Six Questions You Might Be Afraid to Ask About Valentine's Day Cards
1. Can I send a Valentine's Day card to a married person?
If the couple are happily married, why would anyone want to send a card? Is it in the hope of breaking up the marriage?
Somewhere deep in the thoughts of someone wanting to send such a valentine there must be a plan or a desire to take the person away from their spouse.
In that case, and if that is you, then are you wrestling with what is right or wrong?
If not, then you don't need to read this answer because you already have no conscience in the matter. You would happily try to pry someone away from their spouse even when they are happily married.
If the couple are separated, they might get back together again. Or seeing your Valentine's Day card on the table could be the straw the breaks the camel's back and ends the marriage for good.
Let's reverse the situation: If you were in the position of one of the spouses and a stranger sent a card to your spouse and started to crowd you out, how would you feel?
Actually, how would you feel?
You might feel stung into action and determined to save your marriage. Or it might deflate you and end your chances of saving your marriage. Can the stranger be held responsible for how you feel?
OK, let's get back into the role of the person wondering whether it is OK to send a Valentine's Day card to a married person whose marriage is in trouble.
You know what comes to mind? It's the phrase, All is fair in love and war.
Actually, we know that's not true for war. The phrase may date from the 1500s, but when we use it today we acknowledge that The Geneva Conventions say what you can do and what you cannot do in war.
When it says fair in war it doesn't mean it is OK to use weapons that are banned under the Geneva Conventions, it means it's OK to use guile and sneakiness to outmanoeuvre your opponent.
And the same in love. It is OK to use guile and sneakiness in love. But not to break up a marriage.
Why not? Because the vows of marriage say that what God has joined together let no man put asunder. The parties shall not divorce because God joined them and neither they nor any third parties have the power to un-join them.
Well of course that is based on the Christian precept from verses in Scriptures. The reality is that divorce is sanctioned even by some Christian churches. And not all married people are Christians, or even religious in any sense. And 50% of marriages in the UK end in divorce.
And yet - there is an air of sanctity about a marriage. If not, then this question about whether it is OK to send a Valentine's Day card to a married person, has no weight and no interest for you.
Can I send a Valentine's Day card to a person of the same sex when I am not gay and neither is the other person?
A nice question. Is it OK to send a card to show platonic love? Who is to say no? Who can claim authority to say it is wrong?
Of course you can send one.
According to legend, Saint Valentine was accused of performing wedding ceremonies for those forbidden to marry.
While on trial, he restored the sight of the daughter of the judge who was trying his case. And before his execution he wrote her a letter signed 'Your Valentine'.
If Valentine's Day subsequently became associated with romantic love, who is to say that it is written in stone that expressions of love can only be romantic?
Is it OK to be rude in a Valentine's Day card?
What is rude? In 1977 the Sex Pistols were tried on charges of gross indecency for using the world bollocks on the cover of their album. They were acquitted when their barrister pointed out to the court that in Old English the word meant a priest or nonsense.
Now in 2019, you will see every rude word on cards, T shirts, in print, and in art.
So what is rude?
We know what is rude: that is why exactly those words are on cards, T shirts, etc.
Even on a ship of fools the passengers desire to be treated well.
And if they say they don't want that, and they want to be abused and tickled with profanity - then what use is Valentine's Day to them.
Deep down, people want others to speak to the better part of them, to respect them for the inner souls that they are.
Rude words do not do that. They might appear to be audacious, cheeky - but in fact they are uncivil and disrespectful, unmannerly and graceless.
There is a time and place for them (or they would not exist) but they are not romantic, or even pleasant.
Can I send a Valentine's Day card to a person I feel sexually attracted to but towards whom I have no romantic feelings?
If you ask this question, you are obviously a considerate person. You do not want to hurt someone's feelings.
Love may develop from sexual attraction, it often does.
Let's look at it the other way around. What are romantic feelings? They are feelings of love. They are amorous, and passionate. But let's imagine the classic case of the late 1950s woman who has read the magazines and wants to be married.
She marries; they have children; she puts aside the thoughts he had of having a career of her own, a job of her own.
One day she walks out of her house and sees the other houses on the street, the gardens, the curtains in the windows. In a blinding flash of pain she sees the fantasy she has been living. She has become a role. Her romance was an idealised view of reality. She wants to break free.
What does she do? What does it mean for her? Does it mean leaving and starting over? What is at the heart of this person who hardly knows herself?
This is an example. It applies to men as well as women - to all people who want to step out of the myth that drives their lives.
So, in all of that - sexual attraction has every right to stand its ground and take its place with all other feelings on Valentine's Day.
Can I a Valentine's Day card to several people?
Ah, the spirit of romance is not strong in you. You are a flirt, but you do not (as yet) have deep feelings. Why on Earth would want to declare love to several people? Unless of course you are already romantically entwined with them all. In which case, you too do not need answers to questions like this.
Can I as an older relative send a Valentine's Day card to a young person who is from say 7 through to 15 years old?
I'd say no. You might say it is a bit of fun. And I would say that below a certain age, a person is not fully formed enough to have a proper handle on fun that borders on the romantic. So the answer is no.
Roll up, roll up, get your lovely Valentine's Day cards at Flying Twigs