Valley Voices: What we really want from a Valentine

Valley Voices: What we really want from a Valentine

February 14th, 2011 by By Michael Ball / Valley Voices Staff Writer in Life Entertainment

Valentine's Day facts

* About 141 million Valentine's cards are exchanged each year.

* Each year on Valentine's Day, the Juliet Club, a volunteer organization in Verona, Italy, the setting of Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet," awards the Juliet Prize to the author of the most beautiful letter to the tragic heroine.

* Consumers in China (50 percent) are more likely to celebrate Valentine's Day than consumers in the U.S. (42 percent).

* In Japan, women give men chocolates for Valentine's Day and men offer gifts to ladies one month later, on White Day.

Sources: The History Channel, Hallmark, The Juliet Club, Survey Sampling International

On Feb. 18, JoAnne and Paul Dragoo will celebrate their 56th wedding anniversary.

Valentine's Day, however, is still a special day for them, and Mrs. Dragoo has come to expect good things from her husband.

"He'll probably get me some jewelry and take me out to eat," said the 75-year-old Ringgold, Ga., resident.

A gift of jewelry and a night out would make Paul Dragoo more clever than some men. The most often-purchased Valentine's gifts are roses and chocolates.

According to websites TheRo and, 110 million roses are sold every year for Valentine's Day. Seventy-three percent of those roses are purchased by men. Robert Humphreys Johnson, president of Humphreys Flowers on McCallie Avenue, said he sold about 5,000 roses last Valentine's Day.

About 48 million pounds of chocolate are sold during Valentine's week, according to a 2009 press release from the Nielsen Co.

The popularity of roses and chocolates, however, does not necessarily indicate what a girl really wants for Valentine's Day. So we asked around.

"As long as he acknowledges that it's a special day, he really can't go wrong. I'd expect him to have something fun planned, and a nice, thoughtful gift wouldn't hurt."

- Grace Hopkins, 11th grade, Middle College High School

"I would expect something like a rose, a sweet card he picked out himself and a BIG hug."

- Gracie Ellis, 9th grade, Chattanooga Christian School

"I expect some kind of showing of appreciation. Nothing big, just small and simple."

- Samantha Baker, 11th grade, home schooled

"I expect something sweet and thoughtful; not the usual chocolates and bear, but more like a mixed CD of our favorite songs."

- Jessie Love, 10th grade, Ringgold High School

"I would want to be surprised, and I would be appreciative for just about anything."

- Erin Hall, 11th grade, Grace Academy

"Girls don't always want something fancy or expensive. I want my boyfriend to do something thoughtful. Making me dinner would be fantastic!"

- Ivy Dodson, 12th grade, Center for Creative Arts

"I would just expect something simple; it's the time spent together that is more important."

- Kaitlyn Ray, 11th grade, Central High School

"I expect something thoughtful for Valentine's Day. It's not about getting something flashy; it's about getting something that has meaning."

- Nisha Boyington, 12th grade, Girls Preparatory School

The guys' perspective

"I really want girls to know that even if I can't buy them something that I still care for them and would do anything for them."

- Tyeler Hunt, Sale Creek High School

"It's not a guy's thing to be emotional, so a girl should mention what she likes to make it easier on us."

- Bryson Odem, Heritage High School

Valley Voices staff writer Hannah Knox, a student at Sale Creek High School, contributed to this story.