[Ed. - With Chinese Valentine's Day just passed, we hope readers will enjoy this TLN classic from August 23, 2012.]
Depicting the love between the Cowherd and the Weaver girl, two stars separated by the Milky Way, this famous verse written by 11th century poet Qin Guan has seized the imaginations of Chinese readers for centuries.
Legend has it that these two lovers, one mortal, the other daughter of the Heavenly Emperor, were punished for getting married in secret. The Chinese Valentine’s Day, which falls on the seventh day of the seventh month of the lunar calendar, is the only time Cowherd gets to see his Weaver girl every year.
But how things have changed since Cowherd fell in love with his Weaver Girl. Today, guys get in over their heads seeking that perfect gift for their significant other on occasions such as Valentine’s Day, while the girls just don’t think the men are doing a good enough job. Two days ago, Qi Dian (@琦殿) started collecting terrible Valentine’s Day gifts on Sina Weibo, and within a day she had amassed enough responses for a 8,000-word infographic tweet. Translated below by Tea Leaf Nation are ten of the gifts selected by Qi Dian:
@淡豹子: “The first person I dated in college was a really hot guy. I was stupid at that time and didn’t understand the importance of being hot and thought that being smart was more critical. But after that, no hot guy ever asked me out again. Now I regret it a lot and can only balance my feelings of regret with memories of gifts the hot guy gave me. That was the end of September and we had known for only a week. He asked me out for dinner for the first time and gave me thirty glamour shots of himself in different poses, adding that I could ‘give them to the other girls in your dorm.’到了大学第一个约会的男生是个大帅哥。我那时脑袋进水，不懂帅的重要，以为聪明比较关键。可后来再也没有帅哥找过我了，我很后悔，只能靠回忆帅哥送的礼物来平衡无限悔意。9月底，刚认识一周，他头回单独找我吃饭，送了我30张他造型各异的艺术照，说“还可以分给你寝室”
@christy孙二娘: “This is not my boyfriend but a memorable gift [nonetheless]. When I was in Great Britain, there was a boy who called me in excitement telling me that he had bought a pig head at the farmer’s market and was going to marinate it for me… There was another boy who used to send me a bunch of marinated duck eggs.不是男朋友，但是我永生难忘的礼物是，在英国时的一个男生，有天非常兴奋地打电话给我，说我在农贸市场买了个猪头，准备酱一下，送给你吃啊！还有另一个男生送过我亲手腌的一堆咸鸭蛋”