Chocolate Cake.

I tend to be quite upbeat about occasions like Valentine's Day or such, where the number of the day is two and we're told to pair off with whomever we like the best, in the hopes that this affection is reciprocated. Many Western holidays have become very commercialized to one extent or another, and Valentine's is no exception: we're told that we should be in pairs, and if we're not, then there's the subtle and implicit insinuation that we're somehow deficient, if only because we don't have anyone to spend on.

But, you know, I don't really care that much. Yes, I'm single. Yes, I'm not single by choice, but rather circumstance. No, I've never had a girlfriend. Yes, I'm aware, when I take several steps back, of how pathetic this makes me sound.

Still, if I'm well on the road to being the sort of person who'd rather have a fictional character for a girlfriend, I may as well enjoy the ride there.

It's the same sort of rationale I use to enjoy watching summer beach episodes in the middle of winter, and Christmas episodes in the sweltering heat of July (or a tropical country, for that matter). Yes, it doesn't really affect me now, and the events depicted in the anime will probably never be relevant to my life, but I still watch them, because I can enjoy the occasion vicariously through the characters, as they stumble and stammer their way through the bumpy path of life and love.

It's the aura of anticipation mixed with dread as the guys harbour that tiny spark of hope that this year, maybe this year, will mark the first year that someone they like would turn out to like them too. It's the careful rehearsals as the girls practice what they're going to say, and how they're going to say it, to that guy they've only dared to watch from afar. It's the presentation of the chocolates, left in the shoeboxes, piled on the desk, thrust forward with a blush, casually tossed around, on the roof, behind the school, in the classroom… or dropped into the nearest trash bin as nerves fail and the girl sees something she did not want to see.

It's illogical, irrational, comedic, ironic, dramatic, pathetic, and a million other things besides. It's a convenient occasion to show what a relationship may be like. It's love.

Happy Valentine's Day. No matter what your status, no matter what you think about it, no matter how you celebrate it (if at all)… hope you have a good one.

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