Valentine’s Day Blues


Valentine’s Day

A Seattle Divorce Law Firm That Celebrates Valentine’s Day?

Quite a few years ago our local Chamber of Commerce used to hold monthly social/networking events at different businesses. Our law firm offered to host such an event. When the dates for the various events were given out, we found we had been assigned February, for a date only a few days removed from Valentine’s Day (might have even been the day after).

As you can imagine, Valentine’s Day did not seem like a great theme for a divorce law firm. At the same time, we were going to be too close to the holiday to just ignore it. So we decided the only thing we could do was to host an opposite day party. So we put it together as a Broken Hearts Post-Valentine’s Day Blues party.

We had a blues playlist playing the whole time. We picked out wines with appropriate names like Ménage à Trois, Drunken Goat, and Vixen. We even had a special neon light made up as a centerpiece with a glowing broken heart.

The best touch, however, was that we managed to find some valentine candy hearts called Bittersweets from a company called Despair, Inc. Instead of the usual romantic sayings, they said things like “Mommy Issues”, “Return My CDs”, and “C U In Court”.

The party went well, and we felt we had handled it the best way a divorce law firm possibly could. But we did not sign up for the same date the following year.


Why Does the World Celebrate Valentine’s Day?

Surprisingly, Valentine’s Day is not just a creation of greeting card companies. The day actually celebrates St. Valentine, a popular saint back in the Middle Ages (see History of Valentine’s Day), although it is a bit murky as to who the original St. Valentine actually was. Also according to the History Channel, “The oldest known valentine still in existence today was a poem written in 1415 by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London following his capture at the Battle of Agincourt.”

Before the advent of commercial valentine cards, it had become the custom at least as early as the 1700’s to exchange handmade valentines. However, not all valentines were sent to lovers. Back in the Victorian Era (1800’s) as commercially printed cards were coming into vogue, there was apparently also a tradition of “vinegar valentines“, meant to ward off unwanted suitors. One such card read “To My Valentine / ‘Tis a lemon that I hand you and bid you now ‘skidoo,’ Because I love another—there is no chance for you”.

Even outside of warning off suitors, there were also more generally “comic valentines” that were meant to mock or insult just about anyone from landlords, to employers, to just about anyone else one might be annoyed with. These cards were sometimes so mean they were confiscated by postal authorities, and were known at times to lead to suicide or murder. Truly the era had its vicious side!

Coping with Valentine’s Day in 2021

Today of course Valentine’s Day is about much more than cards, it is the day for romance, of dinners out (if you can find a reservation), roses, and chocolate (this year my wife and I won’t be going out, but chocolate will still be expected!). For the recently separated or divorced, though, it has the potential for heartache. The best approach in that case might just be to accept it in all its awful glory. Like our party many years ago, put on some blues and snuggle into the couch with some red wine, chocolate, and maybe a classic movie. If you want to use the holiday to visit with our attorneys and create a course of action for your divorce blues, we’re here for that, too.