Off-the-shelf love letters get a bad press, particularly around Valentine’s Day. Those corporate Clinton, ‘roses are red’-type cards have even been used as a symbol of romance gone bad by Hollywood*. Oh, the irony.

But despite being single, and desperately lonely (lol, jk I’m fine), love letters still have the potential to bring joy to my life. And so, in anticipation of the reader being equally alone and weepy this February 14th, I thought I would share with you the trick to loving V-day cards.

It turns out that you don’t need to receive Valentine’s Day cards to enjoy them. If you have the Internet and time to waste, then you are sorted. Honestly- Valentine’s cards I have received from real life partners have never lived up to the brilliance of those I am about to share with you, although my parents once gave me a singing Cliff Richard card that came pretty close…

First, I should say that V-day card browsing is not just for this time of the year. Enjoy it all year round! Whenever I am feeling really down, I pay a visit to the romance section of, a website specialising in cards to be sent to your convict lover.

‘But Eliza, anyone can send letters to prison, can’t they?’

Yes, they can! But ‘jailmate cards’ understands the tone, the sensitivities and the desires of your chosen convict. Unfortunately, most of their Romance offerings are too long to transcribe, but here’s a little sample:

“I just want to say I LOVE YOU

with all my BUM.

I would say heart but you and I know

my BUM is much bigger!!!”

Evidently, the author of this ditty takes his inspiration from T.S. Eliot. The sporadic capitalisation; the playful understanding of punctuation and verse. I see reference to French symbolism in its intellectualism and sensual (even sexual) language [insert English GCSE here]. This stuff is gold.

I’m also fond of V-day cards that are not addressed to the person’s significant other(s). Sure, these might just be another way ‘The Man’ gets us to buy sentimental tat, but there is something creepily brilliant about the recent flood of cards offered to fathers, uncles and friends on Valentine’s day. This isn’t just parents sending the odd anonymous card to convince their child that someone really does fancy them, this is acknowledged ‘complimenting’ of your parents or your grandparents on the big day.

Here is a nice example. You can almost see the father panicking about the compliment their child wishes to pay them (‘please don’t say I’m hot, please don’t say I’m hot…)

This one, on the other hand, seems to have subtle Parent-trap incentives.

They are all brilliant.

Finally, if you are feeling really downcast, get into Galentines day. Invented by the far too lovable Amy Poehler for her hit show Parks and Recreation, it’s a day when all the gals get together to show each other some love via flowers, crochet and small mosaic portraits. If you’re not a gal, ‘Pal-entines day’ might be a nice substitute, although it’s worth adjusting your spellcheck if you’re planning on sending out a Facebook invite. No-one wants to turn up to a political march to find themselves being handed a 5000 word personalised essay about why they are great, and a gift certificate for a facial. I mean, I do, but you never know.

Text: Eliza Easton

@Eliza Easton

*500 days of Summer, obviously.

To learn more about my Valentine’s Day in a Manor house in Buckinghamshire read my (cheery) blog: