It was Valentine’s Day 10 days ago.
Retailers love Valentine’s Day – Hallmark stores, flower shops and jewellery stores especially – because it wrings, on average, $134* out of the pockets of everyone who gets guilted into thinking “the bigger the gift, the bigger the expression of true and heartfelt love.”
Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for true and heartfelt love. I just don’t want to have to prove it with my Mastercard lest I get banished to the doghouse for several days after the 14th of February.
Okay – so let’s say I’m gonna take my chances and try to dodge the doghouse by sending a big card that oozes with sentimental gooeyness. At Hallmark.com, the biggest Valentine’s Day card they’ve got – a scant 5 x 7 inches – will set me back $5.99. Plus $1.99 for shipping. Plus tax!
Thank goodness for my Garmin, my bicycle and Strava.com (whose tagline, coincidentally, is “Prove it”). Early in the morning on February 14, I snuck out and sketched this massive Valentine’s Day message for the love of my life.
Sure, it took several hours of planning and a couple hours of pedalling around Victoria in the dark and the drizzle. But I saved nearly 10 bucks, wowed my wife AND made every other husband in my cycling club look like a lazy, inconsiderate oaf.
* National Retail Federation, 2014