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1922 - Saint Valentines Day

Next Tuesday will be St. Valentines Day, February 14.

It's a good day to send a greeting to your sweetheart or divorced wife or ex-bartender friend or any one with whom you'd like to keep on good terms.

It's a day when lovers and heavyladen mail carriers give expression to their pent-up emotions.

It should he a day for caution. Many a mighty marriage license has sprung from a little valentine.

The valentine has wide uses. A carefully chosen one sent to your favorite registered plumber may soften his heart so that he will drop around some time this winter and fix your broken pipes with only the customary "slight" charge, Or with a neat and sentimental epigram you may he able to win over your neighbor's cook and persuade her to live exclusively ever after in your humble kitchen.

But seriously speaking Valentines Day has its more sober side its traditions, its sentiment is thousands of votaries, principally among the children and adolescents.

St. Valentine was a saint of the Roman calendar, said to have been married in 306 A. D. The custom of choosing valentines on his birth day (14th February) has been accidentally associated with his name. On the eve of St. Valentine's day young people of both sexes used to meet, and each of them drew one by lot from a number of names of the opposite sex, which were put in a common receptacle. Each gentleman thus got a lady for his valentine and became the valentine of a lady. The gentlemen remained bound to the service of their valentines for a year. A similar custom prevailed in the Roman Luperealia. to which the modern custom has, with probability, been traced.

Most sober married folks look back with some amusement to the Februaries of old, when they used to send valentines to their best loves. It was a thrilling moment when the lacey and sugary missives were dispatched. You hardly dared meet your inamorata on the street, in your anxiety to know how she had taken it.

Do the boys and girls of today send those sentimental offerings of Cupid any more? To be sure the shops have a lot of valentine stock. But they seem to be more of the post card order - little remembrances for children to send each other before they have arrived at the sickly and morbid age of calf love. The "comic" valentine once so popular is also much on the wane.

Probably the old-fashioned sentimental valentine has gone out. The youth of today still entertain the same old tender sentiments as of yore. It's in the blood. But they are more sensitive to ridicule and hate to make themselves absurd, so they assume coy and offish airs and are not given to frank avowal. It is just as well.

The Highland Democrat
Peekskill, N.Y.
February 11, 1922

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