PERHAPS it is appropriate that this week will end with Valentine’s Day. It should provide some respite from political shenanigans and the parlous state of the real economy. And despite the recent interest rate hike and dire warnings about soaring household debt, many retailers and restaurateurs should be celebrating as they tally their weekend takings.
In many countries around the world, much the same will apply as shop tills, especially in confectionaries and florists, produce a veritable cacophony of rings and bleeps as they tally sometimes record sales. The United States, where what has been called the commercialisation of Cupid had its origins, will lead the way in terms of messages and gifts delivered and romantic dinners consumed.
But this year will also see a further decline in the very element that started the modern Valentine’s Day celebration: the card. Millions of these will now flit electronically from computer to computer. And not many people involved will bother to think about the implications of this any more than they may know about the origins and history of the day.