Ohio University Students Give Out Free Hugs On Valentine's Day

By
Bianca Hillier

Dateline
Updated Fri, Feb 14, 2014 5:39 pm

Above, students give free hugs on Valentine's Day. Below is a commentary from OU freshman journalism student Bianca Hillier.

First thing’s first: single ladies, rejoice! You survived the holiday season without any violent acts of ripping down the mistletoe or publicly cursing ABC Family for replaying the most nauseating Christmas love stories every night for 25 nights.

Unfortunately, the fight is not over. As if the brutal cold doesn’t remind you of your similarly tempered lonely soul, Feb. 14 is here. So dig out the Beyoncé and the bubbly! It’s time to survive this treacherous, created-by-the-Devil-himself “holiday:" Valentine’s Day.

Wait…

But is Valentine’s Day even a holiday? Considering the definition of holiday to be “any day of exemption from work” and the fact that I’ve been dragged to work every Valentine’s Day since birth, I declare Valentine’s Day is not, in fact, a holiday. So it really isn’t even something to celebrate.

Read: single girl logic.

You can’t run, you can’t hide

Despite that (surprisingly) reasonably sane explanation, Valentine’s Day still invades the aisles at CVS and Hallmark. Theresa Thompson, manager of CVS on Court Street, says they started stocking the shelves with pink and red merchandise as early as January 1. Thompson says “the three aisles dedicated to Valentines Day will be the busiest on the actual holiday.”

There is no way to avoid the holiday, but you can avoid feeling lonely. In fact, you don’t even need a significant other to be showered with gifts. According to the Retail Advertising and Marketing Association, 14% of women send themselves flowers on Valentine’s Day. Sasha Neal, manager at Jack Neal Floral in Athens, agrees, but says despite the fact that women have been placing orders, men still outnumber them in sales.

“We will continue to get orders up until Valentine’s Day,” Neal said. “Roses are definitely the most popular item. College guys will come in a buy three to five roses, but we also have people coming in and buying a singular flower.”

No roses for me, I get it. Pass the champagne.

Americans spend an average of $13.19 billion a year on Valentine’s Day. But, according to the National Retail Federation, 40% of people are not planning on celebrating the holiday this year. Over 54 million people are single for the upcoming holiday and Jon Tafford, manager of The Crystal on Court Street, says most of those singles end up at the bars on Valentine’s Day.

“Usually there is a bunch of singles here, coming to the bar to drink their sorrows away because they don’t have a date,” he says. “For the past few years [Valentine’s Day] has always been on a week day, which has slowed business because couples all go out to the sit-down restaurants for a date instead of hitting the bars,” Tafford continues.

Embracing the single life, though, is a much better option. Who doesn’t want a night of DiCaprio-filled Netflix and Insomnia Cookies? Throw away that guys number from Red Brick two weeks ago and call 877-632-6654 for the most pleasurable thing you’ll experience this holiday: double chocolate chunk delivered right to your door.

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