February 14, 2022


By Arthur H. Gunther III


Valentine’s Day is many things to many people and absolutely nothing to just as many. It is recognition of emotion, “love,” which in itself offers varied definition and application, and gathered appreciation. It is also overdue for so many.

     The natural inclination for humans is to be next to someone who appreciates you, and then you perhaps respond. There is a bloom, accumulated trust and respect and increased emotion, all of which can be exemplified by clever writing on a Hallmark card.

     But then there are the unwritten cards, emotion never expressed – for early crushes, even girlfriends and boyfriends, even spouses. In the elementary grades, we were encouraged to swap paper hearts with pre-printed sayings. This was warm and fuzzy child’s play, a way to spread common emotion to all on a happy day, but there were the boys and girls who really meant what was written and sent to a classmate who never knew. Such are childhood crushes.

     That happens in real life too, and so many unsung valentines are never delivered.

People move on, lives, relationships, families are built, and the world, the individuals, are better for that overall.

     Yet, in the fast pace of generations, the love notes never whispered or shouted from the roof top are testimony to what should have been said. Many valentines unsent, unopened. 

     The writer is a retired newspaperman.