Three days ago I wrote a blog post titled, “A Month of Happiness,” (click here for post) which is about a month-long celebration during the Jewish month of Adar that takes place every year around this time of the year, and this year Valentine’s Day falls within the first three days of this celebration. So, I’ve decided to be extra happy on Valentine’s Day!
I thought I’d start out with a few fun facts about Valentine’s Day that I found at OddityJournal.com. For instance, did you know . . .
1. More than 50 million roses are exchanged worldwide on Valentine’s Day each year.
2. 73% of the flowers purchased on Valentine’s Day are purchased by men; while only 27% are purchased by women.
3. Valentine’s Day is named after Saint Valentine. Saint Valentine is known as the patron saint of lovers. But few people know that he was also the patron saint of greetings, travelers, young people, and even epilepsy, plague and bee keepers.
4. The letter ‘X’ first symbolized a kiss in medieval times. It is believed that people who could not write their names, signed with an ‘X’. The ‘X’ was then kissed to show their emotions.
5. 15% of US women send flowers to themselves on Valentine’s Day.
6. Survey shows that most women prefer a good dinner over any other gift.
7. Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of telephone, patented his invention on the Valentine’s Day. So, Valentine’s Day gave us the telephone. Penicillin was also introduced on Valentine’s Day.
8. In the Middle Ages, young men and women drew the names from a bowl to see who would be their Valentine. They would wear this name pinned on their sleeve for one week. This was done so that it became easy for others to know their true feelings. This is where the expression “wear your heart on your sleeve” got its start.
9. Red roses are the most popular gifts on Valentine’s Day. Red has traditionally been the color of love and symbolizes strong emotions. Thus, red roses are thought to be the perfect object to show off the adornment on the special day.
10. If you’re a teacher, then we have good news for you on Valentine’s Day. According to a study, teachers receive the most number of Valentine cards. Each year, children between the ages of 6 and 10 give about 650 million cards to their teachers.
11. In Germany, young girls would plant onions in a pot on Valentine’s Day, and place the name of a boy next to each onion. They believed that they would marry the boy whose name was nearest to the first onion to grow.
12. During the 1700’s, girls in England would eat a hardboiled egg, along with the shell, on Valentine’s Day eve. Doing so, they hoped that they would dream about their future husband that night.
13. Verona, the Italian city where Shakespeare’s fictional lovers “Romeo and Juliet” lived, receives about 1,000 letters every year sent to Juliet on Valentine’s Day.
14. Contrary to the popular opinion, more than 50% of women don’t find Valentine’s Day romantic at all. Even worse, more than 75% don’t like being proposed to on Valentine’s Day. So, you might want to think twice if you’re planning to do so.
15. Recent surveys revealed that on average, men spend about $158 on Valentine’s Day. This is twice as much as compared to the $75 spent by women. (List source here).
After reading through that list I can say that I’ve never bought flowers for myself on Valentine’s Day (#5), but I have at other times of the year. And, maybe I’d better start planting onions (#11) or eating hardboiled eggs with the shells left on (#12, ugh . . .). At least I’m not in the 50% of women who don’t like Valentine’s Day or the 75% of women who don’t like being proposed to on Valentine’s Day (#14); however, since Valentine’s Day for this year is now here I’d hate to wait a whole year to be proposed to since it is fairly apparent it’s not going to happen this year. Well, my birthday is coming up in May . . . .
. . . And I’ve just about given up on ever finding a job after almost four years, so maybe finding a husband would be easier??? Well, of course, one of my own and not somebody else’s; but then that hasn’t been so easy, either, come to think of it (not that I’ve ever wanted somebody else’s husband).
Okay, enough with the humor. But wait . . . this is “a month of happiness,” so let the humor continue!!! Here’s some more fun facts I found at CandyUSA.com:
1. More than 36 million heart-shaped boxes of chocolate will be sold for Valentine’s Day. A survey conducted by the Chocolate Manufacturers Association revealed that 50 percent of women will likely give a gift of chocolate to a guy for Valentine’s Day.
2.Valentine’s Day is the fourth biggest holiday of the year for confectionery purchases (after Halloween, Easter and Christmas).
3. American men say they’d rather receive chocolate than flowers on Valentine’s Day, especially those over the age of 50. Sixty-eight percent of men age 50 or older say they’d prefer receiving chocolate over flowers from their sweetheart on Valentine’s Day, while just 22% said they’d rather have the flowers.
4. A natural aphrodisiac? As an elixir for love, chocolate has been believed throughout history to bring smiles to the broken-hearted and to prompt amorous feelings in both men and women. It is believed that Madame Du Barry served it to all her suitors; Casanova consumed chocolate instead of champagne to induce romance; and Montezuma, the king of the ancient Aztecs, believed chocolate would make him virile. In the 1800’s physicians commonly advised their lovelorn patients to eat chocolate to calm their pining.
Being a connoisseur of fine chocolate (well, mostly M&M’s), I can’t attest to the amorous feelings brought on by chocolate (well, maybe indirectly, after all, I’m not married or involved with anyone), but I can say that eating chocolate is about as close to, well . . . oh, never mind . . . I don’t want to get myself into trouble in a blog post. Suffice it to say I do love chocolate and I believe it is one of the absolutely necessary food groups needed to sustain life . . . okay, maybe not life but happiness. And this is “a month of happiness.” So, pass the chocolate, please . . . .
I can see I’ve gotten sidetracked. Obviously flowers are a safer subject for me to stick with for Valentine’s Day. Rated PG, I think . . . . And I do love flowers. Daisies are my favorite and I’ve purchased daisies for myself (especially colorful “designer” daisies–see photo) on numerous occasions like this past Christmas. And I do love roses, too; however, I’ve never purchased roses for myself and I refuse to as I want to save that experience for a suitor if one ever shows up (I’ve been waiting a very long time and I’m getting old, you know). They even have roses in designer colors, too, although, red roses are very beautiful. In fact, a bouquet of red roses with baby’s breath is quite beautiful, and very fragrant, too.
But back to Valentine’s Day. While I enjoy all the romantic stuff associated with Valentine’s Day, it’s been a very, very, very, very (did I say very?) long time since I’ve had any reciprocated romantic feelings. In other words, I haven’t been looking for love for a very long time (a couple of my past blog posts have addressed that issue so no point in going into it in this one). And besides, I’ve been looking for a job for almost four years now!!! Being unemployed doesn’t exactly attract suitors, not that that is my main reason for needing a job. No, my main reason for needing a job is that I need an income . . . and a life again!!! Being unemployed is not fun, and I didn’t ask for it, either!!!
While I’m waiting for a job to show up–and at this point it will take a miracle after all of this time–I wouldn’t mind if maybe–and maybe it’s just in a dream but I’ll throw it out there anyway–if a suitor should happen to show up (although I’ve had enough experience to know that I don’t want just anybody who happens to be male), it would be fun to find out if there really is such a thing as romantic and passionate love as I’d like to experience it before my sojourn on this earth is over. And maybe he would like to experience it, too.
With that being said, I’ve considered myself lucky all these years to have been single for so long as I have a lifetime of experiences that would not have happened has I been married. I remember when I left my job in Florida for the job in Houston that one of my work colleagues, a married woman with grown children (well, I think her youngest was still in high school at the time) told me she thought I was so lucky as there was nothing tying me down to keep me from taking a new opportunity 1000 miles away. She was right, of course, but I believe that for those of us who love God and want to serve Jesus Christ that He opens and closes the doors we go through in our lives and that includes the times He has us “on hold” waiting for the right circumstances to come together in order to move us on.
I don’t recall at any other time in my life being put “on hold” for as long as this period of unemployment has lasted (it will be four years in April). However, if you’ve read any of my previous posts you know that it has been this whole “Houston” experience (well, it started there) that brought me out of the spiritual lethargy I didn’t even realize I was in at the time. Spiritual maturity doesn’t happen overnight or in a vacuum, and it rarely happens by attending church once a week and disregarding how we are living our lives and ignoring the Bible and what is has to say to us for rest of the week. And there’s no doubt I still have a long way to go, but had this whole “unemployment” experience not happened to me, I would have continued to walk in my spiritual stagnation that easily hides behind church or “Christian” activities. No, it’s about developing a personal relationship with Jesus Christ that is active and vital and not just buried in “activities” or all the hype in a lot of “Christianity” in America today.
While over the years I have longed for the love of a man, I have never been without the love of Jesus Christ, who has so amazingly guided me all of these years, even through these last four years that have been some of the toughest years of my life. Sometimes He forces us to “be still“ (Psalm 46:10) so that we can really learn of Him and what this life is really all about, and the activities of normal living can blind us to the fact that our life in Jesus Christ is about far more then what we see with our eyes and experience in the physical world. Eph. 6:10-18 makes that very plain:
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.”
We get so busy in our lives that we forget the truth of what is really going on. And that has been what these past four years have been about for me–understanding the truth. It’s too easy, especially for folks who have been Christian for many, many years, to just coast along and stagnate without even realizing it. Eph. 5:14-17 states, “‘Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.’ Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.”
This Valentine’s Day, whether we have someone to share it with or not, don’t forget the greatest love we’ve ever been given that surpasses any human love on this earth–the love of Jesus Christ. Spend some time with Him.
He’s always available . . . .
YouTube Video: “Anyone At All” sung by Carole King from the movie, “You’ve Got Mail” (1998):