifying for those in a relationship.
A pair of earrings gets put in a very similar sized box to an engagement ring and if a couple isn't ready for that kind of step, the site of the box and the assumption of what's inside can generate a short-lived panic attack.
Jewelry is also used as a determining factor for how serious the relationship has become. If both people are not on the same page, jewelry -- no matter what it is -- will send a message.
No. 2: Throwing money around
It's fun to dress up and enjoy a night out on the town, but that doesn't mean you have to break the bank. Expensive restaurants will always have class and status but sometimes Valentine's Day "specials" have nothing special about the price.
If you are enjoying a night out, do your research and find a good deal with a good atmosphere. There's no reason to get ripped off just because it's a recognized day of celebration.
A better option? Eat in. Get delivery, get carry out or channel your inner Bobby Flay. Dinner at home can be much more romantic anyway.
If you don't have a significant other with which to celebrate, hang out with friends, throw your own party and enjoy a bottle of wine together. Just avoid restaurants where couples will be making eyes at each other. Nobody needs to be surrounded by that, even on Valentine's Day.
No. 1: Falling for the commercialization
Around Valentine's Day there are two groups that stand to make a lot of money -- greeting card companies and chocolate companies.
It's a beautiful relationship between these companies and last-minute panic shoppers.
It's true that cards can be expensive. You might even think they're a waste of time to pick out and write in them -- but to the person who receives it, it means a lot.
Take the commercialization out of Valentine's Day and flash back to elementary school when you made your own Valentine's Day cards out of pink and red construction paper and a paper doily. It really doesn't matter what it says -- it really is the thought that counts.
Single? Give in. Find your favorite candy and treat yourself. Just be happy you're not dealing with the games that Valentine's Day can bring forth.
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