If you hate Valentine’s Day, how about this?

Tuesday 14th February 2017. You wake in the morning and bounce out of your bed, you feel like you are floating on air. Your heart is pumping at double the speed, your feet are moving quickly, you have butterflies in your stomach and you’re looking forward to what the postman brings.

But once again, the one you have had your eye on for years hadn’t noticed. As bills come through the letterbox, followed by flyers and a takeaway menu. You feel your feet hit the ground and your heart slows down. You slump onto the sofa and pull your shoes on ready for work.

You get to the bus stop and two school-kids stand hand in hand, drawing love hearts onto the bus shelter window, which has frosted over in the cold.

Why do I bother.

But wait, have you ever heard the term Vinegar Valentines?

Let me put it this way. In Victorian times, you’d send a Vinegar Valentines card to somebody who you really weren’t fond of. The card was made up of a vulgar drawing and was made to make the person feel a little unloved.

The senders were the original internet trolls, with cards for almost every insult you could think of – from comments about baldness, to taunts about personality, and plenty also ridiculed somebody for an addiction – some cards even wished the person dead. They’d have loved Twitter!

The Surgeon (credit unknown)

The cards were commercially bought, and often contained an insulting poem on the inside – whilst the front cover was usually made up of a drawing which was intended to upset.

Personally, I would love to send one to Donald Trump, but I worry he’d enjoy it.

Otherwise known as Penny Dreadfuls, the cards would be aimed at really upsetting the receiver – to perhaps, and hopefully, end any hopes you had of getting together with them. So, even though you’ve perhaps not had a card from the one you are keen on – think yourself lucky, they could have sent you a crude Vinegar Valentines card instead.

P.S, will you be my Valentine?

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