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Heart Attack

If you’d like Cupid to take his arrows elsewhere, this is the story for you.



Photograph: ISTOCKPHOTO.COM/JOE POTATO

Here it comes again, the holiday so many love to hate—Valentine’s Day. Disdain for the holiday doesn’t seem to be contingent on one’s relationship status. We know plenty of people—single, attached, couples who’ve been married for decades—who roll their eyes at the idea of using this one day to show appreciation for those near and dear. So in the spirit of the holiday we rounded up a few interesting facts and fun ways to avoid having to smile over a heart-shaped box of chocolates.

Consider the following:

  1. 224 million: Number of red roses that are grown for Valentine’s Day. (Environmental note: Since U.S. roses are primarily imported from places like South Africa, Colombia and Ecuador the transportation and storage of said roses produces 9,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide.)
  2. $18.6 billion: Total spending to be reached by Valentine’s Day (amount spent in Fiscal Year 2013 by the Military Intelligence Program)
  3. $1.9 billion: Total amount spent on flowers (amount HSBC was fined by U.S. in money-laundering case)
  4. 1.4 million: Number of cards purchased (second to Christmas at 1.6 billion cards)
  5. $1.6 billion: Total amount spent on candy (amount China recovered in unpaid wages for its migrant workers)
  6. 47%: Number of Americans who will exchange candy (78% of Americans are overweight or obese)
  7. 15%: Number of U.S. women who will send themselves flowers on Valentine’s Day. (Seriously?)
  8. 53%: Amount of women who would end their relationship if they didn’t get anything for Valentine’s Day (is #7 the back-up plan?)
  9. 40%: The estimated increase in requests for divorce lawyers around mid-February (see #8)

This year, Valentine’s Day falls on a Friday, which means restaurants will be packed with prix fixe menus and knoodling couples. If you’re determined not to let this holiday get the best of you, we’ve got five pretty non-romantic ways to celebrate.

1. Go out for Mexican. We’re not saying it isn’t good, we’re saying it isn’t romantic. We have yet to hear of any engagements taking place at Señor Salsa.

2. Celebrate with some bubbly. Head to The Gingerman, they have about 23 different craft beers on tap.

3. Cue up Netflix.
Our top picks:
Derailed (2005) Husband cheats, gets blackmailed by Jennifer Aniston.
Unfaithful (2002) Wife cheats, Richard Gere kills him.
What Lies Beneath (2000) Husband cheats, gets haunted by Michelle Pfeiffer.
A Perfect Murder (1998) Gwyneth Paltrow cheats, gets busted and kills her husband.
Fear (1996); Marky Mark is a psycho stalker.
Indecent Proposal (1993) Woody Harrelson sells his wife to cover his gambling debt.
Fatal Attraction (1987) The bunny.

4. De-friend people on Facebook. That’s right, ditch all those people you didn’t want to be friends with in the first place. If you can’t de-friend them without creating a riff then you can at least hide them.

5. Sell your ex’s stuff. If you’re newly single, you surely have some items that your ex left behind. List them on E-Bay, Craigslist or simply donate them to Goodwill.

* Sources: CNN, Business Insider, Retail Advertising and Marketing Association

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