Sunday, February 8, 2015

Sending my lov-o-gram

The men killed the animal then struck the women with the flesh of said kill. It is said that during this February celebration the women lined up to get slapped with that strip of flesh believing that this act made them more fertile. Now this is not my idea of the way to spend Valentine's Day, but this was the age of the Roman empire during the feast of Lupercalia. Well, we cannot all have such exciting Valentine's Days.

Annually, $13.9 billion dollars are spent in celebration of love. They call this a Hallmark holiday, and why not? 180 million cards are exchanged yearly. Now that is a lot of paper. Having worked at one such store, I observed the ins and outs of Valentine's Day shopping. The men rush in at the last moment. They grab a card, dash to the counter to pay and, most often, have a box of  Sees Candy under their arms. Women come in looking for that perfect card. They buy for their loved ones the oldest to the youngest. Perhaps a stuffed toy goes home as well.

Paper Valentines were first mass produced in England in the early 18th century. By 1835, 60,000 such love cards were sent through the mail in Britain. A booming business sending love out into the world. A little later the first box of chocolate would be introduced by a man named Richard Cadbury. He actually decorated the box with a painting of his sweet daughter holding a kitten. I guess this means he invented the first box of Valentine's candy and the advent of more cavities.

So, Pam, what brings this all to mind today? Well, it is back to that basket of post cards that sat on Pop Johnson's coffee table. When putting the old Christmas post cards back in the basket, I got sidetracked with the Valentines. There are three that have delighted me over the years. One card is of a young soldier dressed in WWI uniform shooting a cannon ball heart at a woman standing atop a castle, wearing a cowboy hat and carrying a sword. No words. Just a blazing heart headed at the love of his life. Hm. The other is called a "lov-o-gram". A puppy holds a Valentine while hiding in a clothes basket. When opened, a little girl in black Mary Jane shoes pops up, "If my Valentine you'll be, I'll do the washing cheerfully." Can you imagine! Now if he offered to do the washing, I just might consider the offer. The last is a handmade card. The roughly cut heart is colored red with crayon. A small picture of a child is pasted in the middle. It is to my mother from Flora Jones. A primitive Valentine created just for my mother. One of a kind. What could be more special.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if Valentine's Day love and consideration carried over every day? Wouldn't it be wonderful if everyone received words of love to cherish over and over again? We can all relate to when as children we opened our Valentine's boxes to see if we received a special card from a special someone. It is not about slapping a woman with freshly killed meat or loving her for washing your clothes. It is not about how much a fella spends on his girl but more about how much he cares to show his affection in his own way and she in hers.

I will not be helping with the sales for greeting card companies this year. I did not even get my Christmas cards sent. But I will send love out far and wide by handing out smiles and kind words. I will take time to notice the people I pass and to tell those close to me that indeed I do love them. It will be my personal touch.

So to you, my friends, I send my own lov-o-gram. I wish you love and happiness on this Valentine's Day. And, may it follow you every day.

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