Back in 1840 most people would buy, not a Valentine’s Day card for someone they loved, but a Vinegar Valentine for someone they hated.
At first, it’s easy to demonize the senders as the worst sorts of trolls or bullies. I mean, some of the most horrifying Vinegar Valentines actually suggest the recepient kill him or herself. But then, if you look at the more light-hearted Valentines, some of them start to seem like a good idea. Have you ever had a haughty saleslady scoff at you for being poor? Have you ever had to listen to a pompous windbag carry on when he doesn’t have any idea what he’s talking about? So many people are blithely unaware of their obnoxious behavior. Wouldn’t it feel great to tell them off, consequence-free?
Back in the 1840s it was the receiver, not the sender of a letter, who paid for postage & you didn’t need to provide a return address, so all the floozies and winos would pay for the privilege of hearing how disliked they were.
Nowadays if you want to send free anonymous insults that’s what the internet is for.
Happy Valentine’s Day.