Weather Forecast


Prime Time/Valentine's Day celebrations evolve throughout life

Do you expect to get a Valentine card this month? Will you be sending one or more?

This holiday plays a different role in our lives at various ages. When we are little kids, our parents or other relatives may send or give us cute little cards. When we get to school age, it becomes a bigger deal.

Early in my school years, we carefully chose the ones in our class whom we wanted to bring cards to that day. Then the teachers began to realize that some kids got lots of greetings and one or two got none. That resulted in the decree that we must have greetings for everyone or no one. This gave the "dime store" a run on cheap kid oriented cards. (Do you remember when we called Woolworth's and Kresge's the Dime Store? There really was a lot of stuff that could be had for a dime or two.)

If you had a "crush" on someone in the class, that person would get a card that was a bit fancier. As we moved on to junior high and beyond if the class celebrated the day at all, it was with someone's mother providing cup cakes with pink frosting. If cards were exchanged, it was in the hall by the lockers or in the mail.

As we moved on to college and beyond, it became a more serious indication of true feelings, and girls were hesitant and cautious about sending to a boy they liked until they were pretty sure that guy was going to send them one. We often carried an extra card or two in the pocket of our zippered notebooks in case we received one that we hadn't expected.

This holiday would have been a good chance to teach some history to kids, but I don't ever recall any time when there was discussion of the history of St. Valentine. It seems that there was more than one martyr in history named Valentine. Two of them are buried in Rome, and the so-called relics of one are in Ireland. They date back to the third and fourth centuries, so it is understandable that our historical knowledge is limited. No matter, we can enjoy a holiday in mid-winter that encourages affection and is an excuse for some delicious treats.

After we become adults and marry, the celebration for St. Valentine becomes a different one. Often a couple will decide to go out for a nice dinner, or the wife might prepare something special that is her husband's favorite, and they exchange cards - usually ones a bit more elegant and expensive than those we gave to special school friends.

So Happy Valentine's Day and forget your diet and enjoy the treats.