Those without a loved one to share Valentine’s Day have more in common with the tradition of sending Valentine’s Day cards than those with a lover.
I thought the Victorians began the tradition with their sentimental, flowery, lacy, and cupid adorned cards:
The couple meets at a soiree where the fine lady’s heart beats like a caged canary. The gentleman wears gloves and even with them worries he’ll leave a thumbprint on the greeting card. He escorts her to a small chamber not far from the ballroom. Her cheeks flush with the touch of his warm hand on her back. It sends a thrill of which she is not accustomed. He pulls the declaration of love from his breast pocket and presents it with a bow. She smiles, rips it open and gasps when she sees two naked cupids complete with jiggly bits dancing in the sky. Underneath are the words “Be My Lover.” She drops the card and trounces from the room.
And that is when the gentleman became acquainted with the florist’s establishment around the corner which he frequented in years to come.
Sending cards began more than 400 years earlier with a French romantic poet, of course!It did not begin with the uptight Victorians, but the English had their part in history.
I remember my worst Valentine’s Day ever in Madison, Wisconsin as cold, damp and wintery. The night before, I decorated my shoe box with construction paper hearts, rick rack, and sequins much like the other girls in my 5th grade class. My mother had bought paper valentines which I signed, picking the best ones for my closest friends and a boy that I liked.
Earlier that year, a few of us had been switched from one classroom to another. After taking my seat, I noticed a dreamy-eyed, brown haired boy named Bob sitting at the desk in front of me. He must have noticed me too because later in the week, he turned around and asked, “Hey. Do you want this?” He referred to a new invention at the time, the mechanical pencil. Continue reading →