Thursday, February 14, 2008


Like quizzes? I don't either! So this one is going to be easy -- the answers are at the end of the questions. No penalty for peeking. However, if you want a challenge, don't look!

Who was St. Valentine?
a) A priest who secretly married couples in defiance of Roman law
b) A prisoner who sent the first valentine
c) A priest who helped Christians escape Roman prisons
d) All of the above
e) No one knows for sure
Any of the above answers could be correct. The source I found said the namesake of Valentine's Day is "shrouded in mystery," but could be any of the three men in a, b, or c above. However, this source said all three of these possible saints were killed for their actions. Not our current happily-ever-after ending!

Why is Valentine's Day celebrated in February?
a) This is when St. Valentine -- whoever he is -- died
b) This is the beginning of birds' mating season
c) The greeting card companies needed an additional source of income after the holiday slump
My source said either a or b. I don't if c is true or not!

When were the first mass-produced valentines sold?
a) in the 1840s
b) in the early 1900s
c) 1945
Esther A. Howland began to sell elaborate valentines of lace, ribbons and pictures in the 1840s.

How many marriages occur in the U.S. annually?
a) 2.2 million
b) 5 million
c) 250,000
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 2.2 million marriages take place annually. That's 6,000 marriages per day.

How many pounds of candy did Americans eat on average in 2005?
a) 25.7 pounds
b) 12 pounds
c) 46.2 pounds
My source says Americans ate an average of 25.7 pounds of candy in 2005, down from 27 pounds in 1997.

What flower was the most popular in 2005?
a) Roses
b) Lilies
c) Tulips
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, lilies brought in $76.9 million in 2005, tulips earned $39.1 million that year, and roses came in third at $39 million.

Now, a question for all you romantics: did you send or receive a Valentine's Day card? Why or why not? Hope you all have a wonderful Valentine's Day!


Paty Jager said...

Interesting stats, Genene!

Yes, I sent valentines to all my grandkids by mail, sent e-cards to family and friends, and gave my dh a card with a pig on it!

I always liked Valentine's because in school you had to give everyone a card. And even though you had to give one, I wanted to give one to the kids who were the outcasts or no one wanted to play with. I felt like it was one day when they could feel a little love and affirmation in their lives.

I know, I've always rooted for the underdog!

Elisabeth Naughton said...

I agree with Paty, interesting stats.

I hate to admit it (being a romance author and all) but V'day is my least favorite holiday. Feels like forced romance to me. I'd rather get flowers or cards or a nice dinner out (sans kiddos) another day of the year, not simply because Hallmark's pushing it. According to Jay Leno (and, hey, isn't he the expert on all things anyway????), only 12% of women feel V'day is a forced holiday whereas 100% of men do. (Okay, the 100% of men might be a little high...but you get the idea. ;) )

I haven't sent any cards or flowers yet. My DH and I don't really celebrate this holiday, but I'll probably get him a card and vice versa. Of course, this is a big day for my DH workwise - one of his drugs - Avandia (common name) - has the scientific name Rosiglitazone, so he buys roses for his accounts on this day. Of course, if he's buying roses for doctors and their secretaries...I make sure he knows he should bring some home for me. too. (LOL). And that's not a reflection of V'day but of keeping his wife happy.

Alice Sharpe said...

Fun stats, Genene!

I gave each of the grandchildren a small box of chocolates (actually, the dh delivered them since I am in deadline hell -- have I mentioned that? -- and he did it right before their breakfasts. Many thanks from all the parents as you can imagine.) Anyway, I sent them ecards this a.m. and the dh one, too.

I'm with Eli in that this holiday seems forced. But we usually have a nice dinner together at home and sometimes one or the other of us will buy a gift, but it's nothing mandatory. I was at Safeway and Costco yesterday and I swear, every man there was buying flowers. LOL

Paty Jager said...

Huh, I've never thought of it as forced, but a nice day to think of ones you love. Kind of like daying a day to stop and smell the flowers.

If I get a card from my DH and he says Happy Valentine's day, I'm a happy camper. I don't need flowers and expensive things, just the thought.

When the kids were home, I made heart shaped brownies for their lunches, a heart shaped cake for dessert, and I made heart shaped pancakes to start their day. That was their Valentine's from me. Can you tell I like Valentine's day! And it's for the giving not the receiving.

Lisa Pulliam said...

Fun post, Genene! Very interesting. I've never been overly fond of Valentine's Day. It was a bit more fun when I lived with my parents because we'd do things for each other. But when I had a dh, our 'dating anniversary' was a week after Valentine's Day. So we celebrated that instead. And I'm also usually so burnt out from the holidays that I usually let this one come and go.

It feels like blasphemy as a romance writer, I must say. But, it's a good excuse to feed my pink fetish!

Danita Cahill said...

Happy Valentine's Day all!!

I found the number of marriages and amount of chocolate eaten per human each year sort of staggering, Genene. Thanks for doing the research.

I like holidays, Valentine's Day included. The only holiday I don't really care for is Halloween.

So, yep, I sent and received cards. I sent 7 cards I made on my computer with a photo of the little guy to his cousins and grandparents, and gave a mushy store bought card to the DH. I received a paper card and an email card from two of my very good friends, and a card and hand written love letter from the DH, thanking me for giving him sons, among other things. ;)

There were also presents involved: Monster trucks, candy and a stuffed tiger for the youngest. A chocolate raccoon, bubble gum, a fancy new pen and a tin punchout picture of a cowboy boot for the eldest. I also made some photo iron-on transfers -- one of DH and little guy and one of the eldest with her horse. Eldest came over last night and we ironed them on T-shirts together. It was fun and they turned out cool.

So, DH got his shirt, some almond roca and some heart-shaped brownies. I got cut flowers, and two DVDs.

I also decorate an antique cabinet for nearly every holdiay. I have little figurines and photos for each special day. Holdiays are fun. Especially when there are small children to share them with.

Danita Cahill said...

Oh yeah, and I bought a bunch of violas yesterday. If I feel up to it, and if the weather holds, I plan to plant them in an old wheelbarrow today. Spring is coming. Yee-haw!

Alice Sharpe said...

I think it's neat that you love Valentine's Day, Paty. Maybe I will take back the "forced" comment.

You and Danita sound as though you get a real kick out of this holiday and that's cool. I have a good friend who decorates her living areas for every holiday, too, Danita. It's got lots of little heart things now. I admire the dusting it takes to rotate knickknacks!

Genene said...

Aw, Paty, you are so good about sending cards. And you're absolutely about the less popular kids in school. Just to see a little bit of a smile on their faces was heart-warming. But dare I ask the significance of the pig on the card you gave your dh? :)

Eli, I have to agree with you (and Jay Leno) that most men probably feel Valentine's Day is forced romance. But I wonder how many of those men would give romantic cards or gifts any other day if Hallmark wasn't pushing it? If they're buying "performance insurance," could that be considered romantic??? LOL!

Alice, I didn't think of delivering chocolate to the grandkids BEFORE breakfast. However, that would mean I'd have to actually get up early and make it out of the house before my doggies demanded breakfast.

Hey, Lisa, I can relate to feeding fetishes on V'Day. Ooh, that sounded a little racy, didn't it? I meant by buying items that could be used at other times of the year to promote our romance books and workshops!

Danita, sounds like you have lots of fun with Valentine's Day. I think you and Paty are right -- holidays can give us a reminder to stop and do special things for those we love, even if it's just spending time together or making food in heart shapes. It's a silent way of saying I love you. Cool!

Danita Cahill said...

My sentiments exactly, Genene.
We're having heart-shaped pizza for dinner -- unless I change my mind and make lasagna instead...

You could shape some canned dogfood into hearts with a cookie cutter. I'm sure your dogs would love it.

Danita Cahill said...

Yeah, Genene. You could become the Martha Stewart of the pet world. Book deals, TV shows, I can see it all now. Anything pet realated is very hot now. People love their pets and consider them family.

Marketing girl. It's all in the marketing. You go. I'll watch.

Anonymous said...

Genene, I sucked at answering the Valentine's IQ questions. :)

My favorite holiday, (don't tell Danita) is Halloween, and no, I wouldn't do very well on a Halloween IQ test either.

I did receive a Valentine E-card from Paty, THANKS PATY!! I now feel better about being one of the outcasts. ROFLMAO...

As far as giving any so far, nope. I've been playing nursemaid to my little four-year-old who has pneumonia. I haven't had a chance to do much of anything but sit with him today.

I don't care a fig about Valentine's Day usually. I have decorated for it in the past and I usually do something for my dh and kids that involves candy or some homemade dessert. When the older ones were younger I over-did every holiday, now I don't have time. There's just too many of them! LOL

My dh has been very ill this whole last week and he said to me a few hours ago, "I hope you know I didn't get you anything for Valentine's Day today." I told him it doesn't matter because I didn't get him anything either so he was off the hook. Although, I do love flowers so maybe he could get me some when he's feeling better. :)

I loved reading everyone's comments about V's Day, and I can't wait to see all of you at the retreat!!

Alice-- I hope your muse stops farting around so you can come too.

Genene said...

Hey, Danita, I wouldn't think of feeding my dogs canned food -- I cook only gourmet meals for them! :) Though I don't think they care what shape things are as they sometimes forget that chewing is one of the steps to having dinner. Thought I was going to have to give one of them the Hemlich maneuver tonight because she simply inhaled her food and began coughing and choking. A few sharp whacks on the back and she was back to scavenging for everyone else's leavings! Wonder how I can market that? LOL!

Becky, sorry your family is sick! Maybe chicken soup in a heart-shaped bowl would help. :) Seriously, I hope they get well soon and no one else gets sick. Sometimes it's more draining to take care of people who are sick than to be sick yourself!

Elisabeth Naughton said...

ROFL, Alice. I think about the dust thing too when I see holiday knicknacks. I hate dusting with a passion.

Elisabeth Naughton said... kids don't even get gourmet meals!!!! LOLOL

Elisabeth Naughton said...

Ack, Becky! Hope the 4-yr-old and your DH are on the mend soon. There's nothing worse than sick men in your house.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the well wishes girls. And yeah, having ill males in my house hasn't been any fun!

DH is doing much better but still coughing and keeping me awake at night, (rolls eyes) and the little guy's fever, heart rate and breathing are calming back down today. The human body is amazing in its ability to heal itself.