The United States Census Bureau, Hallmark Cards, and The History Channel have combined forces to give us an interesting lowdown on the heart-laden hoedown.
• Who’s number one?
While women receive about fifty percent of the greetings, husbands are actually the top recipients.
• Single delights:
There are about 120 unattached men in their 20s for every 100 unattached women of comparable age. The gentlemen become a wee bit scarce as the years advance, leaving just 33 roaming bachelors over the age of 65 for every 100 available bachelorettes. Those men who aren’t quite ready to apply for AARP membership might view this attrition as comforting in that you’ll only have to buy flowers and candy for so long until it becomes some other guy’s problem.
• Kids don’t count.
About 192 million Valentine’s Day cards make the rounds each year but that doesn’t include classroom exchanges. Given that parents buy forty percent of the greeting goods, it’s a bet that the youngest set could double or even triple that count.
• Put it off ’til you drop!
Unlike other holidays, over half of all Valentine’s Day buying is done within the week before the big day. This has prompted many in the biz to refer to this day as “The Procrastinator’s Delight.” It doesn’t sound like they poll the men much around December 24th, eh ladies?
• Nifty nuptials.
More than twelve thousand people tie the knot every day in the United States. Alas, that still doesn’t make marriage more American than baseball.
Flowers blossom as our love for each other blooms. Roses rule the day, but other favored flowers include the carnation and the tulip. While the rose says “I love you” and the carnation says, “I love you divinely,” the tulip says “I love you truly.” Make that tulip yellow and you’ve sent the message “I am hopelessly in love with you.” Good stuff, eh heartthrobs?
Tulips have a particularly interesting history, especially in light of the Danish cartoon / Muslim outrage controversy. The tulip is no more Danish than are windmills. The tulip’s very name is an abused form of the word turban from the Persian language. Persia is also known as Iran. The variety of colors found in tulips was first brought about by none other than the mosaic virus, a viral infection carried by peach aphids. I’m going out on a limb now, so hang on. The tulip is indigenous to the very region where image-less mosaics — intricate, and colorful designs and symbols set in tile – are the cornerstone of Islamic religious expression. Speaking of origins, can you guess where windmills came from?
Isn’t it Iranic. Music in the night, a dream that can be heard.
And finally, fans of Hallmark cards might enjoy this Valentine timeline from the 1910s to the present.