Tetsu hates Valentine's Day. In Japan it has been made into a business opportunity and the department stores, supermarkets and convenience stores all set apart a special corner to sell elaborate displays of CHOCOLATE. I did happen to be at a department store yesterday and walked past tiers of empty chocolate shelves and ladies lined up with their arms filled with small boxes of chocolates. And where to these chocolates go? To the men at the office, to delivery boys and male co-workers. I heard on the radio that the average amount a woman pays for chocolates on Valentine's Day in Japan is about $500. RIDICULOUS!!! All this is called "obligation chocolate" and that is why Tetsu hates Valentine's Day. Either the ladies in his office feel they are obligated to buy the men chocolates (and the men must return to obligation with a token present next month) OR the office ladies snub the custom and Tetsu gets no chocolates... as was the case yesterday.
"You are MY husband! I would not allow any other woman to give you chocolate and they know it! The only chocolate you are allowed to eat is MINE!"
Hopefully that makes Tetsu feel better about not being popular with the office ladies.
Oh dear... and while on the subject of love (we were... not just obligation). Japanese are not big about expressing love.
I remember coming to Japan and discussing love vocabulary with some Japanese students.
"Suki." Which translates as "I like you."
"Suki? Like in 'Curry rice ga suki.' 'I like curry rice.' What about a stronger emotion?"
"Dai-suki." I like you a lot.
"What about LOVE-LOVE?"
"Well, there is "Aishiteru." It means 'I love you." but we don't use that. 'Dai-suki." is about it."
Our family has gotten along just fine with "dai-suki".
When Takumi first met his girlfriend he did write to me and make the interesting observation that he didn't have a good English "lovey-dovey" vocabulary. I thought that was hilarious. He sure didn't learn the word "lovey-dovey" from me! I guess Bianca felt she needed a bit more expression of love than just "hey... I like you as much as I like curry rice."
(Valentine message from me to Tetsu.... I also made him peanut butter cookies with heart shaped chocolates.)