Moss, is humor writer from Tennessee. She writes a
weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny
things that happen to everyone.
She has written for the Daily News of Kingsport, Griffin Journal,
Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton
Advocate, and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News
Journal. She has been
published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks
at Guidepost Books. Her articles have appeared in
numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.
She is a
former board member and past Editor of the Columnists.com, website of the National Society of Newspaper
oldest and largest professional organization
for columnists. She is the Web Editor of
Humorists.com and a founder of the Southern Humorists writers'
organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of HumorColumnist.com.
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Online Since 1999
||From Your Valentine....
Why is it that we take everything that is
good and try our best to turn it into something that is marketable? Take
Valentine's Day for instance. What is intended to be is a simple declaration of
one person's love for another. But somehow, just saying, "I love you"
isn't enough any more.
All of this hoopla started, according to legend, when St. Valentine, who was in
jail at the time for marrying couples against the orders of the Roman Emperor,
sent a letter to the jailer's daughter before he was executed and signed it,
"From Your Valentine."
That supposedly started the custom of sending hand written greetings of
affection, which soon led to cards with romantic poems to say what people were
unable to say for themselves. The cards were called Valentines, of all things.
Cards are not such a bad thing since a lot of people seem to be too embarrassed
to actually say how they feel and need a poet to say it for them.
Valentines soon became more and more elaborate and
were sold commercially, decorated with lace and ribbons and accompanied by
When the chocolate and candy industry began to flourish with the discovery of a
process for mass-producing milk chocolate, a marketing strategy was to associate
chocolates with Valentines and package them in a heart shaped box. Needless to
say, the gimmick was a wild success.
Soon other commercial interests were getting in on the day. Jewelers urged you
to purchase diamonds to symbolize love and purity, and tried to extend the
association with marriage into Valentine's Day. Wine, perfume, lotions, scented
candles, soaps; just about anything that can remotely be associated with romance
was suddenly on the market.
Department stores have racks of red sleepwear and lingerie is displayed
prominently in shop windows. Bakeries push sweets for your sweetheart with
Valentine cupcakes and heart shaped cookies. Discount stores bloom with
heart-shaped red balloons. Supermarkets, drug stores, and specialty stores all
get in on the action.
Wedding chapels do a booming business in couples that want to tie the knot and
say "I do" on this most romantic of days. Florists sell more flowers
for Valentine's than at any other time. One third of all roses are sold on
Valentine's Day, mostly red, and more cards are sold for Valentine's Day than at
any other time of the year except Christmas -- and that isn't even counting
packaged cards exchanged by children.
So what does all this have to do with love? It seems to have more to do with
merchants convincing us that we have to buy, buy, buy and not to buy is not to
love. We must express our sentiment with a gift.
So, who doesn't like flowers, cards, and candy? Not many. But don't let the
frenzy of commercialization replace what Valentine is supposed to be, the simple
expression of affection for one person for another. Give gifts if you want to,
or accept them for the intentions of the giver. But the, be sure to remember to
say, "I love you."
And now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go buy some red balloons for my
grandkids and a card for my honey before all the good ones are gone.
Copyright 2007 Sheila Moss
Nashville, TN 37219
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