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Valentine's Day Dilemma

Be warned. It's coming. The day we love to hate: Valentine's Day. I’m well aware of the fraudulence of its sentiment and the pressure to conform. I realize that it is a day largely cooked up and exploited for commercial gain. Not wanting to get trapped in a web of cheap chocolate and tacky, overpriced, romance themed dinners, I have therefore purposely chosen to ignore February 14th for many years.

But just because I ignore the exact date doesn’t mean I don’t think I deserve all the special benefits, all the food, gifts, cards and fuss that women are supposed to receive on Valentine’s. I do intend to extract every ounce of value eventually. And it will be in the form of my choosing. But I’m a master at delaying gratification so in the meantime I’m banking my Valentine’s Days. I’m holding all of them over my poor husband’s head and he knows it. One day I’ll call in the enormous debt he theoretically owes me. Just the thought of what that might mean is enough to make him break into a cold sweat.

However I have recently been informed that in Japan it is the job of the girls to make a fuss over the men on Valentine’s Day, not the other way around. Evidently Japanese girls expend extraordinary amounts of time, energy and money honouring their boyfriends on Valentine’s Day. I don’t know all the details because frankly, I’m afraid to ask. If this turns out to be true then I’m in big, big trouble. What if it turns out that in fact the debt is reversed, that instead of my husband owing me big favours it turns out I owe him?

My ideal Valentine’s Day ultimate payout would include things like new earrings and a night at the ballet in someplace cultured and sophisticated, someplace like Paris. My husband’s ideal Valentine’s Day would include couples activities like me helping him install new shock absorbers on our clapped-out pick-up truck. If any travel at all was in my husband’s plans it would likely take the form of a camping trip in the jungles of Borneo where I’d spend all my time avoiding leeches and malaria.

So you see how much is at stake here? If this Japan thing is true then all I can hope is that my husband never finds out.


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