When Valentine’s Day in Dallas means catching liars, forced fun and sweet revenge

When Valentine's Day in Dallas means catching liars, forced fun and sweet revenge

When Valentine’s Day in Dallas means catching liars, forced fun and sweet revenge


Editor’s Note: Review the Dallas Morning News archives.

Valentine’s Day is traditionally known as the holiday of love – although its meaning and expression are open to interpretation. For some, it’s time to celebrate romance and the heart and send their affections to their loved ones. For others, it’s a holiday they love and hate – considered an overly commercialized event, a reminder of lost loves and broken hearts, and an overpriced obligation to bankrupt banks .

We’ve searched over 100 years of Valentine’s Day coverage Dallas Morning News Archives examines love from a local perspective. While we did find many of the standard manifestations of the day, from Cupid’s sporty pairings to love legends, and suggestions for gifts, cards and flowers – we also recognised the presence of humor and the different celebrations of the holiday. From satire to satire to downright criticism, the report captured many unconventional views and customs.

Review titles and highlights news’ Valentine’s Day coverage.

Breaking up is inadvisable

Longtime couple Barbie and Ken split before Valentine’s Day, February 13, 2004. According to Mattel’s press release, “The couple broke up on the soft sands of Malibu, California, near Barbie’s dream home. Paparazzi footage…shows a Barbie in a yellow bikini with her back to a sullen Ken. .” The couple have been together since 1961, and the split appears to have happened due to pressure from MGA Entertainment’s growing popularity of Bratz dolls. “Mattel representatives compared the split to that of J. Lo and Ben, even though the dolls were never called ‘Kenby,'” wrote staff writer Ashley Powers.

In trouble

Valentine’s Day isn’t always about making connections. Sometimes it’s all about stealth — aka catching crooks. On February 13, 2010, private investigator Daniel Gomez showed readers “How to Counter Cupid’s Arrow.” As a former Dallas police officer, Gomez admits his stalking tactics aren’t all that different from those he used as a homicide detective — only in this case would people catch perpetrators in action. “Capturing infidelity was his specialty,” Jon Nelson wrote.

sweet revenge

Are you still resenting your ex? On February 3, 1989, giving your ex a bouquet of dead flowers hand-delivered by the god of death is one way to express these feelings. Drop Dead Florists’ bouquet delivery service goes a step further – delivering bouquets to recipients at their place of business to add to the stigma. Nancy St. Pierre wrote: “Most of the satisfaction for the person who gave such a disturbing gift came from the humiliation of the recipient. Mrs Roberts said: “Most People want us to send these to the office of the person who receives the flowers so they can feel embarrassed in front of their colleagues. “

Ah – the sweet revenge of love!

forced fun

On February 12, 2013, Matt Wixon criticized Valentine’s Day, claiming that as the stakes (and costs) on Valentine’s Day rise, it requires less spontaneous “romantic tasks” of consumerism and overspending. The labor of love, Valentine’s Day gift-giving, and acts of love can be analogous to the tasks one performs at work, or, as Wixon puts it, “beating a romantic clock.”

love in the first byte

Before message boards and even the Internet became commonplace, a company had big dreams on February 4, 1985. Sextex is “a sexy messaging service” where customers pay by the minute to have X-rated conversations. Former staff writer Steve Levin ventured into the site and met a woman named Shauna. Little did he know, he was an early pioneer of online dating and faced the momentary sparks and vanishing grief that are common today.

Divorce is a recurring theme

Does Cupid really have a sense of humor? Perhaps for the 15 couples who filed for divorce on February 14, 1945, he did. Seven years later, things have gone from ridiculous to tragic for the chubby little angel. On February 15, 1952, only 20 couples tied the knot on Valentine’s Day, and 27 filed for divorce. On February 14, 1985, The News reported: “It’s not uncommon for people to get divorced. [on Valentine’s Day] …about three, four, five years ago when they got married on Valentine’s Day. “

It seems that North Texans like to have Cupid work two shifts on his special days. “Cupid no longer shoots the arrow of love; he mustered enough courage for today’s courtroom drama to eat and drink Rebel Yell.”

things to do

Forget quiet candlelit dinners: Dallas people often celebrate Valentine’s Day in unconventional ways. One option is to explore the infamous St. Valentine’s Day massacre in Chicago on February 14, 1929, when seven gang members and their associates were shot dead. In 1970, from February 12 to 14, you could take your date for a scenic stroll and visit the annual Holocaust Creative Art Exhibition to realistically imagine the events of the day.

Or, if you feel like you want a more hands-on approach, back in 1965 you could don a 1920s outfit and head to your local gun club for cocktails and a few rounds of shooting—and I don’t mean drinks. What could be more romantic than this?

avoid romance

On February 14, 1960, Anna Draper of The News had some advice for men who wanted to “avoid their pursuers” on Valentine’s Day. She offers some tongue-in-cheek ways to make it happen: “For poor people who can’t resist the temptation of perfume, we recommend: Look at the science. Get the latest oxygen mask” and “Curves of any route are a real danger. We recommend bringing Glasses with lenses that allow others to see but the wearer cannot see outside. Or, horse eye. …

You can also try the power of straight thinking. Is this setting the stage for Valentine’s Day 2022? Nudging your senses is definitely one way to avoid romance; for those who walk this path, masks should be worn this year.

romance and comfort

Love is not 24/7, fiery romance. On February 13, 1991, some couples told their stories, saying it wasn’t just about accepting your flaws, maybe even smelling them. One man “no longer fears rejection when confronted with flatulence” while another woman “has not shaved her legs for most of the winter”. Comfort around your partner can be the ultimate expression of your love, but divorce lawyers warn against turning comfort into twilight. Once the romance floods, a real relationship can be born.

Researchers Alyssa Fernandez, Meagan Hurley, and Ana Niño contributed

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