What Are You Doing for Valentine’s Day?

In keeping with the spirit of the holiday, I thought I would share some interesting statistics which I read this morning.

$126.03: The average expected amount, per person, that Americans will spend for the holiday. That’s up 8.5% from last year. Consumers are expected to spend the most on jewelry, at a collective $4.1 billion. Shall we call this The Maybe Money Can Buy You Love Statistic?

72 million: The average number of Valentine’s cards purchased by parents (40% of all cards sold). On this special day of love, 65% of all gifts will take the form of a greeting card. I dubbed this The Prepackaged Romance Statistic. Let Hallmark say it for you.

$52.4 million: The 2010 romantic comedy, “Valentine’s Day,” raked in this much cash during its first weekend in theaters. This idea was great for the Dinner and a Movie crowd.

18 (out of 100): The Rotten Tomatoes score awarded to “Valentine’s Day.” The critics did not love it.

40%: The estimated increase in requests for divorce lawyers around mid-February each year. This is known as The Cynic’s Statistic. I suppose if the correct gift does not arrive in a timely fashion, disillusionment reaches overwhelming proportions.

82%: The portion of people who said they’d like an “experience” rather than a gift for the romantic holiday. Consumers are expected to put $3.5 billion towards a romantic evening on the town with their partner. For those interested in an unusually cheap evening out, one trend includes America’s first fast-food hamburger chain, which is pulling out all the stops on the most romantic night of the year.

February 14 is the day that White Castle transforms from a fast-food restaurant into a full-service set-up, complete with tablecloths, table service, flowers, charming decorations, and free dessert. Impressive, oui? It could save the cost of a divorce lawyer. As my hometown has no White Castle, my hubby and I may have to settle for McDonald’s.

220,000: The average number of wedding proposals on Valentine’s Day each year (10% of the annual total). Here we have the One Extreme or Another Statistic.

70%: The portion of singles who said they would not mind a blind date for the occasion. Let us call this The Most Desperate Statistic.

8 billion: The number of Sweethearts Conversation Hearts manufactured each year by the New England Confectionery Company. “Saying It With Candy” is obviously popular. I particularly like the snarky hearts, such as the Twilight version saying, “Bite Me.”

15%: The estimated portion of women who will send themselves flowers. This gets my vote as The Most Pathetic Statistic.

Thank you, Samantha Grossman, for the statistics. The awards are my own.

I actually like Valentine’s Day, though my daughters do not. They claim it is their most hated holiday, but I do not really believe them. Perhaps they say that as a defense in case they do not receive anything and their friends do.

No matter what the girls say, a smart boyfriend should read between the lines and send flowers anyway, unless he wants to invent a new statistics – Boyfriends Who Are Dropped on Valentine’s Day. Last year, I noticed a picture of my elder daughter on Facebook, posing with flowers from her boyfriend. She was stationed in San Diego, and he was deployed in Afghanistan at the time. Though I am sure she told him she did not want anything, he wisely arranged to have flowers delivered. I was impressed, and so was she. He is still her boyfriend.

What will you and your sweetie do to celebrate the day of love? Do you favor cards, flowers, movies, dinner out, or a quiet evening at home?

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About Robin Helm

Robin Helm's latest work is Understanding Elizabeth, a stand-alone Regency Romance. She joined three other JAFF authors for a best selling Christmas anthology - A Very Austen Christmas. After publishing all three volumes of The Guardian Trilogy: Guardian, SoulFire, and Legacy, she published the Yours by Design Series: Accidentally Yours, Sincerely Yours, and Forever Yours. She and her husband have two adult daughters, two sons-in-law, two granddaughters, a grandson, and a Yorkie Poo named Toby.

11 thoughts on “What Are You Doing for Valentine’s Day?

  1. Susan Kaye

    What are you doing for Valentine’s Day?

    I am NOT spending over $125, that’s for dang sure!

    Yikes, that’s almost all my food budget for the month. And it’s a short month to boot.

    I am one of those curmudgeons who think Valentine’s Day is for lovers and so keep my activities centered on my husband. Besides, the one year I bought gifts for my kids, a big gummy heart with veins, aortas and such, they didn’t get it.

    Anyway, Happy Valentine’s Day to you all.


    1. Laura Hile

      I wish I had that much to spend! ( Alas, extra money goes to groceries. Or gasoline. Or the dentist bill.) I have four sweethearts — my husband and three grown sons. It would cost that amount to take the crew to BREAKFAST! (Son #3 has a girlfriend, so she’d come too.) When we sit together at church, it looks like I have BODYGUARDS ! (They’re 6′ 2,” 6′ 3,” and 6′ 4.”


  2. Robin Helm

    My daughter happened to be home this past weekend, so I gave her a big bag of Sweet Tart valentine’s heart candies. They’re her favorites and are available only at this time of year. Other than that, tomorrow will be fairly normal around here. Neither my husband nor I are big on demonstrations or expense.


  3. Monica P

    The best thing about Valentine’s Day to me is that it’s my little brother’s birthday. (He’ll be 30 tomorrow but I still call him my little brother lol). Other than that, I’m not much of a fan. It makes single people feel kinda crappy and left out, and puts pressure on people to find that perfect gift that they probably can’t afford. I’d prefer to have someone that does nice, thoughtful things and tells me how he feels all year long instead of saving it all for VDay and birthdays.


  4. Robin Helm

    I agree with that, Monica. I don’t care about a great deal of money being spent. My husband is thoughtful and caring, and that means more to me than anything else.

    Laura, my younger daughter brought the guy she’s “talking to” home this weekend to meet us. He’s 6’4″ and plays football for USC (University of South Carolina – not Southern California). She’s 5’5″ and looks like a midget next to him. He was not hard to spot in our church either.


  5. Gayle Mills

    Valentine’s Day? Is it going to be Valentine’s Day?

    Bah! Humbug! Oh, dang it, that’s the wrong holiday. Gifts, gifts, and more gifts. *Grumble, grumble, grumble*


  6. Susan Kaye

    I made a heart-shaped meatloaf–sorry, no pictures–and that is my gift of the day to the family. Bill did one of the lobes for his dinner at work this evening. I thought it was livers that have lobes.

    What’s the liver holiday?



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