A Valentine's Day Primer

Sunday, January 15, 2023

Then in the 1980s the whole thing changed.

A candy company started March 14th to be “Reply” or “White Day”.

Now Japanese men are expected to return the favor to those who gave them chocolates on Valentine’s Day.

Here’s the important part – they are expected to return gifts that are at least two or three times more valuable than the gifts they got on Valentine’s Day. In other words, bypass the candy department and go directly to jewelry.

Here’s hoping that doesn’t catch on here.

No matter what you think – I’m a married man and this makes me an expert at this stuff – don’t forget Valentine’s Day or you’ll get the silent treatment.

The disadvantages vastly outweigh the advantages.

If you give your spouse something on Valentines Day she'll think kind thoughts of you for maybe 45-minutes.

If you forget, you'll get the silent treatment usually for about 7 weeks.

Trust me.

All of this is way too much information, isn’t it?

Ah, Valentine’s Day. It's not that far away and if you are typical, you're going to goof around until it's almost too late.

Legend has it that this day is named after one of three St. Valentines. Which one? They don't know. Why? They don't know. That's why it's a legend.

I like my version better, which is partially true.

To put things in a historical context...it all started with some florists in the United Kingdom as a way to drum up business in the 18th century.

Then candy makers got involved.

Then in America... Macys and Zales jumped in. Things got out of hand which means it was a commercial success.

But its history goes further back.

Let’s look, shall we?

It was a cold and lousy day. Gork was headed home after failing to snag a dinosaur for the family dinner.

He knew he was going to catch hell from the lady of the cave for coming home empty-handed. The last time he was dinosaurless he found some berries and escaped sleeping in the bushes outside.

No berries to be seen.

But there was some flowers in rocks nearby. Maybe if he took a few back they could eat them.

Grok wandered into the cave with whatever passed for “Honey, I’m home” and waited for the roof to fall in.

Mrs. Grok took one look at him and said

something loosely translated as “Oh, how lovely”

and went looking for a vase.

Some days the planet's align.

Grok had to worry about tomorrow's dinner so he forgot all about this flower thing.

Grunt, the eldest son, thought the whole thing was funny and scratched some pictures on the cave wall.

Ten-thousand years later a florist on a hike found them.

If you paid attention above, then everything should fall together.

Not everyone thinks giving candy, flowers and jewelry is wonderful. Good grief, Christmas just ended.

In Japan there is a group that protests with a march in Tokyo every Valentines Day.

They say the event is a cynical money-making ploy by “oppressive chocolate capitalists”.

The name of the group is Kakuhido, which translates roughly as the Revolutionary Alliance of Men that Women find Unattractive. It was founded by a guy that got dumped by his girlfriend on Christmas Day.

In other words – the group is for men that can’t find a girlfriend or got dumped by one. Any guy that wears a dish rag over his face probably deserves what he gets from the ladies.

Not a large group but a loud one.

Back to Valentine’s Day...

Men are supposed to give gifts to women on Valentines Day. There’s nothing in the rule book about women giving stuff to men...except in Japan (again) where women give candy to guys. Japan is really a great country.

The big deal there is trying to figure out the correct amount of candy to give the other person.

The wrong amount gives the wrong impression. If you give too much you may suddenly find yourself engaged and going on your honeymoon to Hawaii.

As we slide slowly into a new year, people are beginning to turn their attention to the next major event on the calendar.

With tongue firmly in cheek, RHS'69 webmaster Courtney Harrington explains how Valentines Day came to be...sort of.