Walking into your apartment-style dorm, the lights are off and tiny candles are lit. The pleasant, familiar smell of Ramen noodles is in the air. As you drop your book bag at the dining room table, you’re careful not to crush the inspired, yet faux red rose pedals strewn across the floor. He smiles at you and whispers “Happy Valentine’s Day.”
This would’ve happened if he didn’t breakup with you the night before. Well, you couldn’t really call it a breakup since you weren’t officially dating. But he did chill in your apartment, take you to a cafe and check “married” on his Facebook.com profile. What a coincidence that it all ended today – Valentine’s Day.
Many men and women across campus get a sour look on their face when asked about Valentine’s Day. Skeptical of benevolent intentions, Torian Johnson, a senior marketing and entrepreneurship major, joins others who say the holiday shows only love for materials.
“Valentine’s Day used to mean something special,” Johnson said. “Now it’s been so commercialized and people don’t treat each other the same anymore.”
Unless a jewel is found on the bottom of a prized Cracker Jack box, most college guys may come up similarly empty. Or not come up at all. Whether it’s a lack of funds or the fact that gift-giving may solidify a relationship is unknown. Whatever it may be, Valentine’s Day and other pricey holidays often send many men packing.
Jasmine Cooper, a sophomore finance major, said it’s a guy’s lack of creativity and the pressure the holiday puts on them that makes them jump ship.
“Guys know girls get really excited about the holiday and expect a lot, so instead of just asking or doing something creative or from the heart, they just dump them to avoid the whole situation,” Cooper said.
U.S. Census Bureau’s 2006 Valentine’s Day statistics concur with Cooper’s assessment. It stated that 18- to 24-year-olds spent $81.89 on average during Valentine’s Day last year – a decrease from the $83.50 they spent in 2005 and a staggering decline from the 2004 average of $154.65.
Jeweler Hyman Goldberg said he may have an explanation for men’s newfound frugality. President of the Philadelphia Jewelers’ Row Association and owner of Safian and Rudolph Jewelers, located at 701 Samson St., Goldberg said that commercial expectations on Valentine’s Day have risen.
“Valentine’s Day is a big day for the girl that expected and the guy that didn’t get Christmas right,” he said.
Although some customers of Safian and Rudolph Jewelers may be more lavish than the average college guy, Valentine’s Day has become more than they’ve bargained for.
“I do think that [men] buckle under pressure. Girls who have someone serious expect a special day,” said Hazel Toler, a sophomore business major.
For guys lacking a hefty bank account or the desire to buy anything too serious, Goldberg has a suggestion: “If a guy doesn’t want to spend a lot of money, say $50 or something, they spend it on 14 karat gold-plated genuine roses, roses dipped in gold. They last longer than four or five days.”
Angel Elliott can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.