Happy Valentines Day

Valentines Day 2014

It’s another of those occasions that people love to hate, often scoffing about how commercialised it is yet again, yet the truth is that commercialism is really at the heart of it all. See what I did there?

For many places in Asia, such as Japan, Valentines is very much about romance, where women will prepare chocolates for friends and those they are interested in or in a current relationship with. Men only reciprocate if they are interested, or as obligation on White Day.

In most Western places however, it is almost expected that men will deliver gifts of roses, other flowers or chocolate to their loved ones or friends. It’s unknown to me if girls are really expected to deliver anything in return, although the otaku friends I know certainly place considerable efforts into preparing chocolates for that significant other and friends.

When I was in high school, we called Valentines Day ‘Friendship Day’. The SRC would prepare weeks in advance for students to order flowers to deliver to their friends, and I always made sure to include all of my friends. During the day, various deliveries of bouquets or roses in boxes would be delivered to the reception and girls would leave class to go and receive them. For the rest of us though, we had our friends which was all the affection we needed!

In the years since I left high school, I didn’t pay the event much attention but was fairly involved in celebrating it online with overseas friends in roleplay until the novelty of pretending to be someone else wore out. Fortunately and perhaps unfairly as someone who never had expectations or wishes for someone to share the event with romantically, I’ve been lucky enough to have had the chance to celebrate it with Ruben these past couple of years.

Valentines Day 2014 - Plushie Rose

Last year, Ruben and I had a lovely breakfast at a cafe near his house, and afterwards returned to his place to do battle with the XML of the club website. Although this year Ruben was also working on the club site it was a problem of a different sort entirely. We met up for a nice lunch at a restaurant near his place in the middle of my working day, and afterwards headed out to the city to see some sights, splurge a little money on spontaneous purchases, and revisit one of our favourite haunts.

After I shamelessly mourned about flowers last year, this year Ruben provided me with a particularly thoughtful gift of none other than a plush rose! Given my ability to keep plants alive (I’m almost certain I will kill the bamboo I was gifted for Chinese New Year), this is a sure way to ensure my rose will last for much longer than a couple of weeks. Plus its easy to hide from the judgmental eyes of parents!

Happy Valentines Day, my valentine! It’s been my pleasure to spend the last year and a half with your thoughtful and kind self and I hope we will have many more years ahead of us. Plus many years for me to continue practicing making chocolate products of greater calibre. ;D