Today is THAT DAY. You know; THAT DAY. The day where you (may) spend a heap of money on your other half, or your other half-to-be, or indeed your other half-not-to-be, because spending money on her/him on THAT DAY means more than spending on her/him another day - your Dollar will go much further on THAT DAY than on any other day, believe me.
If you didn't know, THAT DAY is St. Valentine's Day, or Valentine's Day. It’s also known as the Feast of Saint Valentine. One reason for it being called the Feast of Saint Valentine is put forward by HowStuffWorks, but looking at recent stats collected by Shane Co. one can put forward another opinion – that Saint Valentine himself prophesised the growth in modern-day dining out on Valentine’s Day. THAT DAY has gone the way of Christmas and Easter in becoming commercialised. Total spend on dining out on THAT DAY is $3.5bn in the USA - I'll spare you the joke about that amount being more than some countries' GDP.
Men spend an average of $158.71 on an evening meal with their partner, compared to just $75.79 for the ladies – ‘feminism’ is clearly working – and the cuisine of choice is more Italian than French. One wonders how all this data is collected. Jordi Prats described how transactions can be recorded across space and time in Spain at Easter in an impressive feat of data visualisation, and you can imagine the same technique being carried out across America for Valentine's Day too.
If you're single, fret not. There is lots to watch on television this evening (though singletons should avoid watching 'Don't Tell the Bride', on at 8pm on BBC1); or you can go to one of many 'Anti Valentine's Parties' which litter London and New York; or you could watch Zenit St. Petersburg play Liverpool in the Europa League. For next year, Raytheon's Rapid Information Overlay Technology can find you the perfect partner, and Stephanie Kovalchik explains how, here.
For more details on what America spends on THAT DAY, take a look at the stats below - some of the figures are astounding. Recession? What recession? Happy spending!