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HeartWhy are you being hustled by street vendors to buy sad and drooping former roses, vegetative matter that missed the cut for bouquets, or were too late to the hospital? [Note: Never buy flowers from roadside vendors near cemeteries.]

Blame Esther A. Howland (1828 – 1904) of Worcester, Massachusetts. Her guilt is writ large by the Greeting Card Association’s Esther Howland Award for a Greeting Card Visionary. She imported the concept to the US from Britain to bolster her father’s stationery store in 1847.

Of course, it wasn’t long before the stationers had infiltrated school boards and imposed the now mandatory exchange in the classroom to push the low end product of Asian children and prisoners. [Another reason to reduce class sizes.]

Seeing the success of the card merchants, the confectioners jumped on board to fill the lull between Christmas and Easter with the benefit that the bulk of purchases would be made by desperate men with less sense of taste than a golden retriever. If the box was red, heart-shaped, and said chocolate, a man would buy it. [Keeping in mind that spelling is not ‘a guy thing’.]

There were at least three Saint Valentines and all were martyrs, as they should have been for the trouble they’ve caused. None are the reason for the “holiday”, only the excuse. They lived at a time when life and men were short and brutal, so the romantic aura of the holiday is pure piffle. At least one was reportedly part of a draft dodging scheme during the Roman Empire, marrying people so that men with “other priorities” could avoid being deployed to foreign wars, bachelors being preferred for catapult fodder.

It is to be hoped that the individual who first wrote: “Roses are red, violets are blue” was eaten by rabid wolverines, or had hemorrhoids. [Violets aren’t blue, they are violet. Get a clue…]


1 ellroon { 02.16.13 at 5:50 pm }

…eaten by rabid wolverines, or had hemorrhoids…. how about both? I have successfully worked on my family members to detach the importance of the ‘day’ from all our anniversaries/ birthdays/ holidays except for Thanksgiving and Christmas. We’ve often had a family birthday party instead of individual ones, we never go out on Mother’s Day or Valentine’s, we have to count on our fingers to figure out how many years we’ve been married. I despise people who get upset at their partner for forgetting a special day or get mad because a gift is not forthcoming (or worse yet, the wrong gift is given). Talk about setting up a trap for someone to fall into.

You do nice things for people throughout the year to show them they are special to you. End of story.

2 Bryan { 02.16.13 at 8:30 pm }

I bought my Mother an azalea, but it wasn’t for Valentine’s Day, it was because she has wanted this particular variety for years and it happened to be featured in a VD display. I have been looking for the thing forever, but Red Ruffles are not normally carried in local stores, as they are considered a ‘florist’s variety’.

I buy things when I see them and know that someone wants them, not because it is some special date. It is really annoying when someone says – ‘we will save it and give it to them on’ some specific date or accomplishment. I do it because I like them, not because I need to check off an obligation.

You’re right, Ellroon – do it because you want to when you want to, not because you have to.