The Gazette took to the streets of Janesville and Milton to ask a Valentine’s Day question.
What is the riskiest thing you’ve ever done on Valentine’s Day? Or what’s the riskiest thing ever done to you?
We stopped by Milton House of Flowers, where the workers confirmed the days leading up to Feb. 14 are their busiest of the year. Then we went to Mitchell’s Coffee Shop in downtown Milton and Mocha Moment in Janesville.
We found a few people who shun the idea of celebrating Valentine’s Day.
“I think it’s a scam,” one man in Milton said. “It’s a Hallmark holiday. If you have to have a special day to tell your significant other what they mean to you, you ain’t doing something right.”
Others played along and reminisced about their most memorable days.
Out of the 15 people interviewed, below are our eight favorite responses.
Gina Dummer, 37, Milton: “My daughter was conceived on Valentine’s Day.
“So that was risky.
“We thought we weren’t going to get pregnant, and we did. And our son was only 9 months old at the time. They were 18 months apart when I had her. Risky as hell.
“It ended up being three of five. Five kids—that’s risky in itself. That was 2008. She was a November baby. Good year!”
Erika Kempf, 38, Milton: “It might’ve been on Valentine’s Day. My boyfriend at the time, now my husband, he asked me to be his girlfriend, and it was a surprise.
“He did this big production in my back yard, which, I didn’t know he was there when I got home. My roommate was like, something’s waiting for you in the backyard.
“I’m like, ‘What?’
“So I go out there, and there’s a poem on the back porch, and then in the snow, there’s roses in the shape of a heart stuffed in the snow. And I was like, whooooaaaaaa. It’s pretty Valentine’s Day.
“He was a little nervous. He was much more nervous when he asked me to marry him.”
Sue Lien, 62, Cold Spring: “I got engaged on Valentine’s Day. I had to go to Madison to pick up the ring, and it was in a blizzard.
“That was risky.
“We went to get the ring. We took our life in our hands. Seriously, it was really bad. It was horrible. The ring was ready then. I was kind of hoping to get it done on Valentine’s Day. Ah, isn’t that romantic?
“Every time we come back from Janesville going through Newville, I think of that day and how horrible the weather was.”
Hailey Peterson, 19, Janesville: “Nothing.
“I used to work at Pizza Hut, and I brought heart-shaped pizzas to my friends after I was done with work.
“See? There’s nothing.”
Justin Popovich, 31, Janesville: “The one that stood out the most was going to downtown Chicago, Michigan Avenue. Surprising her. She always wanted to go down there.
“I guess it’s always risky when you give a surprise. You never quite know what it’s going to turn out to be. Just went down and drove. She never knew where we were going. Went for a couple of nights. We had a great time.
John Sorce, 85: “I can’t think of anything, other than how nice it is to be with Helen on this Valentine’s Day.”
Helen Knox, 79: “It’s the same for me.”
Cain Zoesch, Milton House of Flowers driver, 43, Whitewater: “Delivering flowers. Have you driven in traffic in Milton and Janesville?
“My wife and I don’t really do anything for Valentine’s Day. We usually deliver flowers together, but she’s working at the other store today. That’s how we spend our day.
“This is the first year in 14 years that we haven’t been in the same store on Valentine’s Day.”