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February 13, 2019

You may have missed the story on the evening news, but it was reported that the small traditional candy hearts imprinted with romantic words may not be sold this year. This important story with national interest was fit in between the recent news on the border wall and a story about Tom Brady and the Super Bowl. It's pretty impressive, if you think about it - Sweetheart candy before Tom Brady. Maybe the reason the candy hearts could not be sold was because they were deflated this year. Well, that kind of news breaks my heart.

The origins of Valentine's Day goes back many centuries, as far back as ancient Rome. Why February 14th? There are several reasons given in history. But the one I prefer is that on that day it was observed birds begin building nests to raise that year's young. Isn't that romantic? Maybe they should have called it St. Birdy Day, or even Nesting Day. But somehow, those names do not have the romantic appeal of St. Valentine's Day.

I'll bet most of you remember when in 1382 Geoffrey Chaucer wrote. "For this was on seynet Volantnys day, when euery bryd comth there to chese his mate". They talked funny in the 14th century. What do these words mean in today's language? "For on this was St. Valentine's Day, when every bird cometh to choose his mate."

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If you think it is a little strange that Chaucer wrote about mating birds, you should know three other prominent poets of the time wrote about the same subject. I guess before television, I Pads, and the internet they didn't have much else to write about. They were so prim and proper in those days it was unethical and illegal to say out loud, "bird sex." Instead they had to say, "Euery bryd comth there to chese his mate." Maybe that's why they called it the romantic middle ages instead of the weird middle ages. I never thought about it before, but Cupid the bringer of Valentine's Day has wings just like a bird.

In this country, it was around 1840 that the first Valentine cards were printed. The lone company that printed cards reportedly earned $100,000 in the first year. Today, a custom-made Valentine card can cost as much as the buyer is willing pay. For most of us, we'll pay an average of around $10. An estimated 190 million cards will be sent or given. Earnings for the card companies an estimated $18 billion dollars back in 2017. How can we possibly understand how many cards that is? I'll just bet if the day after Valentine's Day someone would stack all those cards, along with the empty candy boxes end to end, and then stack them on top of each other, we could build a wall across our southern border. Stack all the dried up red thorny roses along the bottom of the wall, and it surely it would stop easy access into our country.

Tomorrow is Valentine's Day and if you have not gotten your loved one a token of your love, time is running out. You should know that jewelry is the most wanted gift for women. Next, are red roses followed by Valentine cards. And finally, a box of candy. And if you guys are thinking about being a cheap skate and sending an E card to your loved one, you might want to rethink that idea. A dancing Cupid with bird wings might get the response from your loved one, "AH, isn't cute." But if you give her roses along with a card and a box of chocolates with a shiny piece of jewelry hidden inside... Just think what Forest Gump might have said about love, "Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you may get, 'When She Looks Through The Lens."



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