Men, those long-stemmed red roses that melt a wife's or girl friend's heart on Valentine's Day may also warm you - under the collar - this year because their prices have risen as much as $6 a dozen over last year's.
Likewise, the rising coast of showing annual affection on Feb. 14 is reflected this year in the discontinuance of the 10-cent Valentine's Day card by the American Greeting Card Co. Even its 15-cent variety is an endangered species.
As for the traditional Valentine heart-shaped box of candy, Rodman's Discount Drugs has no 79-cent boxes this year. Prices start at 89 cents.
"Valentine's Day is getting to be as commercial as Christmas," said Donna Merchant of Springfield, clutching a dozen Velntine cards in her hand as she browsed through a downtown cardstore yesterday.
"But I feel I should do something to let the family know we're thinking about them, but it's getting more expensive every year to do that," she sighed. The cards totaled $10 without tax.
A Secret Service agent shopping on his lunch hour bought a small bottle of perfume, two small boxes of candy and a card as presents for his wife and two daughters. The cost without tax - $11.25.
He shrugged at the price. What could he do, he asked?
Florists attribute the price increase of flowers to cold tempetatures in Florida and lack of rain in California where the bulk of flowres is grown in winter.
"One man came in and wanted to know how much the roses were," said Bonnie Brooks, a clerk at Gude's Florist, 1015 H St. NW.
When he was told $27.50 for a dozen," he said. I'll have to do without this year." and he turned around and walked out," Mrs. Brooks said yesterday.
While Gude's prices for long-stemmed roses, a Valentine's Day favorite was risen only about $2.50 from last year. John Schiefel, manager of Blackistoone's downtown store, said his picture were up $6 a sozen.
To avoid the high cost of the long-stemmed beauties, some men and women are buying "love bundles" - arrangements of carnations, pom-poms and daisies with a lack heart and two small turtledoves that retail for about $15. This same arrangement with the addition of a single rose costs another $2.50, several florists said.