I make one glaring exception to this though. Valentines Day. The warm fuzzy soft focus canoodling chocolate eating romantic Valentines Day I have no problem with. A little corny sure but I'm a girl and who doesn't like being treated like a princess for a day?
Japanese Valentines Day? A little different.
A lot different. For one thing girls don't get anything. Already lost my vote! For another, women racing around buying up umpteen boxes of chocolates to give to their co-workers (many of whom they barely tolerate let alone want to profess their love to) seems icky to me.
K's old company did the V day thing and he'd come home with a bag of little boxes of chocolates and truffles and home made goodies. Once I realised he wasn't some Japanese Lothario and that the chocolates didn't mean anything I rather enjoyed this aspect of Valentines Day. It perfectly merged our two cultures- K was showered in choccies at work and then brought them home and gave them to me- everyone's a winner!
K's new company doesn't do Valentine's Day. Or umpteen endless drinking parties or overnight company sponsored pissups so I guess I shouldn't complain but I do miss those chocolates....
In this Valentine's Day grinch mode I have been heavy on teaching the girls the Aussie version of V day. "You do not give out chocolates to people just because they are male. Chocolates are received form the men in your life who like, love and appreciate you. Do not feel lucky when this happens- happy, yes, but lucky no. Feel entitled!"
Then Meg came home from school Friday and told me that her teacher had banned Valentine's Day because you have to think of everyone's feelings and how would the people who don't get Valentine's Day chocolate feel? Of course that brought out the devil's advocate in me and I asked what if she made something for everyone in her class- male and female. Then what?
She had a comeback for that too: you aren't allowed to take things to school that aren't "necessary for learning" '勉強に必要な物". On that condition I would like to lessen the load in her backpack by several textbooks that she doesn't use at the moment but that get lugged back and forth to school each day anyway. Who knows, maybe physical conditioning is in the curriculum...
Anyway, just as we had come to a Fukase family Valentine's day understanding- it was banned at school and was only for mummy and daddy at home, on Sunday we skyped Japanese grandma:
"Did you make daddy's chocolates yet?"
"No. Valentine's Day is for mummy and daddy."
"Ehh? What? You have to make daddy chocolates! Put mummy on the skype."
And so after I got a gentle telling off the girls decided that mummy's whole enlightened V day idea was bunkum and they wanted to make Daddy chocolates.
Only it was Sunday night and we didn't have any chocolate making ingredients so we made do with what we had:
It's just melted down chocolate and the bananas were more nude than chocolate coated but they had fun and did it 'all by myselves' as Amy said so everyone was happy.
Oh and they decided that we all love each other so we should all eat the chocolate together rather than just give it to daddy. Funny they forgot to be altruistic when it came to chocolate, huh?
And that's how we ended up with our very own unique mutant Valentine's Day- the day when the family eats chocolate for dessert.
Whatever shape your V Day took I hope it was a happy one!