VALENTINE’S DAY AFTERMATH

The consequences of celebrating Valentine’s Day:

1. Traffic chaos: Even though most Valentine’s Days are on weekdays, people go out as if it were a Saturday night. This is why you see lots of couples and groups of friends going out to dinner, to have some drinks, or to dance. As a result, there are long lines of cars and buses and it takes you twice as much time to go to your long-awaited destination. Furthermore, cab drivers take advantage of the situation and charges you more because they know you are desperate to arrive on time wherever you are planning to go.

2. Boom for florists: No one can deny that most people like to buy flowers on Valentine’s Day. We can buy flower arrangements, flower bouquets, boxes of roses, etc. Good for florists and their businesses. But, what if it’s your mom’s birthday and you’d like to surprise her with a lovely colorful arrangement, you will risk of paying a lot more than you would on an ordinary day. Besides, there’s also the possibility that all the shops will have sold everything by the time you make the call to place your order.

3. Only hearts, hearts and more hearts:  If you want to buy a cute, meaningful and original birthday card, I’ll wish you the best of luck since 98% of the cards will be filled with I LOVE YOU, YOU ARE SPECIAL, MADLY IN LOVE, etc. Birthday, congratulations and thank you cards are scarce and most of them are ugly and dull. However, the Valentine’s virus goes beyond cards. Imagine it’s your father-in-law’s birthday and you are in charge of getting the cake. So, you go to the bakery and to your surprise all you can see are heart-shaped cakes.  Even if you loved your father –in-law greatly as if he were your own dad, it’d be a rather awkward present.

4. The odyssey of eating out:  You have to be very brave and adventurous to go to a restaurant on Valentine’s Day. If you haven’t made a reservation, you’ll probably have to wait for at least an hour to get a decent table. But the waiting doesn’t stop there. You’ll have to wait long for your orders and later to get the check. Will the food and service be worth the waiting? Not most of the time.  On Valentine’s Day all the restaurant staff are running like crazy hurrying things up neglecting the high quality they are used to offering on a regular day. And if you’re planning on ordering food, stock yourself with plenty of snacks because your food will be at your door at dawn.

I don’t intend to discourage you from celebrating Valentine’s Day. I’m quite positive that despite these few negative aspects of this holiday, people who really enjoy this day always manage to have a wonderful Valentine’s celebration with their beloved ones, and I’m really happy for them.  As for me, I’ll continue to celebrate my mom’s birthday every February 14th.

VOCABULARY LIST

1. aftermath (n) : the consequences or the situation that exists as a result of an important (and usually unpleasant) event, especially a war, an accident, etc  Ex: We were looking at some devastating photos of the aftermath of Japan’s earthquake.

2. weekday (n) : any day of the week except Saturday and Sunday  Ex: On weekdays I get up at 6 am.

3. long-awaited : expected for a long time   Ex: Oliver Stone’s long-awaited film didn’t meet his fans expectations.

4. boom (n) : a period of sudden economic growth, especially one that results in a lot of money being made  Ex: Lately there has been a boom in iPad sales.

5. arrangement (n) : a group of things that have been put in a particular order or position  Ex:  Patty had a beautiful arrangement of dried flowers in her kitchen.

6. madly (adv) : extremely, very   Ex: She’s madly in love with Tom.

7. scarce (adj) : not easy to find or get, insufficient to meet the demand  Ex: After the earthquake food and clean water were scarce.

8. dull (adj) : not interesting, boring  Ex: I didn’t finish reading her last book because it was pretty dull.

9. awkward (adj) : making you feel embarrassed, uncomfortable   Ex:  She felt awkward  meeting his husband’s ex-wife.

10. odyssey (n) : long journey with a lot of adventures or difficulties   Ex:  Exploring the Amazon jungle on foot was a real odyssey.

11: check (n): a list that you are given in a restaurant showing what you have eaten and how much you must pay, bill   Ex: Can I have the check, please?

12. neglect (v) : to give not enough care or attention to people or things that are your responsibility   Ex: She has neglected her studies since she started working.

13 dawn (n): the time at the beginning of the day when light first appears   Ex: I get up  just before dawn because I go  jogging before I go to work.

Do you celebrate Valentine’s day? What do you usually do? Are there things that you don’t like about Valentine’s Day? Do you celebrate something else on February 14th?

Love Idioms and Expressions

fall for (someone) : to begin to feel love for someone                                                           Ex: Mary always falls for the wrong guy.

go dutch : to go on a date where each person pays half of the expenses                         Ex: Young couples often go dutch when they go on a date.

go steady : to date one person regularly  Ex: Tom and I have been going steady for one year now.

have a crush (on someone) : to have strong feelings of love for someone, usually for a short time .  Ex: When I was at kid I had a crush on my neighbor.

head over heels in love with (someone) : to be very much in love with someone         Ex: Mike is head over heels in love with his fiancée.

pop the question :to ask someone to marry you                                                              Ex: After dating Mary for more than two years, Jeff dared to pop the question.

puppy love : feelings of love between young people that adults don’t  think is very serious Ex: Jane and Bill thought that their love was the greatest in the world, but their parents knew it was only puppy love.

tie the knot : to get married                                                                                                Ex: Mary and Jeff  are planning to tie the knot next year.

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