Saturday, February 14, 2009

Candy Hearts

Whereas most other holiday traditions have morphed into disgusting modern consumer carnivals, Valentines Day has remained essentially the same. Its still about Cupids, chocolates, and Sweethearts (Also known as Conversation Hearts). Where Christmas used to have hand carved wooden trains and BB Guns, now Videogames and expensive jewelry bring in baby Jesus birthday. Easter used to involve Easter Egg hunting, now has been replaced by "just another Sunday blues." Valentine's Day is still about those little chalky candy Necco brand hearts.

I've always loved these hearts and gladly accepted them from other people that acted disgusted when they chomped into them. I love everything about them. I love how you almost break your teeth biting into them. I love how no matter how many boxes you eat, you never feel sick. I love the little phrases printed on the front of the hearts that always seem to be off center.

My fondest memory was in high school where you could pay $1 and have a box of Sweet Hearts and a small hand drawn by art students Valentine and have it sent to your love interest, crush, or hottie of the moment that you want to attract during one of the 7 class periods during the day. I received 7 boxes of Sweet Hearts that day. All 7 of them were carefully crafted Valentines from me, to me.

I spent time writing a unique message in each. Things like, "Dear Future Dan, You know so much more than I do, and probably look better. Love Past Dan." This was the most meaningful and fulfilled Valentine's Day to date. Self love is the most pure.

People thought it was comical and a joke, but on the inside I cheered every time one of the art students delivered a box to me. Especially since there were times were I was the only delivery.

I still enjoy Sweet Hearts, but the other day at work while I was chomping down the third box someone threw my way, I noticed that my once treasured messages were a bit off.

Whereas before, simple messages like "Love You," "Hug Me," and "Be Mines" were printed in pink. I found drastically changed messages that I found much less "lovey" and romantic.

Examples of messages this year:
Text Me, Page Me, or IM Me- How romantic would it be if your cell phone lit up and said, "I luv u ;)"? The winking smiley face emoticon means they extra love you. And who even has a pager anymore?

Fax Me- This one has been around for a bit, but Fax Me? Really? You hear the paper being fed into the machine grinding out a cover page with a subject of "Important Message" and on page two an entire sheet with "Love You" printed at the top. Faxing has never been sexy or romantic. Get rid of this heart.

Cool, Get Real, Awesome, or :)- None of these say anything. And I'm fairly sure Get Real is an insult. I heard next year we will get "dude," "WTF," "alcoholic," and "As Good as Bacon."

Yes Dear- The battle cry of the "Everybody Loves Raymond" married couple. This candy not only says, "I give up, whatever you want" but tastes delicious.

And then probably the most "let you down easy" message of all UR Kind- I don't love you, I don't want to go to the dance with you, I actually don't find you attractive, but you sure are beautiful on the inside.

I know Necco is trying to keep up with the times and be trendy. You know, the hip cool sugar hearts of todays generation, but if they knew anything about this generation of people, they would know that they hate reading, they hate everything their parents once liked, and the don't have time time in their high-speed internet worlds. Keep it classic for those that actually are and have always been fans.