With today being the celebration of Juno Fructifie (and no, not the Feast of Lupercalia, that doesn’t happen until tomorrow the 15th), or St. Valentine’s Day, or Valentine’s day, or Single Awareness Day, or National Send Flowers Day, or a stupid Hallmark holiday exploiting love to make money… so a kind of National Hallmark Pimp day maybe? Anyway, I thought I’d let this piece form on its own throughout the day. A sort of work in progress concerning my mental journey concerning encompassing the random stroll my mind took today… on the day of love.
Valentine’s Day in Japan
Did you know in Japan the custom on Valentine’s Day is that only women give chocolates to men? Amusingly enough this tradition came about due to a typo from the executive of a chocolate company during initial campaigns to introduce their chocolate to the Japanese. The common practice is for women to give chocolate to all male co-workers, and to only their female friends. However when Valentine’s falls on a Sunday, instead of giving regular chocolate women will give the cheapest quality chocolate to the unpopular co-workers. So if you are a jerk at the office in Japan, you can rest assure that one of these years, if you continue to follow your jerk-like behavior, everyone is going to let you know on the same day, where you will receive literally pounds of shitty tasting chocolate that is probably more wax than it is chocolate.
I think the weirdest thing about that is that it would mean there is a company out there that intentionally creates nasty tasking, cheep chocolate so that women in Japan can purchase it and give it to some jerk on the random event that February 14th falls on a Sunday. I mean, I would think that to make their points they should just purchase and hand out chocolate flavored Ex-lax bars to the people they don’t like. I know it’s what a few girls I knew did with boys they didn’t like at school growing up… which might explain why I was so afraid of girls when I was in high school… hmmm.
I will say that in the 80s Japan did invent White Day, which is a sort of reply day for Valentine’s Day, which takes place on March 14th. On White Day the men in the office are expected to give white chocolate replies to all the women that gave him chocolate on Valentine’s Day. Still, it seems like a lot of work to make up for a typo.
Happy Shag Day
Is it just me or is Valentine’s Day kind of like the official Happy Shag Day of the year? Kudos to Valentine’s sticking to its Pagan roots in that regard. Think about it though, Valentine’s is a courting day were gifts like chocolates, flowers… or garments that are suggested to be worn under other articles of clothing, but are expected to be worn with no outerwear other than a long coat. All for the sake of setting the mood, which was set the second the lingerie was picked out.
What to have some fun? Go into a store that sells lingerie and browse. When a salesperson… commonly a woman, approaches you and asks, “Can I help you?” Tell them yes and pull something off the racks and ask her to hold it up (next to her, not in front of her – no need to come across as a creepy, well, creep) for you to look at. Then walk up and take the piece off the hanger and drop it on the floor. Take a few steps back and evaluate its appearance on the floor. If it looks good, let the salesperson know you’ll take it. Besides, you know and they know that is where it is going to spend most of the time anyway.
The point is that it seems all of the activities people partake in on this day seem to be devised as a precursor for the festivities people interact in as they wrap the day up and spent some time enjoying each other’s company. I know it’s a superficial holiday, but I like that it helps remind people of why they love the person they’re with. A day that reminds people to love instead of fight (or act ambivalent), is just pretty damn cool.
No Longer a Christian Holiday
Did you know that Valentine’s Day was removed from the Catholic calendar in 1969? (I bet we could blame the hippies.) I guess it makes sense it kept hold of many of its pagan roots, even though they tried to replace the Pagan holiday with a Christian one. I mean even eventually using the cherubim to depict that meddlesome bastard Cupid in Catholic sanctioned art during the time is a prime example of this. The only thing vaguely religious about this holiday anymore is its name. Apart from that, there is nothing religious, well Christian, about this holiday anymore. It’s one of the few ‘Pagan turned Christian’ holidays that won out in the end. Not that it’s a contest, but it’s nice to see that out of so many holidays that were adopted and revised for the changing political and religious times, that some pieces of those original works were able to survive.
My sweetie-baby-cutie-pie-wifey-pooh asked me if we were going to do anything for each other this Valentine’s Day in regards to a gift… I told her “sort of”. Meaning, I had a plan, but I was going to surprise her with it… meaning, you are welcome to keep reading it if you want, but the rest of this Smirk for her, about her, to her…
When you asked me what I was thinking about the other night when I was working in my office, and I started to say something and then stopped, well I was thinking about Mello Yello, yes the drink. What I was going to tell you is that when I’m at work and I get the hankering for a mid to late afternoon beverage, I go to the break room and up to the drink machine housing three rows of Mello Yello and I start smiling, know why? Because it reminds me of you.
Ever since you told me years ago that when you were a kid you would always get Mello Yello when you went to the store, and that it was your favorite childhood drink, when the thirst arises I’ll get one and take it back to my desk. Then for the rest of the day there you are, well there the memory of you is, wrapped in a plastic bottle with a small green screw top, filled with an almost florescent liquid that I’d swear glows in the dark after you crack the bottle over your knee and shake it up. The thing is, the drink is really nothing like you, mainly because you are not artificially sweet in any way. Being sweet is very much an all-natural thing for you. Still, out of all the selection available, I get the drink you loved as a child, because it reminds me of you.
I love it when I come home and find you working away while wearing one of my goofy tee shirts. Even though a lot of what you are working on is a solitary and time consuming process, I feel like you wanted me there in your day. When you raid my closet and let one of my shirts wrap around, holding you all day, and keeping you warm during those times when your office gets a little chilled, it makes me happy to see that the memory of me got to spend the day with you in that way.
I love your childlike enthusiasm for show and tell. I know every time you’ve purchased something because of that look on your face when you walk into the house. It’s not just your big eyes giving you away, but you’re whole self can barely contain the excitement you are holding inside, not just because you are genuinely excited about what you got, but because I know how excited you are about sharing it with me. That inner excitement and infectious desire to share with others is one of the things that I find so beautiful about you. When you begin to share with others, you lead, and as you lead you fill others with excitement not just about life in general, but about their own life.
Your addiction to pretty stationary is… well yes, something we both agree you have a problem with, but I get it. It becomes clear every time you use that stationary to write a letter or send a card, or create some type of correspondence that is going to fill another person with acceptance, love and joy. You get more excited about using up your stationary treasure and giving that beauty to others than you do in actually getting it in the first place. That is why I have kept every letter you have ever written me and have my office filled with the cards you have sent me.
Besides being one of the most stunning women I’ve ever seen, one of the reasons I love to watch you is your reaction to life and the joy you carry into life of all your friends… and it is an honor to hold you in that space where you are not just my love, or my wife, but as my best friend as well. Our home is always full of laughter and I love that a day does not go by where we don’t tell the other how much we love them. I know we say it all the time and thing I love most about us saying, “I love us” is that it is becomes more so with every passing day.
You want to know why I think butterflies are such a fitting symbol of you, because that is exactly what you have done to my life. My life with you has forever transformed in something more. Filled with more life, more beauty and more love than I ever expected possible. You are my butterfly, and because of that I am free. Thank you my dear, sweet, beautiful wife… my Angela. Happy Valentine’s Day, I love you.
Google Images, keywords: Valentine’s Day, ex-lax, shag, Mello Yello, show and tell, and blue butterfly.