‘Nah, I’m good’: Anti-Valentine’s Day options abound

For many, Feb. 14 is the chance to present someone special with gorgeous flowers, a romantic piece of jewelry and a card with well-chosen words, professing love — but it turns out there’s a lot of “Anti-Valentines” options for those who aren’t feeling it this year.

The National Retail Federation estimates almost a third of consumers will spend money on Valentine’s Day in ways other than bestowing gifts on loved ones.

A quick look at Etsy shows small business owners have artistic products for those “not in the mood for love.”

Back in 1902, when candy hearts known as Sweethearts (made by the company that produces Necco wafers) were introduced, the inscribed messages included “Be mine” and “Marry me.” Now, you can also buy hearts with sayings like “Ew, gross,” “Next please,” “You Wish,” and “Friend Zone.”

One small business owner is offering temporary tattoos in the shape of heart, reading “Only cats.”

Another artist is selling romantic-looking natural soap, with a paper label that reads “Nah, I’m good.”

Some anti-Valentine greeting cards focus on the capitalist nature of the holiday, others on the notion of two people committing themselves, romantically: “Rose are red, violets are blue, I like you, but labels? Ehh, let’s not do.”

Bars and restaurants are glad to join the movement, with cocktail names along the lines of “The Heartbreak,” “Ghosted,” and “Ugly, but Honest.”

Some will commemorate the day with an experience — perhaps an excursion with friends to an ax-throwing bar, for an “Ax your Ex” event.

One company offers a “Scrap your Ex,” promotion, in which they’ll paint your ex’s name on a car heading to the scrap heap, then send you photo proof, after the clunker has been compacted, or similarly scrapped.

And, a small business invites you to “Flush your Ex” — you send them love letters that used to melt your heart, and they transform them into 100% recycled toilet paper.

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Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a general assignment reporter with WTOP since 1997. He says he looks forward to coming to work every day, even though that means waking up at 3:30 a.m.

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