It’s almost upon us: Feb. 14. Valentine’s Day. We didn’t forget you, dear readers. As a token of affection, we present 13 pieces of brain candy to chew on — fun and fat-free. With love, from us to you.
Some 8 billion Sweethearts: Conversation Hearts, the little candies that really do say “I Luv U,” are made each year, most of them sold and eaten during the six weeks from Jan. 1 to Valentine’s Day.
15 percent of U.S. women send themselves flowers on Valentine’s Day, but men buy 73 percent of the flowers purchased for Valentine’s Day.
64 percent of men in the U.S. don’t make plans for a romantic Valentine’s Day with their sweethearts. Gee, what a surprise.
Superstition had it that if a woman spotted a robin flying overhead on Valentine’s Day, she was going to marry a sailor. If she saw a sparrow, then she’d marry a poor man and be happy. If she saw a goldfinch, she would marry a millionaire. Hmm, makes you wonder what kind of man a Boeing 747 would bring into her life.
The phrase “to wear your heart on your sleeve” comes from a practice during the Middle Ages when young men and women drew names from a bowl to see who their sweetheart would be and wore the names on their sleeves for a week.
The Italian city of Verona, where Shakespeare’s tragic couple Romeo and Juliet lived and loved — neither for very long — gets about 1,000 letters addressed to Juliet every Valentine’s Day. If we knew why, we’d tell you.
Hallmark makes more than 1,330 different Valentine’s Day cards. No wonder it’s so hard to pick one.
Love to know
1. Who receives the most Valentine cards? Children, wives, teachers or sweethearts
2. Which famous inventor applied for his patent on which famous invention on Valentine’s Day? Hint: His invention helps long-distance romances keep that love connection.
3. True or false? Valentine’s Day is celebrated around the world.
4. Which Roman goddess favored the red rose, the most popular Valentine’s Day flower, which accounts for most of the 110 million roses sold for the holiday? Vesta, Victoria, Venus or Valentina
5. True or false? Captain & Tennille married on Valentine’s Day.
6. Why did Chicago’s post office reject more than 25,000 Valentine’s Day cards back in the 1800s?
Answers to Valentine’s Day quiz
2. Alexander Graham Bell sought his patent on the telephone Feb. 14, 1876.
3. False. Valentine’s Day is a Western culture celebration, marked only in the United States, Canada, Mexico, France, Australia and the United Kingdom.
4. This was too easy: Venus, of course. There was no goddess named Valentina, by the way.
5. False. But several Web sites state that Daryl Dragon and Toni Tennille said their vows on Feb. 14, 1974. They got married on Nov. 11, 1975. Even without a Valentine’s wedding day, love still keeps them together.
6. On the grounds they were too indecent. Obscene and racy valentines were all the rage in the Victorian era. Go figure.