Happy Valentine’s Day

Published 4:50 pm Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Although our newspaper is published on Wednesday, it’s printed on Tuesday. It happens this week that the publishing date is February 14, also known as Valentine’s Day. Men, don’t forget. Comedian Jay Leno said this on one February 14th. “Today is Valentine’s Day-or as men like to call it Extortion Day.”

Donna Sue is great about decorating around all the holidays and hearts and candy have been very evident for many days. She deserves a big box of chocolates. I’ll be sure to buy the kind I like.

“All you need is love,” is the name of a Beatles’ song, but also the start of a quote by Peanuts’ writer, Charles Schultz. He writes, “All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.” Can I get an Amen?

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Big boxes of chocolates have been around for a long time. Stephen Whitman was a young man of nineteen and living in Philadelphia when, in 1842, he decided to take all the nuts, cocoa, and fruits that were brought to his town by sailors and create the confections that were popular in Europe.

Before long, Whitman’s chocolates were popular all around the northeastern portion of our United States. After using a tin container for his chocolates, Whitman finally introduced the boxed Whitman Sampler in 1912. For decades they were sold only in the cooler times of the year because chocolate melts so easily, but in the mid-1940’s General Electric developed a refrigerated display case and the candies could be sold year round.

The Whitman Sampler continues today, but it’s no longer owned by the Whitman Company. Still, people like me buy them and open them. We look at the top of the box and pick out our favorites or we mash them until the creamy insides rush out and we choose which chocolate-covered flavor we like. I’m partial to the caramels and the nutty ones.

Candy is not the only Valentine’s Day gifts. There are more flowers sent on Valentine’s Day than any other holiday except for Christmas and Mother’s Day. Long stem red roses are the most popular and billions of roses are sent, while billions of dollars are spent.

I read that the number of roses sent has significance. I believe that, but not necessarily what I read. For instance, it is said that if you send only one rose, it means “You are the only one for me.” I believe that you send only one rose because you are either a cheapskate or can’t afford but one!

If you send three dozen, the saying is that “my heart belongs to you.” I believe one would send three dozen roses only because he is deep, deep trouble. The more you send, the guiltier you are.

And then there are Valentine’s Day cards. When did that tradition begin? Most agree that there was a Saint Valentine and he was in jail to be executed. He had met his jailer’s daughter and fallen in love with her so he sent her a letter, a Valentine Card, before his execution. Talk about “loving someone to death.”

There was a man who was at a post office counter sending many, many cards with hearts on them. He was licking the “Love” stamps and another man saw him and could not resist asking, “What are you doing?”

The man said, “I am sending a thousand Valentine’s Day cards and signing them ‘Guess Who?’”

“Why” the man asked.

“I’m a divorce lawyer,” he smiled and said.

Today, as you receive your paper or read this online, don’t forget to remember those you love. Happy Valentine’s Day.