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Sunday, February 14, 2016

The "Sweets For My Sweetheart!" Story

Sweets for my Sweetheart!  Yeah, I know
it's not roses, but roses make her sneeze!!
It was an ordinary day.  That was until my wife walked down the stairs and I had the chance to present her with her Valentine's Day card and treat.  Each year on this day, February 14th, many people exchange cards, candy, gifts and flowers with their special "Valentine".  The day of romance we call Valentine's Day is named for a Christian martyr and dates back to the 5th century, but has origins in the Roman holiday Lupercalia.  Last year on this date I wrote in depth about the day and it's traditions all over the world.  Today I will share with you a few facts that I have found as well as a quote from an famous author and poet.  

  1. In medieval times girls ate bizarre foods on this day believing that this would enable them to meet their future spouse in their dreams on this day.  These same girls would also draw names of men from a bowl and pin them to their sleeves for everyone to witness for one week.  That's where the saying "to wear your heart on your sleeve" originated.
  2. Valentine's Day is the #1 holiday for florists with close to $15 billion worth of business on this day.  
  3. Each year about 190 million flowers are sold in the U.S. on Valentine's Day.  So many flowers that some have to be imported from South America.
  4. 73% of the flowers purchased are by men.  The other 27% are purchased by women naturally, but of that 27%, 15% are purchased by woman for themselves.  Interesting!
  5. Richard Cadbury was a genius when he made his first box of chocolates for Valentine's Day.  Every year more than 35 million heart-shaped boxes of chocolate are sold for this day. 
  6. Today is a good day to propose marriage.  Seems that 220,000 men, and perhaps some women, propose on this day of love.  Wonder how many of those men and women later wished they had just stuck with the box of chocolates or the bouquet of flowers.
  7. And, can you believe it that 9 million people who own pets get them Valentine's Day gifts.  I read that those people consider their pet to be more grateful and loyal than a real person.  I guess an extra can of food for Creamsicle today would be OK.
  8. Roses cost varying prices throughout the world.  In Bangkok they run about $500 for a dozen while in the U.S. they can run as high as $75.  At Costco you can get them for about 20 bucks.  
  9. The color of the roses tell the receiver just how much you are in love with them.  The pink rose says "I am having sweet thoughts about you" while the white rose stands for purity so forget the love part of it today.  Those getting the red roses are at the top of the love list.  And, the number of roses purchased also tells how much you love someone.  1 stands for love at first sight, 12 is to say "I love you", 108 is when you are prepared to propose and 999 roses means we will pay them off on the credit card.  Nah, it means "we'll always be together.  Now, my guess is that a florist made up this list in hopes of selling more.
  10. Teachers receive the most Valentine's Day cards.  Can't be high school teachers, since I never, ever received a card from one of my students.
  11. The first Valentine's Day message or quote that was ever written was to honor the first anniversary of the engagement of King Richard II of England to Anne of Bohemia and was by Geoffrey Chaucer who wrote in Parlement of Foules, dated 1382: For this was on sent Volantynys day, Whan every bred comyth there to chese his mate. (For this was on St. Valentine's Day, when every bird cometh there to choose his mate).
  12. And the final fact … 8,000,000,000 candy hearts are manufactured each year just for this day.  That is enough to stretch from Italy to Arizona 20 times.  And I wonder who took the time to actually measure that?  Someone who had nothing better to do on Valentine's Day I assume.
Well, I hope you purchased some candy, flowers or at least a card to give to your sweetheart on this day of lovers.  Or, maybe for yourself!  If not … you may be in trouble!  It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.

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