Back-to-Back Bad Luck Days · 28 February 2015

Two back-to-back days of bad luck. That is what Friday the thirteenth followed by Valentine’s Day are. At least if you are superstitious. Or single.

I was at the store on Friday the thirteenth and noticed the phenomenon of the greeting card holiday. There seem to be more and more of them as time goes on. Greeting cards for Christmas and Easter are pretty normal. As are birthday cards. But cards for Halloween and the Fourth of July? Maybe we need president’s day cards or Thanksgiving cards or even better, TGIF cards.

Anyway, I suppose there is some legitimacy to Valentine’s Day cards. After all, it is a celebration of love. Or it has been turned into one. (According to Wikipedia, it “began as a liturgical celebration of one or more early Christian saints named Valentinus.” It has since given way to cupid’s influence.) Still, it was interesting seeing people in the candy and greeting card section of the store.

If you have never been to a grocery store at the eleventh hour of a candy or greeting card holiday, you ought to go. Just for amusement. The aisles with the greeting cards are packed with people. Some popular cards are gone (I always wonder what they said). And there are always those cards without any envelopes (I always wonder why that happens). But people are not giggling at the funny cards or crying at the touching cards. They are frantic. They are just there to make sure they get something, anything for their sweethearts. They are desperate.

Other people are desperate too. Usually, the ones looking for candy.

Candy is one of those Valentine presents that is safe. You can feel pretty safe giving candy to your special Valentine. She will probably coo and give you a kiss (maybe even a chocolate one). The difficult thing is that the candy might be gone if you wait too long.

Like I said, I was at the store on Friday the thirteenth looking for candy. Actually, I was there with my wife, The Mindboggling Mrs. Miyoshi. She was the one looking for candy. Not for me, for our kids.

Fortunately for me, my wife and I have gotten to a place where Valentine’s Day is just another day. Like our anniversary. We just say, “Happy Valentine’s Day,” or “Happy anniversary,” to each other on those special days and consider them celebrated. I am not sure how we got there, but it is nice not having all the stress that many people feel.

Regardless of how The Mindboggling Mrs. Miyoshi and I celebrate Valentine’s Day, she still feels the need to give the kids special treats on the day. So we were buying candy for them.

Maybe part of the reason we do not do much for Valentine’s Day is that it would be my inclination to just pick something and go. No muss, no fuss. Just get something nice that says, I was thinking about you. But The Mindboggling Mrs. Miyoshi is deeper than that. She wants to make sure that she gets just the right eatables for the kids. That means that each of the three boys needs to be happy with the choices she makes.

And the price needs to be right.

The Mindboggling Mrs. Miyoshi picked up some Dark Roca right away. It used to be that she would have chosen Almond Roca, but after she converted me to dark chocolate, I have never looked back. Unfortunately, our youngest, Thing 3, has not completed his own conversion. He still prefers milk chocolate. Which means that the choice of Valentine’s candy is not just a simple grab and go.

I watched people while I was patiently waiting for my wife to make her choices for the boys. (Yes, the Roca was mostly for me, but we all share all the candy.) As I watched, I noticed there were those who chose items quickly. There were those who looked at every item before deciding. And there were those who chose and unchose and chose again. There was even a guy who stood there looking like a deer in the headlights. I felt sorry for him. He had a box of chocolates and a stuffed animal and he looked like he was in a daze. I wondered if it was his first date or if he was trying to make sure what he had was enough after a previous fiasco. I sympathized with him because I probably looked like that before. It is only after years of underwhelming performances, that I have made it to where I am.

At any rate, I watched the people do their thing and then, I got a not so rare treat from my wife. She started her own stand-up routine right there in the candy aisle.

As most people who do any candy shopping know, the best time to get candy is the day after a candy holiday. The prices are as low as they go on the days after Halloween, Easter, and of course, Valentine’s Day. But there were sales on the eve of Valentine’s Day too. My wife thought the best one was the two for one box of chocolates.

There she was kneeling down looking at those two for one box of chocolates. I was oblivious of course. After all, I was just standing there holding the bag so to speak (actually, just the chosen items). The Mindboggling Mrs. Miyoshi chuckled and said, “These are two for one.” I was not sure she was talking to me, but I listened up. She continued with a deadpan, “Is that so men can get one for their wives and one for their girlfriends?” She laughed at her own joke. It was rather humorous. The lady who had walked around the candy aisle a couple times with the man I assumed was her husband smiled at the thought. Another gentleman looked to be horrified as he decided not to get the two-fer. I just shook my head and was glad that my wife and girlfriend are the same person. (Actually, I just made the part up about the guy looking horrified. He kept a straight face and walked on by, but it would have been funnier if he looked horrified.)

I know. It is not much of a story. But it has already gotten a lot of traction.

We were at church on Valentine’s Day for a couple’s comedy show dessert function and The Mindboggling Mrs. Miyoshi told the story to friends at our table. Thankfully, everybody laughed and nobody looked horrified. Since then, she has told the story a couple other times to chuckles and smiles. And I am sure she will tell it again.

Personally, I am happy to hear the story over and over and over. It is cute. It is funny. And like any good fish story, eventually, there will be several customers who look horrified and turn away from the two for one candy box deal. Which, by the way, was what we ended up getting for the boys. At least for the two boys still at home. But not one for each. They had to share with everybody.

I am glad that my wife and I do not have high expectations for Valentine’s Day. I am glad that it is just another day in our lives. And I am glad I am not superstitious. For if I was, there would be far too many years with Saturday Valentine’s Days. Far too many years with back-to-back days of bad luck.

© 2015 Michael T. Miyoshi

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