Valentine’s Day, while meant to celebrate love and togetherness, can be a divisive and uncomfortable holiday, full of pain and sober reflection. We here at the Vicky A’s wish all the love in the world to our fantastic readers and would like to gift you all with Valentines. Vinegar Valentines.
Vinegar Valentines were created around 1840 in America and had quite the run in popularity throughout the Victorian Era and culminating in the 1940’s and 1950’s. As described, they are the antithesis of the Valentine’s cards that we normally give out today and are more akin to hate mail. They would appear as short poems or unfortunate personal descriptions of the receiver, be they an old maid, a vain rooster, a dandy, a loose woman, etc. Who came up with the idea of trolling someone on Valentine’s Day? Only the Victorian’s, people. Unfortunately, some of them could get REALLY really hateful; too hateful even for me to post (I found one that basically told the receiver that they were such a loser they should go hang themselves and the image featured a rope around the individuals neck!! And we feel that bullying is so much worse these days?). So, here are a few of the more wacky and amusing ones.
From Wikipedia: “The unflattering cards reportedly created a stir throughout all social levels, sometimes provoking fistfights and arguments. Ironically, the receiver, not the sender, was responsible for the cost of postage up until the 1840s. A person in those days paid for the privilege of being insulted by an often anonymous “admirer.” Millions of vinegar valentines, with verses that insulted a person’s looks, intelligence, or occupation, were sold between the 19th and 20th centuries.”
It’s a horribly mean-spirited trend but you must admit, it’s also pretty outrageous and hilarious in the fact that the whole idea IS so outrageous, a caricature and bastardization of a holiday about love. It also seems to disparage men and women rather equally. Yay, I guess?
This one is a personal favorite.
Happy Valentine’s Day, dear readers! Let not this day lead you to fisticuffs and may your day be full of honey and warmth rather than vinegar. XOXO