Last Friday, the Wall Street Journal ran an article (unfortunately, the link is only for paid subscribers) about how Valentine’s Day is the day when cheating spouses are most likely to trip up:
Valentine’s Day is the biggest single 24-hour period for florists, a huge event for greeting-card companies and a boon for candy makers. But it’s also a major crisis day for anyone who is having an affair. After all, Valentine’s Day is the one holiday when everyone is expected to do something romantic for their spouse or lover—and if someone has both, it’s a serious problem.
So, of course, private detectives work overtime.
“If anything is going on, it will be happening on that day,” says Irene Smith, who says business at her Discreet Investigations detective agency in Golden, Colo., as much as doubles—to as many as 12 cases some years—on Valentine’s Day.
Private detectives are expensive—about $100 per hour, according to the article—and might not be worth it.
The article suggests some surveillance tools you can buy at home: a real-time GPS tracking system you can hide in your spouse’s car, a Home Evidence Collection Kit you can use to analyze stains on “clothing, car seats or elsewhere,” Internet spying software, a telephone recorder, and a really cool buttonhole camera.
But even that stuff may be overkill:
Ruth Houston, author of a book called Is He Cheating on You?—829 Telltale Signs, says she generally recommends against spending money on private detectives to catch cheaters because the indications are so easy to read. (Sign No. 3 under “Gifts”: He tries to convince you he bought expensive chocolates for himself.)
I hope I don’t need to remind you that cheaters should also be reading that book, familiarizing themselves with the 829 telltale signs they should avoid making.
The article has several interesting personal stories, and warns that “planning a ‘business trip’ that falls over Valentine’s Day is a typical mistake cheaters make.”
So now I’m wondering why the RSA Conference is being held over Valentine’s Day.
EDITED TO ADD (2/14): Today’s Washington Post has a similar story.