The Worst (And Best) White Days Ever: Women Share Their Stories

From “Aww…” to “Eww…”

By Hilary Keyes
March 14, 2018
Lifestyle, Relationships

Funny and awful stories from Japanese and Western women on their Valentine's Day payback.

March 14. White Day. A day that never fails to amuse, disappoint, surprise (and sometimes all three!) those who are awaiting their return present from Valentine’s Day the month before. White Day was initially meant to be celebrated with marshmallows but now, most gentlemen are “strongly encouraged” to repay their honmei choco (ornate handmade chocolates or expensive boxes of sweets) gifts at a two to fifty times value markup!

The inequality of that aside, White Day is meant to be a romantic occasion and like all expectation-based situations, some pretty hilarious and downright bizarre things can happen around this time. Here are some stories shared by Japanese and Western women in Japan about their most memorable — or worst — White Day ever.

Oh Dear…

“I had just arrived in Japan in January and didn’t really know what I was doing when I gave chocolates to my coworkers. I bought everyone a small treat and made Valentine’s cards for them, like the ones you used to give out as a kid. Anyway, come White Day, all of my coworkers start coming by my desk, dropping off gifts. I ended up with a mountain of cookies, candies, cakes — even a box of expensive chocolates! I have Type 1 diabetes and there was no way I could eat all of that by myself and no way for me to refuse any of it. I learned my lesson!” (Amy, 25, American).

Turns out, he sent two bouquets to his side girl by mistake: one addressed to her and one addressed to me. 

“My boyfriend at the time was Australian, and he had a hard time understanding what White Day meant. This was 30 years ago, so it wasn’t like he could check online for advice on gifts. He came to my apartment, carrying a bouquet of roses and a small, very elegantly wrapped package. He put the roses in a vase while I opened the gift to find a very small, very expensive container of… skin whitening cream. I accepted the gift as graciously as I could, and we went out to dinner, but that gift nearly gave me a complex about my skin!” (Mariko, 56, Japanese).

“He seemed to have forgotten about White Day entirely and when I mentioned it the next day at work, he got really defensive. He started accusing me of being greedy all of a sudden and asked me why wasn’t I happy with the flowers he’d sent me. Turns out, he sent two bouquets to his side girl by mistake: one addressed to her and one addressed to me — she hadn’t messaged him because she thought she was his only girlfriend, too.” (Rachel, 35, French).


“My boyfriend and I were broke and living paycheck to paycheck in a tiny 1K (two-room) apartment. I splurged on his Valentine’s gift, since he really was worth it, and got him a jacket and a bottle of his favorite whisky. He was really grateful, but by the time White Day came around we were barely seeing each other and I was afraid he was going to break up with me. On March 15, in the morning when he got home from work, he woke me up and put a small box in my hand. It was a pearl ring. He’d put aside all of his ¥500 coins since Valentine’s and saved up enough to ask me to marry him. We’ve been married for 20 years this year.” (Elizabeth, 48, Australian).

He made [the cookies] himself and said, ‘since we bake about as well as each other, we must belong together.’

“White Day. That’s the day my boyfriend was declared cancer free and, a year later, the day we got married in Hawaii. Being Pi Day, we always celebrate with a pie of some kind, too, just to bring everything together.” (Mayu, 32, Japanese-American).

“I completely failed at making Valentine’s chocolates for my boyfriend at the time — they tasted good, but just looked so, so bad. He ate them without complaint, though. Then for White Day, he presented me with a Tupperware box full of the most misshapen cookies ever. He made them himself and said, ‘since we bake about as well as each other, we must belong together.’ We’ve been together ever since.” (Sarah, 30, Canadian).

Oh, Eww… Gross!

“I worked at an English daycare and for White Day, lots of the kids brought in small gifts for the teachers. One 4-year-old that I taught wore this really stylish and cool “bad boy” outfit and walked up to me with his arms behind his back. He held out this small parcel of homemade cookies and a card to me, but before I could say thank you, he puked on my shoes. Not just a little bit — I’m pretty sure he puked his entire body weight on me. His mother apologized but I still wonder why it happened, since I’d been teaching him for over a year by then.” (Amber, 27, Canadian).

“He gave me a norovirus and left me home alone without any toilet paper. I know he suffered from it too, but he’d been really selfish and demanded that I take care of him until that point, so leaving me alone and sick was really the final straw. We broke up as soon as I was healthy enough to leave the bathroom.” (Sara, 22, American).

He gave me a norovirus and left me home alone without any toilet paper.

“My then-boyfriend and I were both heavily pierced. Somehow after a few too many drinks and some clothing-optional fun, we discovered that his tongue ring was stuck to my nipple ring. Like — stuck solid. Neither of us could move without the piercings pulling, which hurt like crazy. Finally, we got coordinated enough to get to the kitchen, where he had a tool box under the sink, found some pliers and unscrewed my nipple ring. Long story short: we both got infections in our piercings and had to take them out for good. Never wear dangly nipple piercings if you’re dating someone with a tongue ring, ladies.” (Vicky, 29, British).

What was your most memorable or worst White Day? Let us know in the comments!