On Sunday I discovered a new thing to look out for at this spring’s vide greniers – love cards. They might sound a bit iffy but don’t worry, they aren’t a pervy parlour game based on the kama sutra.Quite the opposite in fact.
Back in the 1940s an amourous jeune homme lacked the vast range of online and mobile based courting approaches that are now available. No Tindr or Grindr for the youth of France or anywhere else for that matter. Even the option of taking a quick picture of your genitalia, sending it to your intended and then deleting it before they passed it on to their mates was out of the question.
Instead you would buy a ‘love card’ such as this one:
A little kitsch perhaps and bit too job specific to sell in their thousands but who could resist avoiding sadness by spending time with a paratrooper? You might even be tempted to wear your very best floral frock in a bid to keep him keen.
Other love cards, like this one, were more sinister:
Like a gothic take on the baby in the sun from Tellytubbies the vampire’s face has been stuck on a flower to give the impression of romance but it is clear that those heavily made up lips are clamped shut to hide the fangs.
A thought of Fleurance? Not really, no. I’m too busy wondering why you’re feeling the need to finger that flower while looking straight at me. And why does your hair remind me of one of the victims in the badly ‘colorised’ version of Night of the Living Dead?
The last one I’ve selected from the set of thirteen cards makes the recipient very much aware of the sender’s intentions. I’m still a amazed the stall holder was happy to let these go for 20 centimes each even though the sender was her uncle who did indeed go on to marry the recipient – her aunt who kept them all her life:
Lets not get mawkish though. More flowers, another bloke with loads of slap on and another vibrant frock with stiff hair combo for the lady. This time the threat of long-term enforced monogamy is made very clear – this is no booty call.
Maybe that’s the key to the appeal of these cards. They might be sickeningly coloured, overly reliant on obvious imagery and carrying a strong whiff of fromage but, to me, that seems better than exchanging quick pics of crinkly bits, abs and intimate tattoos.