Cupid tugs on hearts and wallets

In Features, Multimedia

Hues of red and pink adorn storefronts, words like love and sweetheart are overheard on the streets. Hearts are everywhere.

Some eagerly await the day, looking forward to a dinner, movie night, or drinks, while others dread the day that serves as a reminder of their relationship status.

For those who celebrate Valentine’s Day, flowers, cards and candy put holes in the wallets of those wanting to show their loved ones just how much they care.

Valentine’s Day is the second most consumer driven holiday behind Christmas.

According to a survey conducted by online shopping site Pricegrabber, 62 percent of consumers will spend up to $100 on Valentine’s Day gifts, while 36 percent say they will spend more.

Local flower shops frantically fill orders and keep a high volume of flowers on hand to accommodate customers.

Robert Huskey / Daily Titan
Robert Huskey / Daily Titan

Bernie Hsiao, owner of Creative Floral Designs on Yorba Linda Boulevard in Fullerton, said business nearly quadruples around this time of year.

“I couldn’t shut the cooler door,” said Hsiao, referring to the extra flowers he had to store in preparation for this year.

Hsiao said in addition to walk-in orders, the shop will be delivering between 30 and 40 Valentine’s arrangements.

He estimates he will sell at least 100 dozen red roses, the most popular flowers for the holiday.

Hsiao said other popular flowers include lilies and orchids.

He said many people, particularly men, come into his shop at the very last minute looking to find the perfect flowers for their loved ones.

“Men are procrastinators,” Hsiao said.

Amber Blakenship, a Wildflour Cupcakes employee, said specialty flavors and exclusive offers bring in record numbers of customers on Valentine’s Day.

She said the shop ran out of cupcakes last year and they were forced to close early.

However, this year they are prepared to deal with the high demand.

“I know it’s going to be huge,” Blakenship said.

Wildflour Cupcakes is commemorating the holiday by giving away a single red rose with every four pack of cupcakes customers purchase.

Anthony DeGuzman, 20, a computer science major, said he is feeling the pressure to buy the perfect gift for his girlfriend.

“I spent over $160 last year,” said DeGuzman.

He said purchasing a gift for a loved one is not just about spending money—it is also about being sentimental.

Austin Alvarez, 20, an undeclared major, said expectations come into play when giving or receiving gifts.

“It depends on the girl, if she’s had guys give her expensive gifts in the past, she’s going to expect it again,” said Alvarez.

For some, purchased gifts often lack thoughtfulness and sentimentality.

Michael Corneo, 19, a computer science major, said money becomes an easy way out for some.

He said when he has given Valentine’s Day gifts in the past, he has made an effort to put some thought into it.

“Money seems to be a scapegoat, people use it when they’re frustrated,” said Corneo. “Only a select few really think (gifts) out.”

Lawrence Lam, 19, an engineering major, said gifts are not the only thing worth spending money on for Valentine’s Day.

Planning a special night out or in is a good way to celebrate the holiday, he said.

There are also those who opt not to give in to the consumerism that surrounds the day and refuse to celebrate it.

Pauline Varquez, 20, a kinesiology major, said she and her boyfriend give Valentine’s Day little importance, acknowledging the importance of showing each other love all year long.

Her boyfriend, Edgar Luna, 21, a computer science major, said in the three years the couple have been together, they have never celebrated the holiday.

“Why do you need a special day to treat your loved one?” he said.

By Chelsea Boyd & Yvette Quintero

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