"Bah, humbug!" to Valentine's Day
For Lori Schwartz, a happy mom with a decade of wedded bliss under her belt, the greeting card featuring a bloodied, ripped-out heart was...
The Associated Press
CLEVELAND — For Lori Schwartz, a happy mom with a decade of wedded bliss under her belt, the greeting card featuring a bloodied, ripped-out heart was perfect.
"It's Valentine's Day, so here's a card with a heart inside," it read. "I'd tell you whose it is, but the less you know, the better."
"My husband and I never get nice cards for each other. We're not into sentiments," Schwartz said while perusing an aisle of "anti-Valentine's Day" cards at an American Greetings Corp. store. "I expect to get something just as bad, but I may have one-upped him this year."
Sensing a growing trend — and more potential customers — American Greetings has started a new line of expressions for lovers who would rather be big goofs than big flirts. There are cards for singles not struck by Cupid's arrow and those with a general disdain for Feb. 14, too.
"For everyone, Valentine's Day isn't just about hearts and roses," said Alana Campana, Valentine's Day program manager at Cleveland-based American Greetings. "It's really an unmet market."
And potentially huge. Valentine's Day is the second-biggest holiday behind Christmas for card makers. About 190 million valentines — 85 percent bought by women — are sent each year, excluding classroom exchanges, Campana said.
Popular this season are anti-Valentine's Day events, including a "Love Bites the Hand that Feeds It" cabaret show by the Lesbian/Gay Chorus of San Francisco.
The Internet has lots of links to anti-Valentine's Day message boards and products such as "Love Kills Slowly" shot glasses.
Cleveland Barhopper sold out two of its purple buses for its second annual anti-Valentine's Day event.
The Corner Alley, an upscale bowling alley and nightclub in downtown Cleveland, is throwing a "Love ... Spare Me!" party promising nonromantic music and "love stinks" drink specials.
"Everybody seems to do something for couples, and I think people forget that there are a lot of single people out there," said Adam Kleinhenz, general manager of the Corner Alley.
The self-described happily married man said his sites' "I Think, Therefore I am Single" T-shirts and stickers launched last year are big sellers. The sites encourage people to celebrate Feb. 14 by volunteering or spending it with friends.
"It is not just single people who dislike the holiday. Many people who are married or in a relationship don't like the holiday either," Brick said. "The holiday creates a lot of pressure, both emotionally and financially."
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