Yesterday was White Day. For those of you who don’t live in Japan, White Day is the day when boys who received chocolate on Valentine’s Day return a gift of something white, such as marshmallow candy, to the girls who were so generous on February 14. As you can see, it’s a crock. Who would choose marshmallows over chocolate? But my daughter, who gave away a pile of chocolate last month, was very much looking forward to March 14. Frankly, I’d completely forgotten about it, but someone must have mentioned it to her because every time she got her hands on a calendar, she’d draw a little heart in the space for 3/14, clasp her hands, and gaze heavenward. She was thinking about what she’d get from R-kun, who has replaced the former object of her affection, D-kun. (She doesn’t even remember the HUGE crush she had on Y-kun when she was in kindergarten.)
Fortunately, the boys at school delivered. They mostly gave her junky candy that they no doubt picked out themselves. The best gift of all was from S.-sensei, one of the first grade teachers. It was wrapped in blue paper and adorned with a pin made out of pencils. Inside, was a little white cake with almonds on top. I was going to ask him if he made it himself, or if his wife did, but I decided that I’d rather just believe the former. He seems like the type of guy who would be able to bake a cake. He’s the one who showed the kids how to make wreaths and rings out of twigs. His New Year’s card depicted a kind of still life that he’d obviously arranaged himself. In another life, I knew men who could cook better than I can. I would like to believe that there are men like that in Japan, too.