Our Valentine's Days nowadays are not particularly romantic...I remember one year when we were hosting a Japanese boy whose school had been destroyed in the Kobe earthquake...and on Valentine's night we were dropping him off at another couple who taught at Lutheran High School, where he was going to attend for a few days. Last year I believe we were in Florida, with our kids, on Valentine's Day--with no one offering to babysit! But what is Valentine's Day anyway? Just a holiday promoted by the card and candy manufacturers. Every day should be Valentine's Day when you are with the one you love!
In Japan, women give chocolates to men on Valentine's Day (it's completely one sided). It's not what one would call romantic, though, because many of the chocolates they give are called "giri-choco," or "obligation chocolates," and they give them to their male bosses, friends, and family members, in addition to men in which they have a romantic interest. It's even MORE commercial in Japan than it is in the U.S.
The men are SUPPOSED to reciprocate on "White Day," a month later--but hardly any of them do.
But the reason I'm writing about this is because of this heartbreakingly beautiful blog post I saw in the New York Times...by a man who has prostate cancer ("Love in the Time of Prostate Cancer"). This is what a loving marriage is truly about--for better or for worse. It's a wonderful testament to the sustaining power of love. That's much more romantic than chocolates or roses.