A caution, dear reader, brace yourself. In less than three weeks, the perennial tsunami, occurring each February 14, will predictably reassert itself in its traditional turbulent surge. The only real fans of the unfortunate weather will be the usual suspects, the greeting card companies, chocolate manufacturers, the florists, the retail jewelry businesses, the pajama industry, and the novelty sales folk. The expected tide of Valentine’s day, judging by previous experience, will inundate all property, human population and certainly, human reason. Among other events, the advertising industry will publish a hurricane of messages, in great part featuring fictional, photo-shopped, seemingly amorous couples alongside assorted merchandise for sale.

Since (mercifully) this holiday has a short half-life, one day, the need for effective sales propaganda, on the part of relevant businesses, becomes urgent. Great profit is tactically earned by assorted companies who presumptuously believe that there is a real, tacit (and commercial) need to supplement the interaction of couples in love. Greeting card companies are especially guilty of this convenient understanding and hire world famous love poets to create doggerel, consisting of inane expressions of love and fidelity, on behalf of thousands of unseen consumers.

The most reprehensible of all the Valentine’s Day features is the trite symbol, the red valentine “heart,” an outmoded and retro configuration that appears, without relief, on all holiday’s products, greeting cards, stuffed toys and candy boxes. This symbol is imprinted on all items for sale and, unfortunately as well, upon the human mind by” Manchurian candidate” type propaganda.

Various research people, who apparently have no more pressing fields of inquiry for the targeting of their PHD acumen, have reported that the subject symbol is derived from an incorrect understanding by, (no less than) Galen and Aristotle who believed that the human heart possesses only three chambers. [It may be noted that Aristotle and Dr. Galen, were nevertheless, correct on a great many other subjects].

This unfortunate and lazy representation of the heart, maintains the very proportional degree of accuracy as a wood duck, in appearance, bears to a moose. Admittedly, it has, over the many years, been thrust upon, and accepted by the consuming public as appropriate and timely.

In accurate fact, the human heart is shaped like a pear and is the approximate size of a man’s fist. This life-or death chest muscle is tasked with the job of circulating blood and oxygen throughout the body. It has no time, or inclination, apparently, for holiday Hallmark propaganda, as the source of love, courage, strength, resolve or kindness. The statement “He has a good heart” should be relegated solely to a positive conclusion by a cardiologist, and not a positive comment on generosity. We are only concerned with cardiologists and not “cardeologists.” How about a positive comment on his generosity, like, “He has good kidneys.”

It is inarguable that all human thought and emotion are exclusively functions of the brain and not the traditionally romanticized heart muscle. Admittedly, it would be impractical to, artistically, create a brain-shaped cartoon object to serve as an artificial symbol for the holiday.

We, however, unlike certain political organizations, believe in repeal and immediate replacement. The obsolete valentine heart representation is best replaced by a better artificial symbol of love, the unique and wonderful tulip bulb. Certainly, the outline of the traditional bulb is simple to replicate, artistically. More importantly, it has always been a reliable symbol of future growth and predictable great beauty. From the modern conception of mature and healthy love, it is independent and self-sustaining, having within itself a systemic and sufficient source of nourishment as well as the natural ability and inclination to grow and achieve its innate potential.

The tulip, itself, in the Middle Ages was thought to be magical; there are records of its individual sale for the modern equivalent of several thousand dollars. The tulip bulb is a natural, philosophical and true symbolic representation of romantic love. If you offer one to him/her and it is refused, we suggest that you look elsewhere!


Why should it be necessary to dedicate a one day event in which to express one’s love; and to do so by t gifts of holiday nonsense. Love is experienced and recognized every day and, where it is real, is expressed in tender looks and genuine private, personal acts.  Valentine’s day is unfortunately best comparable to free turkey dinners given on thanksgiving morning to the hungry to satisfy the giver; hunger is year- round and the hungry need more than gratuitous symbolism.




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Retired from the practice of law'; former Editor in Chief of Law Review; Phi Beta Kappa; Poet. Essayist Literature Student and enthusiast.

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