What the … numbers … on Valentine’s Day say

Valentine’s Day is Saturday, and the people who predict such things are projecting $18.9 billion in spending by Americans.

Just because I am anal I ran the numbers: There are approximately 325 million Americans, which translates to more than $58 in hearts and flowers spending for every man, woman and child in the country. Or to put it another way if 100 kids younger than 3 spend zilch on Valentine’s Day … some other schmuck is shelling out $5,800.

Translation: The number is bogus.

Anyway … no complaint against Valentine’s Day myself. I’m a total romantic … or at least that’s what I tell people. But if you ARE a romantic … shouldn’t you be romantic 24/7 365 days of the year? Otherwise you are just a slave to the greeting card and restaurant industry (see Mother’s Day/Father’s Day).

I did find a cool Valentine’s Day list, courtesy of WalletHub, a personal financial firm and social network. The WalletHub folks put together a list of the 10 best cities for Valentine’s Day ... and the 10 worst. One-hundred of the most populous U.S. cities were analyzed. Among the 15 criteria were restaurant meal costs, the number of attractions and florists per capita.

Here are the lists:

Top 10

1. San Francisco

2. Seattle

3. Orlando

4. San Diego

5. San Jose

6. Irvine, California (close to Disneyland!)

7. Portland

8. Scottsdale, Arizona

9. Plano, Texas

10. Fremont, California

Bottom 10

91. Hialeah, Florida

92. Newark, New Jersey

93. Cleveland

94. Garland, Texas (Garland is only 18 miles from Plano … go figure)

95. San Bernardino, California

96. Winston Salem, North Carolina

97. Toledo, Ohio

98. North Las Vegas, Nevada (no snickering!)

99. Laredo, Texas

100. Detroit

Some weird tidbits from the study:

• There are 26 times the number of chocolate shops per capita in San Francisco than in Oklahoma City

• The number of jewelry stores per capita in Miami is 37 times higher than North Las Vegas (and the number of florists 21 times higher in Miami than NLV).

Contact reporter James Day at jim.day@gazettetimes.com or 541-758-9542. Follow at Twitter.com/jameshday or gazettetimes.com/blogs/jim-day.

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