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Poison pen, wreaths on Valentine's Day

Poison pen, wreaths on Valentine's Day

With Valentine's Day approaching, jilted lovers are sending bitter notes and funeral wreaths to former partners.

New York: Roses are red. Violets are blue. Our love died, now why don't you?

With Valentine's Day approaching, love is the air - and so is revenge, with jilted lovers sending bitter notes, funeral wreaths and even dead fish to former partners.

"We definitely get a bounce in our business at this time of year," said Alan Harris, founder of the website www.Poisonpen.com, which, for a small fee, will send an anonymous poison pen card or letter to a former lover.

"Sometimes, people find it very cathartic. It's like therapy, only cheaper," said Harris, whose motto is: "When you care enough to send the very worst."

Among his best sellers at this time of year is a card that features the phrase 'Words Fail Me' written in red ink on a black background and opens to reveal an illustration of a hand with a raised middle-finger.

Yahoo! Personals has dubbed the period between the December holidays and Valentine's Day on February 14 as national break-Up season.

The online dating service survey asked 2,583 of its users and found that couples were more than twice as likely to think about separating during this period than at any other time of the year.

"People tend to 'put up' with current relationships in order to have a partner for holiday gatherings, but once the festivities are over, it's time to decide whether to fish or cut bait," said Anna Zornosa, vice president of Yahoo! Personals.

So while the romantics are in the stores ahead of Valentine's Day with Americans estimated by the National Retail Federation to spend more than $13.7 billion on gifts this year, those feeling bitter about a break-up are finding way to exact their revenge.

At the subversive motivational website Despair.com, co-founder Lawrence Kirsten's offerings include a photograph of a red rose with the phrase: "You were meant for me. Perhaps as a punishment."

"This is our busiest season of the year" at www.deadroses.com, said founder Verne Weidler.

Since 1998, he has sent dozens of dead roses across the United States, Canada, and as far away as Sweden and Germany. He makes sure to include the thorns.

"They're carefully dried so they won't fall apart during shipping, unless of course you want them smashed. We don't charge extra for smashing," he said.

Other websites also offer to send black roses, just the stems of roses or funeral wreaths.

Rather than chocolates you could also send melted chocolates, bittersweet as well as milk, to an old flame.

If none of the above satisfies the desire to get even, www.ThePayback.com offers to send a smelly, dead fish to the one who did you wrong.

"You know the saying: "Don't get mad, get even"," said a notice on the website.
first published:January 30, 2007, 18:35 IST