Saturday, February 06, 2010

Romance . . . and steak?

Have you made your plans to celebrate Valentine's Day yet? If you haven't, suggestions abound on the internet. Even Dave Ramsey (the money guru) got in on the act with his "Five Cheap Date Ideas for Valentine's Day". I wouldn't classify all of the ideas as terribly romantic but I wouldn't say no to a home cooked meal (if I didn't have to cook it) and a movie (if I got to choose).

The meal idea led me to another piece of trivia. Did you know "Sixty-one percent of Americans said they favored a nice meal on Valentine's Day, as opposed to flowers or even gifts." And for that meal? "Sixty-two percent of Americans profess their love for steak as their most desired Valentine's Day meal, according to a recent survey conducted by Pelegrin Gray for The Beef Cookoff Program." (1)

Now in my college statistics class we were cautioned to look at not only "what" was reported but also "who" was doing the reporting. So as you read the following statistics, keep in mind this is from a press release from The Alabama Cattlemen's Association.

  • Nothing says love like beef and back rubs: Forty-three percent of Americans said they would choose a steak meal to kick off a romantic evening of hot tub time, back rubs and champagne.
  • They call me Dr. Love: Americans associate steak as a "best match" for love (44%), romance (42%) and passion (41%) - more so than chicken, pork or fish.
  • Let's meat: Beef (36%) is more often associated with "magnetism" than fish (22%), pork (21%) or chicken (21%).
  • Atmosphere for Romance: Sixty-five percent associate a great beef meal with romantic notions including candlelight, red wine and linen tablecloths and 67 percent agree that serving steak to someone best says "I love you."

Now what does this have to do with writing you ask? Well, in my current WIP I'm at the point of the H/H going on their first date. And I'm pondering. Does the hero propose something less conventional like the hike Dave Ramsey suggests? Or should he play it safe and cook - steak of course. There are good reasons to choose either path and right now my hero is pondering right along with me.

What about you? What kind of dates do your H/H have? While you're thinking about it I'm going to see if I have any steaks in the freezer.


JoAnn said...

I'm afraid I'm not too creative when it comes to the dates my H/H have. Usually it's dinner, and my go-to menu/restaurant is Italian.

(But I do love me some steak! Mmm!)

Louisa Cornell said...

Hmmm. I DO love steak, but as a historical romance writer my first dates are a bit different.

In my latest, the heroine walks into her employer/sister's house after having fled a carriage where she was nearly raped to see her sister shoot the hero (who happens to be the sister's current flame.)

Our heroine sends the hysterical sister off to bed with some laudanum, patches up the hero. they commiserate about their equally miserable evenings, drink too much brandy and end up in bed together. (They HAVE been attracted to each other for quite some time.)They wake up the next morning to screams as the shooting sister has been murdered in her bed. How's that for a worst first date?

Carla Swafford said...

Oh, oh. I just realized none of my characters date. They mainly survive being murdered or f*** like bunnies.

Well, one book had a scene with the hero and heroine eating hamburgers in a diner. They were meeting a bad guy there.

I guess I need to investigate this lack of dating thing. That might be part of my problem in getting published. :-)

Stern Rake Studio said...

Most of the women I've known prefer fish and chicken. But I'm hearing more & more women liking steak.

ROTFLMAO at the "first dates" Carla described!


Callie James said...

The food my characters eat depends on what I'm trying to achieve in the book. I can have them eat something savory they simply can't taste because they're nervous or stressed. Or I might have them eat steak if I want to embarrass someone later with steak stuck in the teeth. I guess I play it by ear depending on what's happening.

Louisa, heck of a first date. I've heard of some doozies but hey, no one was shooting anyone.

Personally I think the most romantic place to have a first date is The Melting Pot. That place can make a date last for hours. :)

M.V.Freeman said...

I love steak.

As for a the moment my H/H My hero shows up at the heroines condo uninvited and they have pizza. Not bad for a first date...LOL

Cool post Nannette!

Christine said...

I try to get mine out on dates, but this particular MS has them in some very spicy, non-eating dates. One date does occur at a unique restaurant. I hope my judges and future prospective agents/editors like this particular date a LOT.

My DH and DD usually cook ME dinner -- yup steak and an amazing bottle of wine, too. This year, I wonder if it'll happen as he is on a walker due to his hip replacement ;)

Gwen Hernandez said...

Interesting thought. Like Carla, I realized my H/H are thrown together, but rarely have a date.

In one MS, they have a date over Jell-O in the hospital, and in my current MS, the hero makes dinner for her, but he's her bodyguard (in more ways than one..a la Carla). ;-)

Cari Hislop said...

What consitutes a romantic valenties day would depend on the characters personalities, but after reading the post it occured to me that you could have the hero take the heroine on a nature walk through some lovely countryside that just happens to pass a small country inn where he's preplanned a lovely steak meal because he's read that report that steak dinners are more romantic (and perhaps a romantic seduction) but maybe getting to the Inn turns out to be riddled with problems...maybe they have to walk through a swollen stream and their feet get wet and they both get blisters (one of them might trip or come face to face with a bear - maybe he's watched that tv program about if you see a bear you stand still and raise your arms palms forward and the bears will walk away and they survive being mauled to death after a whispered argument about running for their lives...(or any number of problems depending on the landscape - deserts=scorpions and snakes etc). They eventually limp into the Inn to find it full of annoying tourists or a really loud irritating family with screaming kids...and they sit down to their dinner barefoot to the sounds of ear splitting drunken laughter and by the time they finish they both have headaches and
any hope of romance is dead until the hero gets the idea to steal (borrow)one of the cars driven by the annoying people and he drives the heroine away in peaceful bliss...they park and start making out, but the heroine is too stressed about being found in a stolen car and being arrested so they abandon it and limp away to find a taxi...what happens after that would depend on the characters, my hero would then be lucky to get a kiss goodnight, but then I'm cruel and heartless...