Norman Museum Explains Victorian Rules for Romance

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NORMAN, OKLAHOMA -- When Cupid was king, when 400 characters wasn't the limit for a tweet or for getting your point across, the Victorian rules for romance couldn't have possibly fit into the small glass case in this Norman museum.

"Okay. So this is a Valentines Day card display," says Stephanie HIxon as she lifts the top to reach inside.

Hixon manages the Moore-Lindsay Historical House.

Among the correspondence in her archives rest a few samples of Valentine cards, really fancy ones, from a century ago.

Hixon says, "I find them very special, something I would like to receive nowadays. They're definitely more intricate and involved than some of the cards we might see today."

"Like ones with a kitty or a puppy on the front," remarks a museum visitor.

"Yes," agrees Stephanie. "Or one with a sucker stuck inside."

Of course, we're getting ahead of ourselves.

In the early 1900's when Harry and Daisy Lindsay lived here with their beautiful daughter Mary Agnes potential suitors had to present themselves with a calling card as a first step to possible romance.

Hixon explains, "How it would work is you would present your calling card to the person who answered the door and you would schedule a time to call upon Mrs. Lindsay."

Only then could a suitable gentleman caller even think to get past the front door and into the parlor only.

Standing in the old parlor, Stephanie agrees, "Yes. This would be an okay zone. Not really anywhere else though."

A fellow named Wantland finally won Mary Agnes's hand in 1911.

He was a football player who went on to coach at Central College in Edmond. They even named the football stadium there after him.

"We have the wedding dress," says Hixon pointing to the gown on display. "It was a pretty big social affair as you can imagine in Norman in 1911."

Victorian or modern rules aside, true love seems to find a way no matter what the era.

The Moore-Lindsay home is open Tuesday thru Saturday from 11:00am to 4:00pm.

If you're interested in old Valentines the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa also has an exhibit of them on display thru February.

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