It’s Tuesday, February 14th, which means that it’s Valentine’s Day, a day that is “celebrated” in the United States and Japan at the very least. I think it’s observed in many other places, but I’m not at all certain of anything specific.
I guess it’s appropriate, given that it’s a holiday nominally about romantic love, that it falls on a twos-day this year. Ha. Ha. Excuse me, I think I have to throw up.
Anyway, to those of you who are having, or planning to have, a lovely day with your significant other—or others, I suppose that’s possible—I hope you have a nice, even a terrific, day. Honestly, I do. I’ve gotten to the point in my depression where I certainly don’t feel envious or spiteful or anything. I’m just mostly empty. So do whatever you like with each other, with your civilization, with the world, whatever. Ruin it, save it, let it slowly grind away, gasping and limping, to its inevitable end. I don’t really care. I have no skin in much of any game, anymore, not even my own.
It’s curious, the form in which Valentine’s Day was imported into Japan, at least according to every light novel, manga, and anime I’ve seen that deals with it. It’s a day on which girls give chocolate to friends and/or to those with whom they are infatuated /romantically interested (usually boys, but not always nor exclusively). That’s giri-choco (義理チョコ) versus honmei-choco (本命チョコ)* if I recall the terms correctly. Subsequently, the standard practice is for one who received chocolate (usually a boy) to return some kind of gift on March 14th, which is called “White Day”, and appears to be a holiday that solely exists in Japan.
I doubt anyone much planned for any of these things to happen, of course, despite frequent complaints, there and here, that such holidays were invented by greeting card companies or the like. As with most human institutions—indeed, as with civilization itself—they are spontaneously self-assembling systems. They are not even in any kind of stable and/or dynamic equilibrium. Certainly there are people and organizations that benefit from Valentine’s Day, and they will encourage it to continue and to grow to the degree they can—candy manufacturers, florists, greeting card companies, those sorts of people and things—but that happens very much spontaneously. As with most actual “conspiracies” it’s not planned, it just occurs.
There is no shame or crime in any of this. Who among you, given an opportunity to benefit yourself (and by extension, your family and others you love) through the honest production of goods and services that reinforce and spread the memes of a holiday which is at least nominally a positive and cheerful one, would not do so? Making a living while supporting love seems like a win-win situation.
No one forces you to buy candies, or cards, or decorations. No one forces you to be in a relationship**, no one forces you to buy holiday-associated clothes or treats or jewelry or whatever. You may feel strong urges to do such things, but you can’t blame those who recognize those urges and make products that respond to them. You can’t blame McDonalds for the fact that you feel hungry but don’t want to go to the trouble of eating somewhere else, anymore than McDonalds can blame you if you do choose to eat somewhere else.
I don’t know how I got off on that tangent. I think I was arguing with myself, past and present, as much as anything else. It’s all academic and moot to me, now, really. I have no romantic interest, haven’t had any for quite a long time, and I don’t expect—or really, want—one any time before I die. I’m a cat whose feet have been burned too painfully to risk walking across that stovetop again. It was all always confusing and counterintuitive to me from the start, to be honest.
Speaking of walking, my feet still have a little bit of soreness from Saturday, but I got through my four miles total of walking yesterday without much trouble, and my blisters are resolving but not gone. I think if I undertake such long walking—or longer—in the near future, I should probably do an hour on, an hour off, and so on, at least until I get used to it. I know I can walk for an hour at a time without any real trouble.
I should also make sure to apply sunscreen. My nose and forehead are peeling, and that’s not appealing at all.
Sorry. Stupid pun. I don’t like it, either, but I have a tendency to punish and hurt myself, and unfortunately, you readers got caught in the process this time. I apologize; I try not to cause harm to innocent people when I self-harm. I generally try not even to let people know about it. But, of course, in the ultimate, it’s a tricky conundrum to go the final distance, so to speak, without at least inconveniencing or worrying some other people, and that’s frustrating.
I don’t know quite how I’m going to get past that. But I’m going to have to try. Because my tank has long since been hovering near empty, and the little warning LED has been lit for miles. There’s no gas station in sight that I can reach, as far as I can tell, and I’m in the middle of the desert, so walking to get a can of gas to bring back is risky.
But it still may not be a bad idea. Walking to get gas may succeed, it may be useful, with a great deal of luck. And if it doesn’t, if it isn’t, well…a desert is at least a relatively unbothersome place to die.
I don’t know what I mean by all this. Have a good day, please.
*See the title of this blog post. Giri choco means, more or less, “obligatory” chocolate, though I don’t think that usually implies insincerity. It certainly doesn’t with me for this post. Honmei choco is “true feelings” chocolate, basically saying to someone that you have romantic feelings for them. It is important to make clear which one you’re giving.
**Not most places, anyway. If that’s happening, it is indeed a crime and a violation. But forced marriages or any other variations of such things are generally not what people mind about Valentine’s Day.