Americans are expected to spend more than $2 billion dollars on flowers this Valentine's Day but experts say the card that accompanies those roses might actually be more important than the flowers themselves.
As a florist in Southwest Florida for more than five decades, Barbara Gradito has learned most men are utterly lost when it comes to the card.
"The ones I worry about the most is when they say, 'Anonymous,'" Gradito said.
Gradito and her colleagues at Bee Ridge Florists in Sarasota have heard all kinds of crazy things when guys call in to order flowers for their girlfriend, wife or mistress.
"There's a lot of 'I'm sorry,' We see a lot of those on Valentine's Day," store owner Gigi Joseph said.
But it's when a guy asks to leave a card blank that these ladies are left to wonder whether Cupid's arrow has missed the mark.
"Often time it's us crafting the card. I think it makes the flowers more special if you have a meaning behind it," Joseph added.
It turns out the card that comes with the flowers may actually be more important than the arrangement itself.
That's according to University of South Florida professor Anthony Coy. He has a Ph.D. in psychology and, admittedly, spends at least an hour each Valentine's Day writing a card to his wife.
"I want to spend that time making sure the words are meaningful. I'm reaffirming that commitment I made ten years ago when we got married," he noted.
Professor Coy said people should write something on a card even if they are struggling to find the right words to convey their feelings. He adds that words don't have to be perfect to be meaningful.
"It's really the thought behind the words. You don't have to get the words exactly right every single time. No one is going to be able to do that," Coy said.
Greeting cards are another option for people who may not be able to express their feelings in writing.
"I think people want to express the sentiment but they don't trust themselves," said Andrea Hillebrand of Elysian Fields gift store in Sarasota.
As for Barbara Gradito and her colleagues at Bee Ridge Florist, they do put a few gems on paper from time to time.
"Though miles may separate us today, my love for you crosses oceans and continents," a card reads.
The lesson here— whatever you do this Valentine's Day, just don't blank on the card.