Wednesday, February 14, 2007


Please don't ask . . .

Ask me what, you say? Well, Please don't ask me how my Valentine's Day was. Since I married a Japanese man, Valentine's Day is pretty much a non-event in my life. You see, Valentine's Day has been distorted into a complete disaster of a day in Japan. Why? How? Because the tradition here is that only the MEN receive chocolate! I know! It is criminal! Women are to give men chocolate on Valentine's day and expect nothing in return. There is even this concept of "giri choco," obligatory chocolate which women are expected to give to their male superiors. The men's answer to any complaints of unfairness is that women have "White Day." On March 13th, men are supposed to present the women who gave them chocolates on Valentine's day with return sweets . . . that is . . . only if they return their affection! Wait, it get worse! Women don't even get good chocolate on White day, they get WHITE CHOCOLATE or marshmallow confections. Who wants those?!? Also, there is no "giri white-o," so only the kindest of bosses will be handing their office ladies white treats. I told you, it is just plain wrong. Still, Mina and I just finished making brownies to give to her daddy, grandfather and uncle. I did buy Toshi some heart shaped senbei (Japanese rice crackers) and two pieces of dark chocolate (no, I am not bitter, okay, I am bitter, but I am not mean, he has really been watching his diet recently, so that is why). But, I won't be holding my breath for "White Day" as only once have I received something and that was from a teacher I used to work with who was very careful to make sure my experiences in Japan were as positive as possible. It is probably his fault I am still here, he really did make things nice. Too bad it wasn't him I married! (I hope you can see the sarcasm in my letters.) So, I sit here with a bag of Hershey's Miniatures I scored at an import shop earlier in the week and try to remember the lonely Valentine's Days in my past when I cursed the holiday rather than the scent of yellow roses. My children are napping simultaneously presently and that really is the best gift for me these days anyway. I think I will go lose myself in a book, maybe even a cheesey romance. Happy Valentine's Day!

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