I'll just come out and say it. I've never been a big fan of Valentine's Day. As someone who is usually very happily single, this is the one day that throws it in my face how much "better" it would be to be in a relationship than to be alone. It honestly makes me kind of nauseous to walk around town and see flowers and pink balloons and couples everywhere.
Naturally all of my single girlfriends (that number seems to be smaller than ever this year) share my feelings, and even some of my coupled-up friends dislike the holiday because of the pressure it puts on relationships. And the one complaint that everyone always has is that it's too commercialized, simply a "Hallmark Holiday." In years past I've been annoyed by a holiday that forces people to spend money to celebrate, however this year I think it's just what our economy needs.
While some couples surely cut back on the typical spending (homemade cards and personalized poems instead of long-stemmed roses and diamonds), one business which surely flourished was the service industry. I'm positive every restaurant in town was booked solid all night, which these days is pretty rare.
As someone who works in the service industry, I've seen first-hand what effects the economy has had on people's disposable income. Sure, I joked at first that my sales would go up at work - people will come drink away their sorrows as things get worse, right? Wrong. As time drags on, our sales are dropping (I've noticed an overall dwindling in the amount of patrons downtown). On the rare occasion that I go out to eat (after all, I'm cutting back too), the once-packed restaurants are almost empty. That was certainly not the case this weekend.
So if nothing else, I can appreciate the serious increase in business that bars and restaurants experienced this holiday weekend. Thank you, Valentine's Day, for helping me pay my credit card bill this month.