Every year, a guy I know reminds a movie producer friend of his that Valentine’s Day is coming up so that he remembers to buy cards and gifts for his various mistresses.There’s all hell to pay if he forgets to do it. This year, though, the filmmaker won’t be getting anything for his wife, as surprise, surprise, the couple are going through an expensive, acrimonious divorce.
According to Bianca London in the Daily Mail Online, February 13 is Mistress Day, when cheating husbands celebrate Valentine’s Day one day early with their floozies, and then take their spouses out on February 14th. Out to impress, these lousy Lotharios may spend more than triple on the other woman than on their wives. They apparently shell out up to three hundred pounds (about $462) on the mistress and less than a hundred pounds (about $154) on little woman back home. These figures may not be very reliable, however. They come from a 2014 survey of 3853 actively unfaithful men by AshleyMadison.com, the dating website for cheaters. The results were released to maximize the company’s exposure in the run-up to Valentine’s Day. The people at Ashley Madison were serious publicity hogs, constantly offering various outrageous surveys to an eager press—at least until the notorious data breach at the company in July 2015. It led to class action lawsuits over tens of thousands of fake female profiles on the site created to lure men into paying to communicate with these "fembots."
Valentine’s Day is a time to splash out on useless fripperies. You aren’t going to give your lover socks, gardening tools or kitchen appliances. Jewelry and lingerie stores tend to do a roaring trade, as those items are the classic gifts for a mistress.
However, last year on February 13th I avoided Tiffany’s and Victoria’s Secret, despite the fact that I could have done some great research for this blog there. Instead I went to Costco. A friend had asked me to buy him a large container of Almond Roca. Sadly this appeared to be unsuitable confectionery for Valentine’s Day. There were containers of Ferrero Rocher, Ghirardelli Chocolate and various other confections nestling in shiny red heart-shaped boxes. So was Almond Roca too unsophisticated for the average Costco buyer? Or maybe it was too sophisticated? Or perhaps it was considered a bad idea to eat the stuff on Valentine’s Day because it might break a tooth, remove a crown or make dentures fall out, none of which would be a good addition to a romantic evening.
Then I made the mistake of going to my local CVS and Safeway. Both stores were totally crowded with folks buying chocolates, heart-shaped balloons, red roses, cards, plush toys and wine. The woman in front of me at the CVS checkout was buying two identical heart-shaped boxes of chocolates each with a plush soft toy on top. “For your two kids?” I asked her. She nodded. “Not for your two husbands?” I continued. “No, one’s for her husband and one’s for her boyfriend,” added the lady behind me, laughing.
By February 13th last year, my local CVS was already discounting a lot of unsold Valentine’s merchandise. There were little boxes containing kitschy glass figurines of teddy bears holding hearts, with a very sappy love poem written on the inside of the box lid. Those were on sale at "buy one get one free." You’d be able to get one for your wife or husband, and the second one for your mistress or toy boy. Or stock up for next year.
If you don't have an affair going yet, you can find someone on AshleyMadison.com. But I don’t think they do a buy one get one free deal. Actually, scratch that. Just like the world's oldest profession, the site gets most of its money from men but can be free for women as it doesn’t attract as many females. Any ladies looking for an honest, 100% available guy online with whom there might be the possibility of walking into the sunset rather than just a roll in the hay will be signing up elsewhere. Ashley Madison will give you free “guest” privileges—posting a profile and browsing. You have to pay to initiate contact with anyone but not to respond. Females tend to get a lot of sex offers from all the randy goats who are paying members. Do any of these women worry about getting STDs from these promiscuous strangers? Now that would be a Valentine’s Day gift from a guy that keeps on giving.
Former BBC journalist C. J. Grace is the author of Adulterer’s Wife: How to Thrive Whether You Stay or Not, available on Amazon.com. She is currently writing her second book, Hotel Chemo: Overcoming Breast Cancer and Infidelity. Read C. J.’s blogs and hear her radio interviews on www.adultererswife.com.