Valentine Vanity

For many years I sent several anonymous Valentine’s Day cards to my now ex-boyfriend/ husband. This was back in the day when slow mail was a thing, and you could always see the post stamp from the town and post office where the letter was mailed.

One card was always sent in Afrikaans, another official South African language, and a language spoken by one of his ex-girlfriends. I always posted it from her hometown.

A second one was sent from a nearby city. This was soppy and sentimental with poems and flowers. And a similar one was posted from my hometown.

I sent a card to a friend in another country, England, the country where he came from, and she posted it back from there. This had a bit of humour and could have come from an ex-girlfriend or fan he may have had there.

Then there were several titillating ones sent from my hometown, always with a different handwriting. One of these was obviously from me with my writing and my sense of humour.

Seven cards in total.

The cards would arrive within a few days of each other and every year I would pout with jealousy and sometimes even demonstrate a bit of false rage as some wording in the cards suggested that he was in contact with some of these women, maybe still seeing them on the side. He would always deny this of course, but he would puff up in pride believing that he had all these admirers.

Then one day I told a friend of his what I was doing, and this friend told him. He refused to believe it until the next year when he received no cards. I had now spoiled my own fun and had to devise a new strategy.

The following year I mailed a card to myself. A very sexy card with a figure of a naked woman that popped up when you opened it. The words in the card were “I love you for your eyes, I love you for your lips, I love you for your naughty bits”, and the words naughty and bits covered the revealing parts of the naked woman. I opened it with great pleasure and excitement and went to thank him for the lovely card. He was so angry, wanting to know who had sent it to me. After a few days, when I finally told him I had sent it to myself, he would not accept this explanation and was on the prowl searching for this person who had violated our relationship.

This was 40 years ago and was the last card he or I ever sent to each other. Is this one of the reasons he is now my ex?

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