I really wasn't thinking much about Valentine's day but friends keep asking in email, "How was your Valentine's Day?" and in replying to them it unforutnately makes me analyse the situation.
No, I didn't do anything for Valentine's Day. In fact, I've only had 3 "good" Valentine's days in my life to date. By "good" I mean going out with a girlfriend. One was with my first girlfriend in like 1986 in Baltimore. She took me to one of the city's fanciest restaurants. They had famous steaks and live jazz. They made us wait an hour in the lobby and the steaks weren't all that but still it ruled to be on a real date with a girl I was in love with on Valentine's Day.
The other 2 were with my X wife. Once when we first started dating. Again, we were made to wait an hour and I sweated bullets since it was nearly our first date. There was no waiting area so we waited in the car and I kept checking in every 10 minutes. The food ended up being just okay but the date was still awesome. I was head over heels for this women and I had a pretty romantic night setup. The second was the year after that. She took me to a bed and breakfast.
That's it. That's the sum−total of my good Valentine's Day experiences.
It's even worse here in Japan. In Japan the day that is approached by everyone the same as Valentine's day is acutally Christmas Eve. That's the day lovers go out to dinner, by flowers, etc. You can read the lyrics to this song about how December 24th is the loneliest day of the year to be single.
Valentine's Day on the other hand, in Japan, is the day women give chocolate to guys they are interested in. I received ZERO chocolate for Valentine's day.
There's also the idea of giri−choco which would be loosely translated as duty−chocolate though probably better translated as sympathy−chocolate. That's like when someone that is your friend gives you chocolate on Valentine's day or even more common, the women on your floor go buy a bag of chocolates and hand each guy in the office one.
Well, this year I did get one giri−choco but even worse than normal it was from someone I've never met. The women on the 8th floor of my building bought giri−choco for the guys on the 8th floor. I'm actually on the 6th floor but I have a desk on the 8th floor for a certain project. I rarely spend time there so I've never actually met the women on the 8th floor.