html xmlns:og='' xmlns:expr=''> Lounging at the Waldorf: Happy Valentine's Day Part One


Sunday, February 14, 2016

Happy Valentine's Day Part One

I know some of you hate Valentine's Day because every year on Facebook you write, "I hate Valentine's Day." That's cool. There are many reasons to get annoyed with it. The commodification of romantic love. The message that being partnered is cause for annual celebration while you being your awesome you is annually ignored. The cheap teddy bears. The cheap chocolate. The cheap balloons.

But, if you want, we can look at this holiday through the positive lens of herstory.

If you haven't already met, allow me to introduce you to Esther Howland. Esther brought the ready made Valentine's Day card to the United States.

Before the advances of the printing press in the 1800's, American couples either exchanged handmade messages of love or bought expensive cards that were made overseas. Having received a fancy card from the UK, 20-year-old Helen decided to make up some samples of similar cards to be produced in the US. She thought she'd get a few hundred orders.

Instead, she got 5,000.

Of course you could see Esther as the person who planted the seed that later yielded the the red and pink lollipop bouquet and the scented, sound chip embedded plastic rose. The entrepreneur who helped deliver the modern version of the message that a woman's worth is based on how much her man spends on her.

Or you could see her as someone who owned her own business, the New England Valentines Company, by the time she was 24 and employed scores of other women to make these cards on an assembly line.

The choice is yours. Both are true.

No comments:

Post a Comment