Who says romance is dead? According to the National Retail Federation, American men just spent an average of $71.51 on Super Bowl stuff, including chips, beer and big-screen TVs. But for Valentine's Day, guys say they'll shell out $104.30 on their significant others, proving Cupid has a better arm than either Rodgers or Roethlisberger.
Women, on the other hand, plan to put out a measly $48.39 on their sweeties. And a survey from Michaels craft stores finds that 85 percent of its (mostly female) customers say a homemade valentine is the best way to say, "I love you."
That's a lot to consider in the context of the long struggle between the sexes, but it proves two of my long-held suspicions:
When it comes to gift-giving, women are chintzy;
85 percent of them also lie to in-store researchers.
If you don't believe me, guys, go ahead: Get out the red construction paper, Elmer's glue and glitter, and craft that lovey-dovey valentine.
Then get a blanket and pillow for the couch.
Not surprisingly, a financial expert of the distaff persuasion takes a different view of it all.
"Women spend only $48 because they know he already blew 71 bucks on the Super Bowl," said Dayana Yochim, author of "The Motley Fool's Guide to Couples and Cash."
Women also scrimp on Valentine's Day because that Super Bowl chow went on the grocery bill, Yochim said, another reason guys should spend more.
"The family has subsidized your Super Bowl fun, so you owe it to everyone to keep Mom happy. Plus, we let the guys watch the Super Bowl, a selfless act that's already a gift."
A gal who loves old candy
At this point in the interview, I had the all-too familiar feeling of being on the losing end of an argument with a woman.
When I emphasized the $55.91 gap in gift spending, for example, Yochim countered that's because men buy candy, flowers and jewelry, three things notoriously overpriced for Valentine's Day and which drastically fall in price on Feb. 15. "If you want to stick to a budget," she said, "find a woman who doesn't mind year-old candy."
In the end, we decided to stop splitting hairs and instead split the holidays: Men get the Super Bowl; women get Valentine's Day.
But I had one final question: "Can't I save all that dough and just make a card?"
"No," Yochim said flatly. "Don't ever believe us when we say we aren't celebrating."
So there you have it, men. That'll be $104.30.
(Brian J. O'Connor is an award-winning columnist for The Detroit News. Contact him at email@example.com or visit http://www.funnymoneyblog.com.)