I have long been a fan of sending personal cards. Over my many years, I’ve been delighted by responses I’ve received from friends (and strangers) after sending a card with a hand-written greeting. Even before the world was dominated by electronic communications and social media, the art of letter-writing and card-sending was on the wane. I’m doing all that I can to keep it from going extinct. I’ve always bought into that notion that a card, sent for whatever reason or no reason at all, is really a small gift sent in the mail. When I was a suburban wife so long ago, I had more time and space to create handmade paper and original cards. While my NYC living space is infinitely smaller these days, I still enjoy nothing more than getting out my lap board, and “ephemera” (as the crafters call it) and making cards for special days and events.
For a good number of years, I luxuriated in my then boyfriend’s large Upper East Side Apartment. I recall the run up to a particular Valentine’s Day some years ago–I was relishing the opportunity to make cards for many of my girlfriends. My ex, a Hungarian Psychiatrist, asked curiously, “What do your friends think when you send Valentine’s Day Cards for them? Don’t they think it’s strange?”
I recoiled at the mere suggestion that anyone wouldn’t want to receive a pretty card saying, “I’m thinking about you and wanted to let you know.” While the romantic-industrial complex has made Valentine’s day all about the happy romantic love of couples, I’m here to represent the rest of us.
Many folks are single and regret not being coupled up. There are loves that have been lost and some that were never found. And, yes, there are even people who are struggling in their romantic relationship. Isn’t an unexpected card balm for a wounded heart, regardless of who sends and receives it? I have great empathy and concern for those who feel left behind.
And, so, in my teeny, tiny space on Wall Street, I’ve gathered Valentine’s Day items from my Manhattan Mini-Storage Unit and fired up the glue gun. The photo included is made for a lifelong friend who has shown me love and compassion, despite her own losses and struggles. The postcard on the front is vintage from the very early 20th century (around 1910). It’s 100% girly and includes a little cameo pin and nib from an antique ink pen, on the inside. My sincere hope is that it will be a kindly reminder of home and old friends.