HEART TD HEART
What a wealth oftorrid passion! Romance no longer comes in sonnets, but it may linger between the lines— today’s equivalent. Good Luck.
Illustrations by Simon Gooch.
Love comes prosaically in The Guardian at £4.50 per line for Valentines, ‘same as the other classifieds“, £24.50 (per cm) it you want display. Plus VAT. In Time Out sentiments are weighed in words (95p each: £1.1510rbold caps). Here they are priced under the section ‘messages’ in Group 3, along with Community Jobs, Flats Diiered and Pet’s Corner. Valentine's Day as a
section in The Guardian now runs lamously to several pages, but as recently as 1967 it appeared not to exist at all in The Times, as far asl could find. Scarcer a scrap. There was, however, a healthy page by 1977, next to the Births and Deaths column. Supplied thus by an advanced technology, Valentine messages may look aesthetically indifferent, but they do olier unlimited expression to ailection as in “You are worth ions 01 carrots' (The Times, 1977). Prose style is very important. It has changed over the last ten years and in 1977 had a more poetic bias (‘FDR SARAH who is kind and gentle, quiet and sweet, but often mental’) and not a little class consciousness (‘You are far more
beautilul than anyone with a Harvey c
Nicols handbag’). Styles have since become a little less indirect (‘To Pudding love always main Course’).
Amongst types are: The Over-Literal: ‘You are the light of my lite (headlamps quite unnecessary)’, The Show-Oil: ‘NICHOLAS loves Surprising, Upholding, Embracing, Sustaining, Involving, Helping and Relishing’ and The Downright Mean: ’Expressed without surcharge’. Lucky recipients have recently included ‘mon petit chou lleur’ (a French term oi endearment meaning caulillower), ‘lhe loveliest thing in the lorest’ and ‘my beautiful cooker’, pre-dating the Iaunderette by a number oiyears. The short lineage lormation is one which readily accepts the principles of comparison (‘I love you more than Elgar’) and can iully accommdate directness (‘TD FATFACE’). And those lrom whom The Times have extracted payment for the above include ’Generally Yours’, ‘the squeaky peanut’ and, true wordsmith, ‘Yours ioreverWash Bag'.
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Margaret. use me as a hot water bottle any time . . . preferably tonight — satisfaction guaranteed, your young lover XXX
Bulldog Bruce. Why not come round and give the dog a bone? Fifi the poodle.
Snuggles to Honeybun Lots of love. SNKS.
To My Darling Kim, My everlasting Valentine, Mine forever,
All my love and devotion, E.B.H.G.
Riotous Robert, Good Times may be just around the corner.
Bill come round and decentralise sometime, E.D.C.
David, love is . . . getting yourtea made every night. Mark and Ian
Paul go tell it to the Marines. Your little lemon meringue pie.
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46 The List 6 — 19 February