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Valentine’s Day all in the eye of the beholder

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day.

The occasion is associated with chocolate and roses and setting aside the day to do something really nice for your other half, all a very good thing tied to some very interesting bits of information.

Did you know that on this day?

The average American will spend $119.67 on Valentine’s Day this year, up from $100.89 last year.

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.

More than one-third of men would prefer not receiving a gift. Less than 20 percent of women feel the same way.

Around this season, a dozen long-stemmed roses can cost an average of $75, or about 30% more than the normal price of $58.

More than nine million pet owners are expected to buy gifts for their pets this Valentine’s Day.

Fifteen percent of U.S. women send themselves flowers on Valentine’s Day.

Teachers receive the most valentines, followed by kids, mothers, wives and sweethearts.

Over 50 percent of all Valentine’s Day cards are purchased in the six days prior to the holiday.

The oldest surviving valentine dates from 1415. It is a poem written by Charles, Duke of Orleans to his wife. At the time, the duke was being held in the Tower of London following his capture at the Battle of Agincourt.

One billion valentines are sent each year worldwide, making it the second largest card-sending holiday of the year behind Christmas. Women purchase approximately 85 percent of all valentines.

Hallmark produced its first valentine in 1913.

Today, Hallmark employs an 80-person research staff to analyze the sales pattern of previous valentines. That analysis, combined with more than 100,000 annual customer interviews, focus groups and in-store observations, will help create roughly 2,000 cards in Hallmark’s core Valentine’s Day line.

Three different Saint Valentines have been mentioned by the martyrologies of the Roman Catholic Church.

The Catholic Church struck St. Valentine’s Day from its official calendar in 1969.

The phrase “Sweets for the sweet” is a line from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Act 5, Scene 1.

Famous Valentine’s Day weddings: The Captain and Tennille, Elton John and Renate Blauel, Meg Ryan and Dennis Quaid, Jerry Garcia and Deborah Koons, and Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee.

Famous Valentine’s Day birthdays: Thomas Malthus (1766), Frederick Douglass (1817), Jack Benny (1894), Jimmy Hoffa (1913), Hugh Downs (1921), Florence Henderson (1943), Carl Bernstein (1944), Tim Buckley (1946), Gregory Hines (1946), Jules Asner (1968), Rob Thomas (1972), Steve McNair (1973).

Probably more than you needed to know, but insightful nonetheless.

Happy Valentine’s Day.