Like most men, I consider Valentine’s Day little more than a manufactured holiday specifically designed to exploit a lacking in many modern relationships, the result of living in a fast-moving, modern world in which, more often than not, couples really don’t have the opportunity to properly express their affection for one another. Thus, this opportunity/celebration is offered to them as a means of (throwing money at the problem and) making amends. However, like most men, I won’t be taking a stand on the issue and risk being banished to the doghouse (although, in my case, the doghouse is my bed since the dogs sleep with me). Instead, I’ll be taking my wife out for dinner tonight to a fancy restaurant. Still, I feel the need to point out that the Japanese – who are worlds ahead of us in technology for one (just saying) – celebrate Valentine’s Day very differently. No fancy restaurants or overpriced flowers or maudlin cards. For them, Valentine’s is just a day on which women give chocolates to men, be they their bosses, co-workers, or significant others. In fact, it’s not uncommon for women in Japan to purchase and distribute between 20-30 boxes of chocolates on this special day. Personally, I think the Japanese are on to something here, but I suspect North Americans are so set in their ways that they would resist change and, sadly, this idea would meet with, at best, grudging acceptance by a very small minority. Sort of like the metric system. Anyway, yes, I’m taking part but, no, I don’t support this materialistic sham of a holiday in which people are forced to spend money to prove their love. I prefer the simpler, less extravagant holidays like Christmas and birthdays and National Producer’s Day.

Okay, while I appreciate the enthusiasm, I’m not gathering questions for Chris Judge yet so hold off on posting until you see the green light.

Tune in tomorrow for the update on the lovable Marty G.!

43 thoughts on “February 14, 2009: Nothing Says “I Love You” Like Thirty Dollars Worth of Flowers, An Expensive Meal, and A Heartfelt Card. Uh, Aside From Actual Saying “I Love You”.

  1. thats it, someone owes me chocolates. and yeah National Producer’s Day is the bomb!

  2. Hey Joe

    Yay……FLORIDA is less than a week away. This time next Saturday, I’ll be soaring the skies on a rollercoaster in DisneyWorld.

    Happy V-Day!

  3. And you mean it’s a giant Hallmark holiday,,LOL!! I would love to give out chocolates, taste testing each and every one?!? Num Yummy! I agree they could be onto something. We don’t exchange cards, but since I sometimes get myself a lovely bouquet of flowers for the kitchen table, pretty to look at and sometimes they smell good too, it just happened to be on this particular occasion I purchased a right pretty assortment. So happy day to me! Hope you are having a great one also.

  4. As much as a romantic I am, I’m with you Joe. I don’t need a calender a plethora of sales ads to tell me I need to tell those I love, that I love them. Why should I have to wait for a day on the calender for the one I love to bestow me with food and flowers? I enjoy that any day of the year. It actually means more when it’s given to me just because, not because “you’re suppose to.”

    But that is nice you took your wife out, and I am sure she appreciated it.

  5. Joe, ill-advised, wrote,

    “For them, Valentine’s is just a day on which women give chocolates to men, be they their bosses, co-workers, or significant others. In fact, it’s not uncommon for women in Japan to purchase and distribute between 20-30 boxes of chocolates on this special day. Personally, I think the Japanese are on to something here . . .”

    Joe wash your mouth out with soap! And do it twice!

    Men can’t remember birthdays or anniversaries, and if it wasn’t for the huge, pine cone smelly tree, brightly decorated, including flashing lights, sitting in the middle of the living room for a month, you wouldn’t even remember Christmas!

    Just be thankful that commercialism has made it easier for you to remember your sweetie on Valentine’s Day and do something for her! I hope you and Fondy enjoyed your Valentine’s Day dinner at the Market in the Shangri-la Hotel. After all, you did make reservations there – right honey? Yes, I remembered where you were going. Because I am a woman and we don’t forget!

  6. Yeah I think Valentine’s Day is silly. It means more to get a bunch of flowers on an ordinary day, than a forced day.

    So what day is National Producer’s Day?

    Cheers, Chev

    p.s. I love the bit about the doghouse

  7. I for one agree with you on the holiday. Hubby and I don’t try to go out on this night. We make something we like at home and watch movies. No spending of lots of money. We did get each other a card, but that was all. It is a sham, and no man could live up to the dreams of this holiday. When I was single had a lot of fun vdays, but now see what a joke it is. Hope you have a great day, and good luck.

  8. I think just telling people you care for them is the most heartfelt thing anyone can do. I’ve never bought the whole Valentine’s Day Buy-To-Show-Love stance because I think it’s better to show you love someone through words or actions, not materialistic tokens. Besides, anniversaries are the really important dates in my book.

    Of course, this take on celebratory days doesn’t extend to National Producer’s Day, which I think should be celebrated by treating all the great producers out there to nice things like chocolates, dinner etc.

  9. I think we should have World Wraith Day. 😀

    Today hubby and I did some volunteer work, and then cleaned the house – together. (Now THAT’S love! Or…slave-drivery… 😉 ) I even took a nap this afternoon. 😀 We grabbed Italian take-out, and watched Life and The Mentalist and now I’m eating chocolate – just a square each of Endangered Species 70%, Green & Black’s 70%, Chocolove 77%, and Dagoba Xocolatl…which means I’ll probably be up half the night, but it’s worth it! Woo! Hubby decided to watch Rambo…I think it’s an attempt to reclaim his manhood after playing Domestic Dave all afternoon.

    Ah, but he’s been very good to me these past few weeks – flowers and stuff, and helping out around the house. When I was at my sickest and couldn’t go out, he even grabbed me a couple boxes of Girl Scout Thin Mints (my favorites!) during their cookie drive, a complete surprise since I didn’t even know he remembered how much I love them (the cookies, not the Girl Scouts…). So, yeah… we don’t need a special day – we just try to say ‘I love you’ any way we can, whenever we can. And today, he told me by scrubbing the shower. 😀

    All in all, it’s been a good day. Tomorrow…who knows…the in-laws are coming…


  10. Hi Joe,
    I am new to the blog so do you post questions for Q&A sessions right here or somewhere else.
    Major D. Davis

  11. The best part of Valentine’s Day is the aftemath. Namely, those males who show less perceptiveness than yourself, and their dejected attitude as they drag themselves into work after being forced to camp out in the backyard.(Most of their significant others won’t even let them use the doghouse, as being too good for them). The only part of the day I do dislike is an inability to simply drop in at a favorite restaurant due to the crowds.
    Looking forward to hearing about Mr. Gero. I’ve watched YMF, and am still vacillating on sharing it with coworkers. I think they will enjoy it, but I can’t think of a way to warn them it will put them out of outside their comfort zones. Ah well. Here’s hoping tomorrow goes as well for you as today, if not better.

  12. But Christmas really has turned into a holiday that people generally associate with aquiring more.. erm belongings and the whole speanding lots of money to show affection too. I love buying gifts sure, but just being with the most important people to me would be enough on any occassion. I would be happy with nothing and have friends and family around me 😀

  13. Valentines day is over commercialized as if just about every holiday in existence.

    Valentines day is my favorite holiday. I express to those that I love that I love them all year long. Unfortunately people often feel the need to reciprocate on that affection. (ohh you helped me so I have to give back) Valentines gives me the op to express myself and the receive gets the guilt free card.

    The gathering consists of a candle light meal for everyone and each person gets a box with home made chocolates and rose petels. People even come to anticipate the event. I wasn’t going to do it this year because I moved an hour away and I’m broke but they are going to come next weekend and the first valentines gift that I’ve been given in almost 6 years is that my best friend is going to pay for it.

  14. I told my husband LONG ago that I really wasn’t into Valentines Day as it seemed like a manufactured “PROVE YOU LOVE ME” holiday. I LOVE when he brings home flowers JUST BECAUSE…although I would fit right in living the Japanese way…I’m not a real sweet eater but I LOVE to bake for others and give it away. Too bad you live so far away…I hear my cinnamon rolls are to die for…I bet they would work for National Producers Day.

  15. I’ve been married too long to really go in for the big Valentine’s Day thing. Jewelry is always nice though.

    National Producers Day? When might that be? We all want to know.

    Hope you had a great time at dinner.

  16. Throughout my 20 year marriage I got comments like,

    “Why should I get you a mothers day gift? You’re not my mother.”

    “Sorry, honey, I don’t have any money for a birthday gift for you this year.”

    “Christmas is for kids. They can have the presents. By the way, what did you get me?”

    This is why I am no longer married. Some times, special occasions are not celebrated even when the guy is hit over the head with them.

    Patricia (AG)

  17. I think you’ve missed the primary purpose of Valentine’s Day: to make single people feel bad about themselves.

    Ordinarily, Valentine’s Day is much like my birthday in that it just makes me depressed. However, now I can look at it as a different sort of occasion: my cats’ birthday. Today they’re officially one year old. Not that they know that, but at least it gives me something to focus on other than my own ticking clock.

  18. Coucou Joseph =)

    Vous allez bien?

    Vous avez raison pas besoin de la Saint Valentin pour dire à sa cheri qu’on l’aime^^.

    Des chocolat?? lol pourquoi pasXD

    Passez une trés bonne journée, bisou!

  19. Hey Arctic Goddess were we married to the same guy??? or is there a whole sub-species of man that we inadvertently bought into? enquiring minds need to know!

    So I bought myself flowers and told me how wonderful I think I am then I made me do housework to prove I loved me then I treated me to nice aromatherapy bath with candles and all (ok so don’t bathe and use floating candles unless you like the aroma of singed leg hair) So I generally spoiled me and appreciated my appreciation – far more satisfying that waiting for some clueless muppet who hasn’t got a one(a clue) Like I always say if a jobs worth doing do it yourself!
    Hope Fondy appreciates you as much as we do!

  20. I am totally with you there. And I am a woman.

    But in my country, Valentine’s is not a traditional holiday – like Halloween, it’s been introduced to us via American movies. Over the laste decade, the gift and flower industry has made a lot of money out of it here, too, but most of my friends consider this ‘special day’ a sham we can easily do without.

    Of course I like flowers, and expensive meals, and there are many occasions when I give chocolates to friends. But I believe we should celebrate love in all its incarnations whenever we feel like celebrating love, not when our calendar tells us to.

  21. It’s a silly idea this Valentine’s day… except when you actually get something hahah.. my mum accidentally got my roses and choccies last year! (he got the wrong address and wrong person with the same surname)

    Nothing this year.. *sigh*. Oh well I’ll just eat this tin of worms cuz nobody loves me. Waaaaaa

  22. two holidays i hate: Valentine’s Day because its stupid and birthdays also because its stupid. i still cant believe my parents used to force me to have a birthday party, when i grew up and had some power over them, i put a stop to this absurd charade. but now i sometimes forget my age. its 20 now though, i think.

  23. My wife is Thai no wonder she told me dont spend money on Valintine honey and she bought me a box of choclattes….I still got her a nice bunch of Rose’s

  24. Conversely, in Japan, there is a holiday called White Day on March 14th when men reciprocate with white gifts to the women who gave them chocolates on Valentine’s Day. Huge breach of etiquette not to reciprocate. But somehow chocolates and marshmallows aren’t equivalent, are they?

    Snow was falling yesterday, we spent the entire day on the couch with the fire going, watching old movies and stupid TV. He made breakfast for me, and we did some serious snuggling. Until we got bored and I did laundry and he shoveled the drive. Our anniversary is the 9th, V-Day is an anti-climax. Dang, there’s a dirty joke in there somewhere.

  25. I think the best thing about this White Day is that you’ve got TIME to reciprocate. It’s not like she buys you a priceless guitar and you buy her a shotglass for YOUR collection. At least you can think about returning in kind.

  26. Everone is invited to visit my Stargate Movies 2009-2010 post.Details on all of the upcoming Stargate features are clearly outlined on the post. You can also cast your vote onthe upcoming Stargate feature which you are the most excited for.Discussions regarding the movies or ayother Stargaterelated topics are welcome.I hope you will all visit!

  27. Trader Joe’s always has these seasonal items and they always seem to linger after the holidays forcing us to drive down prices. I’m, personally, waiting for the price drop on the flowers and chocolates.

    TJ’s never has sales so this is the only time I’ll get to have reduced prices.

    And lemme tell you, a box of peppermint Joe Joe’s for 99 cents is so worth the wait.

    I guess I could head on over to Wally World, too, and see if they have any deals on their ridiculously large overstuffed valentine’s day bears/monkeys. I could use another pillow. Six really isn’t enough.


  28. I always enjoyed the character of Lorne. I am retrospectively disappointed that he was not promoted to SG-1 at the beginning of season 9 (eh, not the biggest Mitchell fan). I feel that the writers treat(ed) him with promise in AU and time travel episodes over SGA and SG-1. With that said, I must ask if there was anyone pulling for him to be a larger character in either series at any time. And maybe even disclosing what he might have been considered for….

  29. Has anyone here been watching BBC3 s Being Human? I’m enjoying it as its sufficiently different and has good characters with a great cast.

  30. I dunno, Joe, beware the Japanese comparisons here. While Valentine’s Day in Japan does indeed see women giving men chocolate (some home made, but the majority bought and given as “giri choco” or obligation chocolates to bosses, neighbors, etc), with White Day the reciprocal holiday for men, Christmas in Japan more than makes up for it.

    You I’m sure well know that Christmas Eve in Japan is the equivalent of our celebration of Valentine’s Day. Men expected to book the nicest restaurant in town for a romantic dinner on Dec 24th? Check. Men expected to buy a nice gift for their significant other? Check. An iconic “sweet” planned and ready to express the sappy sweetness of the oocassion? Check. (Instead of the gold standard box of chocolates, you better have yourself a nice, white Christmas cake somewhere in the mix).

    As commercial as Valentine’s is here, Christmas more than makes up for it in Japan, so don’t let them off the hook so easily!

  31. What “PONYTAIL” said!!!

    I spent *my* V-Day driving my elderly mother around getting groceries and trying not to ‘borrow’ Cupid’s bow&arrows set to take out all the stupid drivers cutting me off without signalling!! Thank the Ancestors for a small degree of ESP to predict most of them!

    I’m still trying to decide whether if Friday the 13th had been a better day…

  32. Hi Joe,
    A couple questions that have nothing to do with Valentine’s Day:

    1. Were you aware that two of Drake’s henchmen in the recent Sci Fi movie The Immortal Voyage of Captain Drake are named Mullie and Malozzi? I thought that quite the compliment until they both got killed.

    2. Have you ever read any of Steven Erikson’s Malazan books?

    3. I’m not sure if you’ll know this — When they figure the ratings for TiVos and DVR’s, do they use information from everyone (since TiVo tracks everyone) or do they use a sample like the Neilson’s?

    Thank you for keeping up this blog — I really enjoy reading it.

  33. Ha, I’m Japanese and didn’t know it. My husband got chocolate yesterday. I didn’t get anything other than a heartfelt “I love you.”

    We’re happy w/ it that way. 🙂

    @Jim G. I too am curious about Lorne, he’s one of my favorite (though underutilized) characters. I had been hoping he’d make the jump to SGU since we’d seen so much of him in SGA’s season 5…

  34. Oh wait! Forgot! My friend (female) gave me some flowers, so I guess I can’t say I got a big fat zero. Did Fondy do anything for you?

    Did the pugkids leave flowers around their jobbies for you to see?

  35. I have always hated Valentine’s Day, when I bothered to think about it at all. Call me a curmudgeon, I don’t care. :]<

  36. You would love my sisters, they feel Valentine’s is a waste of money (even though they have it,lol) so they tell their husband’s each year not to spend money on them. They do that for Christmas too. They feel they can buy what they want when they want it. I keep telling them they don’t get it.

  37. Hey Joe

    2 questions:

    1. We’ve known the first six episode titles of Universe for quite some time. Any chance you can tell us anymore yet?
    2. Do you think we’ll get news about the female cast this week?

    Cheers :-3

  38. I say make Valentine’s Day whatever you like. Acknowledge it, ignore it, whatever works.

    It’s true it does a bang-up job of making you feel lousy if you don’t have that relationship that fits into their commercial stereotype, but personally once I was in a relationship that fit, I realised those things weren’t important. Cruel hey?

    I have friends who have come out of long-term relationships, recently broken marriages and just plain ol’ haven’t found the right person yet and they get together at a local Vietnamese or Thai restaurant and celebrate the friendships they have.

    Hubby and I don’t do anything other than spend the day together. I’d rather appreciate that I have someone every other day of the year. I used to be in a relationship where the only day of the year I would be acknowledged was Valentine’s Day, and he used to go all out, but I much prefer what I have now such as when Hubby comes home from an interstate job with a pair of socks that says “Someone who loves me very much went to Tasmania and bought me these socks”. Flowers die, socks rock!

    Maggiemayday wrote:

    Snow was falling yesterday, we spent the entire day on the couch with the fire going

    Sorry, still a little on edge.
    It’s hard to believe that after 9 days we still have 8 bushfires burning out of control. Most towns are out of danger now (Yay!) and thanks to all the countries who are loaning us your firefighters. Can we borrow some water too?
    Makes for smoky days, irridescant sunsets and I still get that sinking feeling in my stomach as I turn onto the main road and see so much smoke coming from the hills.

    As the media attention fades, I hope these people in tents are not forgotten. What some of our friends have seen will scar them forever. They admit, it’s got nothing to do with houses, it’s the number of people they saw perish or were left behind. One friend who snuck back into his town wishes he hadn’t now as people who didn’t make it out are still there. Wisely the residents were bussed through the town the following day, ensuring there was nothing in plain sight to make things worse.

    Joe – Do you have a telescope?
    Hubby and I had ours out on Saturday night. We’re not seeing the moon until around 10pm with the heavy layer of smoke but when it comes out it looks amazing. The smoke haze gives it an incredible colour and the shimmering edges give it more the look of a setting sun. Then there’s the inevitable walking into posts and doors afterwards from being blinded in one eye by the brightness of the lunar object.

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