Who is Valentine’s Day for?

Valentine's Day card - vintage, 04It’s Valentine’s Day again, and you know what that means.  This is one of those holidays with certain expectations, and it can cause great distress and disappointment in the relationship if those expectations aren’t met.  Let’s take a lighter look at that…

If you’re a man with a wife or girlfriend, you’re typically expected to buy her a nice (sappy) card, give her chocolates and roses (which are inconveniently greatly inflated in price during February), and take her on a romantic date.  These aren’t all bad things.  I’m not anti-Valentine’s Day or anything like that.  It’s good to show appreciation to your significant other, and we tend to take our loved ones for granted.  I don’t particularly like the idea of it being “forced” on a certain day, but it’s a good reminder.

So the woman in the relationship gets showered with nice stuff, like she deserves, because we cherish her.  What are the expectations going the other way?  Well, guys typically get a card, which may not mean as much as it would to a woman.  Now before you accuse me of being selfish, it’s not about that.  I don’t care about getting more gifts.  I just wonder who created these expectations and how many people are aware of how it is.  Why are they this way?  That topic is beyond the scope of this discussion, but it’s a good thinking exercise if you’re interested.

Maybe we should start some new traditions, for the guys.  What kind of affordable stuff would guys want to receive every year and which would also make them feel loved and appreciated?  (That “affordable” modifier limits the ideas, so no monster trucks or flamethrowers or tanks.  But we need to be practical, I suppose.)  For starters, how about cheese dip?  Either homemade or Stoby’s cheese dip would suffice (plus no comments about how it’s not healthy or that a tub of cheese dip is not a meal by itself).  Bacon should probably be included in this.  Maybe chicken-fried bacon for dipping in the cheese dip?  Just imagining that probably makes you gain weight…

I figure most guys would like a time of playing video games, since that time typically gets dramatically reduced when in a relationship (and more when married and even more when you have children).  This may not seem practical, since the day is about quality time in the relationship, and that’s fair.  It could be applied the next day.  Or the woman could join him in the games, if they can find something they both enjoy.  That would probably count as quality time, to him anyway.

These ideas might not fly, but that’s okay.  I can dream, right?  🙂  If you have any ideas, I’m open to suggestions.  (Your comments can be anonymous if you’re scared of getting in trouble for speaking out on this.)

What did we learn from Groundhog Day?

Well, Groundhog Day has come and gone, and what do we know?  According to Wikipedia, someone actually tracks this from various festivals, and 9 of the 21 groundhogs tracked predicted 6 more weeks of winter.   The most famous one, Punxsutawney Phil, predicted 6 more weeks of winter.  Also, to get scientific, the National Climatic Data Center reportedly has stated that groundhogs’ overall prediction accuracy is around 39 percent.  That doesn’t seem very good.   Although, I wonder how accurate most weathermen are…

But all this is a moot point anyway.  The official first day of Spring is almost 7 weeks after Groundhog Day.  And besides that, the whole thing seems backwards.   If he doesn’t seem his shadow, it means winter will soon end.   But here it was all cloudy and cold, looking and feeling very much like winter.  A sunny day would seem more like spring is on the way.  But what do I know?  I’m no groundhog (though I have been known to do some weather prognosticating from time to time).

Did you know Groundhog Day originally involved badgers or bears?  Today it seems widely accepted to use groundhogs, but that is changing in some parts:

In Alaska, February 2 is observed as Marmot Day rather than Groundhog Day because few groundhogs exist in the state. The holiday was created by a bill passed by the Alaska Legislature in 2009 and signed by then-Governor Sarah Palin that year.

Okay, the tradition is silly enough in premise.   I understand getting together to party and eat, but do people really take this seriously?  Apparently so, if the Alaska Legislature is going to waste the time creating and voting on a bill about it.  But I don’t know why…

On a more random note, in the video game Animal Crossing (the GameCube version), the mayor announces on February 2nd that it’s the day “the groundhog fairy comes around to give groundhogs to all the good little boys and girls”.   That’s random…

building our own giant straw Christmas goat

In past years, we’ve discussed the giant straw Christmas goat built in Sweden every year.   I mean, what says Christmas like a 43-foot tall straw Christmas goat?  Well, I could probably think of a few things, but it’s tradition.  It’s also tradition for vandals to burn the goat down.

I could say a lot more, but it’s probably already been said in the first post, so I will link to that for your reading convenience: the Swedish Christmas goat.

I came across another article about it, and it’s rather funny.  Here’s that link: Goodness, Gracious Great (Swedish) Goats of Fire!  [link broken]

Here at Buffet o’ Blog, we are trying to start a tradition of building the next world-record-breaking giant straw Christmas goat, and then burning it down.   It would be one of the coolest things around (see the first link for details).   But so far, all we’ve done is start a tradition of Mango-Man saying it’s a great idea, but then he makes excuses (perhaps to protect his secret flower garden of ketunias), and it never happens.  Well, one of these years it will happen (with or without his consent — but if he gets a cut of the proceeds, he will realize what a great business opportunity it is).  The rest of the Buffet o’ Blog regulars have voted for this, so we’ve reached a consensus — a quorum, even — that this needs to happen.  When it does happen, it will be posted here first, so stay tuned.

it’s time to replace the Easter Bunny

Have you ever wondered why there’s a tradition of an Easter Bunny that leaves eggs and candy for children?  Is that believable?  Surely there’s a better way.

I came across an article on this issue that makes a lot of sense: replace the Easter Bunny with an Easter Ninja.  Now, for those stuck in the rut of tradition, this may seem absurd.  But you should read the article, because it really does make a lot of sense.  Plus, it’s humorous.  And as he explains, not only would it be better for children, but a ninja is much cooler than a bunny, along with being much more believable.

Here’s a quick preview:

Ladies and gentlemen, say goodbye to the Easter Bunny, and say hello to the Easter Ninja!  The Easter Ninja’s modus operandi is similar to that of the bunny, i.e. he breaks into your house and leaves baskets of eggs and candy.  The only difference is instead of leaving carrots for the bunny, children leave carefully constructed booby traps that the Easter Ninja must negotiate without setting off to fill their baskets.  Everyone knows thwarting traps makes ninjas happy, so the Easter Ninja will reward clever children with baskets of eggs and Easter Ninja shaped chocolates. ~ Chris Carlisle

Here’s the full article:

Replacing the Easter Bunny with an Easter Ninja.  [link broken]

I’m thinking we should start a petition to make this happen.  Spread the word!