Wherever you go on campus, you will inevitably spot a young couple that is unapologetically in love, especially one on the cusp of engagement. I hope you exhibit more self-restraint than I do by refraining from staring and making a disgusted face; in my defense, they are everywhere! The romantic ambience will only become more visible, or more unbearable, on Valentine’s Day. The fluffy teddy bear, the bouquet of roses, and the box of chocolates are all indelible markings of the painfully cliché, Hallmark sponsored holiday. The good news for all of you single folk is that you can cash in on the many available sales that companies market to all those who are love-struck.
Like on Halloween, chocolates on Valentine’s Day are on sale. The difference is that on Valentine’s Day, they are wrapped in quaint, heart shaped pink boxes. While they are intended as gifts for a significant other, there is no reason why you cannot treat yourself to some high quality chocolate. If you are content being single, they will serve as an effective pick me up snack; if you are miserable as the third wheel-a situation that I personally find awkwardly amusing-you can pretend that a lover gave you the gift.
If you want to indulge on a little bit of fancy chocolate at no expense, look no further than a Godiva store. While the franchise promotes itself as an elite chocolatier for the upper class, it is in fact accessible to everyone. By joining its membership club, which simply entails giving your email, you are allowed one free chocolate a month. No catch at all! Note, though, that the freebies do not roll over and accumulate. As someone who does not quite know the concept of self-restraint when it comes to eating chocolate, I find this policy to be the perfect way to indulge my sweet tooth without feeling guilty afterward. Of course, Godiva is not doing this in order to befriend customers. Rather, the prospect of free chocolate entices people to enter its stores; once there, they are more likely to buy something. I admit that getting the chocolate from the cashier and simply walking out is often awkward. However, one look at the astronomical prices allays my uncomfortable sentiments.
Last year on Valentine’s Day, I saw people pay full price for roses. I was curious as to what would happen to the supply afterward. As I suspected, prices were slashed the following day. Unlike other holiday specific goods that go on sale, flowers die relatively quickly and do not last. The lower prices reflect sellers’ desperation to get rid of something that can only temporarily remain a part of their inventory.
The sharp decline in the value of roses after Valentine’s Day reminds me of another floral related event that impacted the economy: the Tulip Mania in Holland. In the 1600’s, the price of tulips skyrocketed, and people invested heavily in these popular flowers. Predictably, the bubble soon popped and the value plummeted, thereby leaving many people devoid of life savings and property. While a long line for a bouquet of roses on Valentine’s Day is not quite the same as the Dutch craze for tulips, both events show that even a relatively simple commodity such flowers can have an impact on the economy on a grand scale.
While there are no general sales in honor of Valentine’s Day, you still have the opportunity to save money. Now that the semester is in full swing, you undoubtedly need something saccharine to counteract your bitter cup of coffee. Through some simple cost-benefit analysis, I would suggest that for a college student strapped for cash, a discounted box of chocolates is a much more worthwhile investment than is a teddy bear or a bunch of flowers.
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