For those of us in relationships, Valentines Day is a high-pressure spot. I mean, this is a whole holiday dedicated to grand romantic gestures, to doing everything in our power to show our significant other that we care about them and that we know enough facts about them to know how much money we need to inevitably spend to prove that. But what about the people who just can’t be bothered? And, inversely, what about all the sweat-drenched goobers on blind dates looking to come across as sweet, playful, and altogether non-threatening? Whose going to help those guys out? Well, never fear, because for quite a long time, Valentines Day has largely just been an excuse to get us to spend one whole day a year buying chocolate, balloons, stuffed animals, and cards.
If we’re being honest, Valentines Day is probably more dedicated to keeping those four or five strangely lit stores in every mall open than it is to providing anybody with a celebration of love as it exists between two people. But you know, it’s not all so bad. Chocolate? Rules. Balloons? Awesome. Stuffed bears and dogs and monkeys, contorted into the shape of a heart, their placid faces distorted in an absent, forever suffering? Very dope. Cards, though? Awful. Most store-bought cards, all the time, for every reason, are awful. Some are clever, but even then it’s not like I’m giving my dearest an episode of Frasier. That would rule. Cards are just about the laziest way of saying “I like you”/”I love you”/”I’m capable of expressing emotion,” and as this list proves, they’re also by far the strangest.
5. To A Special Woman
Just took a pic of this card in a shop in Dover lmfao pic.twitter.com/qSGtliyiRz
— Andy Barr (@SomeNiceFun) February 8, 2017
The great thing about giving your girlfriend a card that implies you view her as something of a sister is that no matter what, she’ll have to smile and say, “Oh…yeah! Totally…same.” How close do you have to be with your sister in order to get to this point with your girlfriend? And yeah, maybe this is a card meant for one female friend from the other, but if that’s really true, then how distant do you have to be from your actual sister to start adopting new ones and using cards to seal the deal? Nothing good can come of this.
4. My Sexy Valentine
I've found it. I've found The Worst Valentine's Day Card. pic.twitter.com/Vk3orUAtVW
— Ben Walker (@BensNotWriting) January 30, 2016
Ah, yes, that perfect card to buy for your girlfriend who looks exactly like this card and wants this card as a gift from you. Nothing says, “I have sincere and honest feelings for you” like a horny old man’s drawing of a naked cartoon woman. Knowing how most guys A) shop, and B) come to conclusions regarding the emotional consequences of their actions towards others, there is no doubt in my mind that 98.7% of guys who bought this card were shocked to not have gotten any that night. I’m sure her birthday will go much better, though.
3. Cutting the Cheese
Valentines day cards are weird to begin with. Having said that— pic.twitter.com/jLeCmQ6A
— I Am Karal (@thatGuyKaral) February 4, 2013
Valentines Day has always been about finding unique ways to say “Will you be mine?,” and finding far less unique ways of advertising cheese. This vintage letter, possibly once sold in stores but more likely placed in catalogues and magazines, seems to rely slightly more on that latter aspect of V Day, one we all know so well. I just kind of have to assume that Limburger Cheese had been sitting on this catastrophe throughout the Fall and Winter months, dead set on the imagery of a terrier cutting one into a sleeping man’s grinning mouth, but they simply had no way to make it stick. Am I saying this would have been a better Christmas Card? No. Am I saying it should have been a Valentines Day card? No. Am I in the mood for Limburger Cheese, now? Unbelievably so.
2. Target Gets “Ultra Romantic”
— C.Sea Bernard (@CseaE) January 26, 2018
I’m not angry at Target for selling a card that is pretty much only sexual in every way. At this point, you might as well be as blunt as possible. We kind of get the gist of the holiday by now. What I actually love here is how upset this Twitter user is to have seen this in the card section at Target. A card section, mind you, that is likely propped up by a vast variety of “beaver” jokes and cartoons of old, cigarette-smoking women with their breasts wrapped around their knees, with captions like, “They say you get wiser as you get older. But everyone around me is dead. Margaritas, anyone?” Would she consider those cards “ultra romantic” as well? I sure hope not.
1. Just Steak It Easy, Buddy
The great thing about these vintage Valentines Day cards is that they rarely have anything to do with love and often have far, far more to do with an inescapable, abstract fear of being alone on February 14th. And once again, a strange amount to do with food. Take the antics of Big Red Meat Cutting Boy, here. Is this card communicating anything whatsoever about love, affection, yearning, gratitude, or even friendship? I don’t know. I don’t know what “staking” your heart to someone implies, besides all of the obsessive and terrifying things that it immediately implies. It sounds like what Mark Wahlberg would do in an alternate ending to Fear. It sounds like a threat. What we have in the end is this rosacea-ridden butcher’s apprentice and his large cutlery, acting as a symbol of the hostage situation we’ve surely just entered into upon accepting this gracious gift. Look into those eyes. Look at them. Now run.