COLUMN: Valentine's Day, by the numbers

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By Shannon Brock

Last week, I shared some Super Bowl food facts, by the numbers, and this week, I’ve come across some interesting numbers regarding the next national holiday – the day of love.
Although according to this week’s poll, an overwhelming majority of you aren’t too keen on the holiday, I think the following facts are interesting enough just the same.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the following numbers carry some weight around Valentine’s Day:
•24.7 pounds – The per capita consumption of candy by Americans in 2010.
•$17 million – The combined wholesale value of domestically produced cut roses in 2010 for all operations with $100,000 or more in sales.
•17,124 – The number of florists nationwide in 2009.
•75,855 – The number of employees at those florists.
•2.1 million – The number of marriages that took place in the United States in 2009 – nearly 5,800 a day.
•28.7 years – The median age at first marriage in 2011 for men.
•26.5 years – The median age at first marriage in 2011 for women.
•393 – The number of dating service establishments nationwide as of 2007. These establishments, which include Internet dating services, employed 3,125 people and pulled in $928 million in revenue.

Speaking of love, that is certainly the sentiment I’m hearing in regard to State Rep. Kim King.
Most Spencer Countians and a few Anderson Countians who have voiced their opinions to me, seem to want King to be allowed to stick around in the 55th district.
Whether they feel like King has done an excellent job during her term or whether they feel like she was very much wronged in the ongoing redistricting battle, to me, personally, it speaks volumes that even a couple of her would-be replacements entered the race with a caveat that if she is allowed to keep her seat, they would happily bow out.
Just in case you’re not up to speed, the newest district lines include all of Spencer County, all of Anderson County and part of Mercer County in the 55th district – it just so happens the part of Mercer in the 55th is not the part where King currently resides, thus placing her in the 54th district.
King has said that if the districts remain that way, she will not seek election for the 54th district seat.
Two Republicans who have filed for the 55th district – John Riley, from right in here Taylorsville, and Charles David Ransdell, from neighboring Lawrenceburg – have both told the Spencer Magnet in the past week that they will withdraw from the race if King is allowed to remain in the district.
As human beings, I think most of us have enough of an ego that we inevitably think we could do better at most things than most people. To have someone say, “you’re doing better than I would,” is very complimentary.
So, politics and parties aside, I think it speaks very highly of King’s performance and personality that so many people are speaking up in hopes of keeping her around.