Originally created 02/15/02

How do you compare as a Valentine?

I wish people who have trouble communicating would just shut up.

- Tom Lehrer

How was your Valentine's Day?

Hearts and flowers ... or darts and glowers?

Bernice Kanner has compiled this research so you can see how you rate:

What do you typically spend on a Valentine's day gift?

On average, men spend $107 for Valentine's Day gifts; women on average shell out just $46.

Men are more likely to buy flowers (72 percent) and jewelry (28 percent), while women are more likely to buy chocolates (61 percent).

Do you show love and appreciation by buying big gifts?

Three out of five deny doing such crass demonstrations. But 35 percent own up to it. The rest don't know what qualifies as 'big.'

Do you know the size of someone you're shopping for?

Women do. Men don't. That's why so many Valentine's gifts are flowers, plants and candy.

Date time: Who should pay?

Despite the concept of equality, more than half of us - 54 percent - say the guy should almost always underwrite the event.

Love or money?

Ninety-two percent of people say they would rather be phenomenally rich than find the love of their lives.

It's all in Ms. Kanner's book Are You Normal About Money? published by Bloomberg Press.

* * *

MAILBAG: "I really enjoyed the palindromes," writes Kent Strite, referring to those sentences that read the same way forward and backward. "I thought you might enjoy this one: 'Doc, note I dissent. A fast never prevents a fatness. I diet on cod.' "

* * *

TODAY'S JOKE: A husband tired of being bullied by his wife decided it was time to stand up to her.

He walked in the front door after work, shook his fist in his wife's face and growled: "From now on, you're taking orders from me. I want my supper right now. And when you get it on the table, go lay out my best clothes. Tonight, I'm going out with the boys and you are going to stay at home where you belong!"

She turned and quietly walked toward the bedroom. Emboldened, the husband said after her, "And do you know who's going to comb my hair, adjust my pants and then tie my bow tie?"

"Yes, dear," she said, turning around and giving him a firm glare, "the undertaker."

Reach Bill Kirby at (706) 823-3344 or bkirby@augustachronicle.com.


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