Will You Be My Valentine?

by Nancy Bestor

I love my husband. I’m lucky enough to have found someone that I enjoy spending time with, and in fact, want to spend the rest of my life with (19 years and counting!). I’m not however, big on Valentine’s Day. I don’t need flowers, cards or fancy dinners to know that Bob loves me, nor do I feel the need to give him any of these items. Never have, never will. I guess I should be grateful I don’t live in Japan. Valentine’s Day in Japan is a holiday for women to give men candy. That’s right, it’s for women to give candy TO MEN. That’s because in 1978, the Japanese formed White Day, which is March 14, the day for men to give candy in return to the women who bought them candy on February 14. White Day was founded by, you guessed it, the National Confectionery Industry Association. White Day is also observed in South Korea. Read more about white day here.

While I might not be a huge Valentine fan, I’m happy to live somewhere where people CAN celebrate this day of love if they so desire. In Saudi Arabia, it is illegal to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Because it is a pagan holiday, stores are prohibited from displaying and selling red items beginning a few days before February 14. This includes red roses, red wrapping paper, teddy bears, and any symbols of love.  I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. It is also illegal for women to drive in Saudi Arabia.

I may not love Valentine’s Day, but I do love chocolate. In Italy, Valentine sweethearts often exchange Baci Perugino, chocolate wrapped in love notes. The chocolates first arrived in Italy in 1922, and in the 1930’s the chocolates started coming with paper scroll love notes. Wondering what kind of chocolate and wine personality you have? Take this quiz from Perugina and Sutter Home and find out! Baci is also sponsoring a trip to Italy contest. Enter here before February 14 and you might win a trip to Italy’s most famous city of love.

Robert Fulghum once said; “We’re all a little weird. And life is weird. And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall into mutually satisfying weirdness—and call it love—true love.” I couldn’t have described my relationship any better. Happy Valentine’s Day.