Monday, February 13, 2006

VALENTINE'S DAY, Japanese style2

The rush for CHOCO was up last night as
young girls, as young as 6 or 7, and some LOLAs
gear up for Valentine's Day.
ALL were eagerly searching for the best buy
at the special counter for the Day.
I know....I was there!
I had to buy some more of those
Ah, the obligation chocolates!
Dreamed up by some genius marketeer who convinced women
that not only do they have to present chocolates to their beloved (honmei)
in order to express their emotions,
but also to their bosses, co-workers,
the guy down the hall
who once fixed the photocopier at 2 a.m. . . .
if only to demonstrate that one is a kind,
considerate woman.

Now a must-buy fixture on the Japanese seasonal consumption map,
this giri-choco comprises a market that sings
to the tune of something like 30 billion yen,
spawning an entire industry of impeccably polite,
elaborately wrapped packets of chocolates.
But there you go: obligation is nothing but,
and as any Japanese woman will tell you --
buying a hundred boxes of giri-choco
only heightens the misery when there's no one out there
to whom they can give the real thing.

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