Symbols of Love

By : Jim Pinto,
San Diego, CA.
USA

In February each year, the opportunity (or obligation) to send Valentine cards comes around. Itís supposed to be a tradition dating back to the third century. In this fast-changing world, everything seems temporary. Perhaps thatís why so many people seem to want to follow old traditions.

This article was published by:
San Diego Mensan, February 2004

Most of us are addicted to Love. And those who are not addicted, or have fallen out of love for whatever reason, seem to wish they were still afflicted and long to get back into it.

Chemical, biological, emotional or God-gifted, love is supposed to conquer all. And Valentine's Day is our admission that we're all just a bunch of love junkies.

In February each year, the opportunity (or obligation) to send Valentine cards comes around. Itís supposed to be a tradition dating back to the third century. In this fast-changing world, everything seems temporary. Perhaps thatís why so many people seem to want to follow old traditions.

After having already sent greetings for Christmas, Hanukah and New Year, maybe this is just another thing that has been commercialized to sell more stuff. Perhaps thatís how the old traditions of St. Patrickís Day and Fatherís Day and Motherís Day and Secretaryís Day and all those other celebrations were invented.

Valentineís Day is celebrated by showing love, affection and appreciation for others. Popular ways to celebrate include dining out, sending flowers, exchanging Valentine cards, giving candy, and spending romantic time together.

Valentines are supposed to be given secretly, to proclaim oneís secret love for another. But thatís been forgotten and most people seem to present their Valentines without being in the least bit bashful.

With approximately 200 million cards exchanged countrywide, Valentineís Day is the second largest holiday for giving greeting cards. About 74% of Americans celebrate Valentineís Day, and 55% of their love demonstrations involve the purchase of at least one card for a romantic relationship.

Hallmark (the greeting-card people) offers 3,600 different Valentineís Day cards, with more than 500 different types for romantic-love relationships, ranging from dating and new love, to hot romance, to long-time valued companionship, and everything in between. Apparently, Hallmark research has revealed the ďFour RísĒ that people look for in romantic Valentines: recognition, romance, reflection and reconnection. Romantic valentines are typically quite elaborate and expensive, and are usually kept as tangible remembrances of the treasured words of love.

The top recipients of Valentines are: husband, wife, son, daughter, grandchild, friends and parents. There are not too many cards for brothers and sisters, it seems, at least early on in life. Perhaps there are still some secret, unrequited-love Valentines. Women receive well over half of all valentines; men either donít want them, or donít need them, or are not particularly susceptible to whatever they signify. But, they are big buyers, because women enjoy romantic gestures.

Hey, gotta go. Iím a cheapskate and, after composing my own little love poem and printing it out with some clipart on my computer, Iím off to WalMart to buy my wife a jar of jellybeans. It helps to keep our romance going.

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Copyright 2003 : Jim Pinto, San Diego, CA, USA