Happy 68th Anniversary of the St. Valentine's Day Massacre!

Don't get me wrong. I like the crass commercialism of Valentine's Day as much as the next guy. Sure, I'm single but I'm not SAD.

Valentine's in Japan is actually a pretty good deal for guys. Men are the recipients of the presents and the women do the giving. Today, I got a box of Chocolates from one older teacher, a smaller box of yummy chocos from a group of women (who gave the same box to every male teacher) and a bottle of Strawberry liqueur from the music teacher. Pretty sweet deal.

Over here, 義理 (giri = obligation) is a concept that we Westerners don't quite fathom. Whether you like your boss/ coworkers/ brothers/ fathers/ teachers or other male figures in your life or not, women are obliged to buy chocolates (チョコ=choko) for them at often great expense to themselves. Next month on "White Day", the tables get turned and males reciprocate their gifts to women, but you'll have to wait a month for that story. Alas, the only gifts I got today were of the giri kind. The other type of chocos that women give out are 本命 (honmei=favourite) that are given to their significant other. Or 友達チョコ tomo-choco that they give to friends (tomodachi=friend).

This Saturday, I have a date with a woman I met last Friday and spent all night chatting with her. We'll see if I get giri or honmei then...wish me luck!

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