My Valentine’s Day

As I write this I am riding a train back home. I spent the day teaching at a girls-only elementary school here in Japan. Through out the day I overheard snippets of conversation about who is making chocolate and who isn’t.

For this school the vibe surrounding chocolates is more friendly than flirty. I’m sure there are several reasons for this. One of them is that the students who are starting to think in a more romantic way also keep it more secret.

A few of the teachers I work with also discussed Valentine’s Day. The consensus was that the expectations are too high. They are pushed to spend too much and use too much of their own time to achieve the perfect homemade gift. Or, as the music teacher put it “Japan takes things to the extremes.” Should I go ahead and mention this is her analysis of her own culture?

I just kind of shrug and answer questions if they are asked of me.

I don’t know if my wife is going to follow the culture and make me something chocolatey. I do like sweets, so it would be appreciated, but not really necessary.

I know she is busy. She works hard. And, of course, she is also carrying our second child, who is due in this world in less than a month. The best gift I can receive today is to know that she was able to relax.

I’m not expected to get her anything. This is Japan and we have white day in a month. That is supposed to be my day to treat her. I have a feeling we might be a little busy that day, so I’m not really sure what I will plan for the .

For today, I’ll stop off and get her some flowers.

I know. It’s a pretty obvious gift.

But the thing is, she really likes flowers. She likes the colors and she likes having growing things around. So, rather than a cut bouquet I’ll look for a little flowering plant. Something we can take care of even in our little apartment. Something to make her smile.

Because, that is the kart of Valentine’s Day that I want to focus on. Just a day to remind me to do something nice for someone I love.

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