Commentary by Adam Smith

The North Jefferson News

Valentine’s Day is Thursday and I’m feeling especially full of love this year. I even love you, anonymous reader.

Granted, it’s a holiday I’ve either loved or loathed in the past. My feelings toward the Hallmark holiday have always generally revolved around my relationship status at the time. This year, instead of drinking an entire bottle of wine by myself and rolling around in a rose bed of self pity, I will actually share the wine and buy roses for someone else. It’s a beautiful feeling.

Despite my love-hate relationship for the holiday, I’ve always respected it. It’s not one of the big five, in my opinion. Christmas, Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Halloween still get the top billing. Nevertheless, it still ranks somewhere above Groundhog’s Day, but below Labor Day. If I was able to have the day off for Valentine’s Day and feast on canned beer and barbecued ribs just like Labor Day, Valentine’s Day would be a glorious day indeed.

All that being said, I know very little about the holiday. In an effort to do some research and gain a little knowledge, I turned to the most reliable, trustworthy source I know: The Internet.

Here’s a few facts that you may not know about the day of amore.

• The average American will spend $119.67 on Valentine’s Day. Men spend almost twice as much on Valentine’s Day as women do. This year, the average man will spend $156, while the average woman will only spend $85. Apparently, women are tighter with the purse strings than men are. Then again, I don’t know of any men who carry a purse.

• A dozen long-stemmed roses can cost an average of $75, or about 30 percent more than the normal price of $58 when it’s not Valentine’s Day.

• More than nine million pet owners are expected to buy gifts for their pets this Valentine’s Day. These are the folks who are also likely to drink a bottle of wine and roll around in a rose bed of self pity.

• As much as 15 percent of U.S. women send themselves flowers on Valentine’s Day. For goodness sakes, someone please find these women a man.

• Penicillin, a popular treatment for diseases such as syphilis, was introduced to the world on February 14, 1929. I’m not sure what this fact has to do with Valentine’s Day, but still a very important discovery.

• More at-home pregnancy tests are sold in March than in any other month. Once again, I’m not sure how this relates to Valentine’s Day.

• In Japan, women are expected to give chocolate and other gifts to men on Valentine’s Day. I’m going to Japan. Who’s with me?

The next fact doesn’t relate so much to Valentine’s Day, but may explain why I had relationship droughts in my 20’s.

• For every 120 single men who are in their 20s, there are as many as 100 single women in the same age range. On the other hand, for persons over the age of 65, there are 33 single men for every 100 single women of the same age range. That means if I’m single when I’m 65 or older, I’ll be in high demand. I knew there had to be something to look forward to, aside from senior discounts.

I don’t imagine that these facts and figures brought any new meaning or insight into your enjoyment of Valentine’s Day, but I did find them interesting. The Web has plenty of other useless information on the holiday as well, including a lengthy list of romantic song titles, just in case you need a soundtrack to your special day or night. The list can be found at However, the inclusion of selections from Britney Spears and the glaring omission of “Cupid” by Sam Cooke makes this list useless to me.

I’ll close with a couple of Valentine’s Day jokes to tell your sweetie should you mess up and buy clothing that’s too small or even worse, sugar free candy.

• What do farmers give their wives on Valentine’s Day? Hog and kisses.

• What do squirrels give for Valentine’s Day? Forget-me-nuts.

On that note, I wish you and yours the happiest Valentine’s Day possible.

I love you. No, really, I do.

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