Valentine’s day…St Valentine died for what he believed in and his name has become synonymous with love.
People have made valentine’s day into all sorts of things. A long time ago, a present from the heart could have been a surprise visit from a loved one or a painstakingly hand-made card or even a bunch of carefully picked fresh flowers but over the years the economy has gone bad and with inflation came an opportunity for most women to get the rest of the items on their wish list which Santa skipped.
A faction of people have labelled themselves anti-vals, denouncing the celebration of love on a particular day every year and the draining of pockets that accompanies it. They rightly say that every day should be valentine’s day and that you do not need a special day to show the one you love just how much you care. But this is idealistic in the most general sense because most would agree that apart from new, just blossoming relationships, the majority of the old ones have lovers who would agree that they have become un-celebrated, unappreciated, un-sung and taken for granted. Not because they are loved any less, not at all but because it is human nature to pay less attention to an old, trusty horse than to a new, just acquired, eager to show it off possession even if the old one has strong ties to their hearts. Hence many women look forward to this day, more than men admittedly, as a day when their men put them on a pedestal, tell them how wonderful they are and spoil them rotten. It could be argued that if the day was not necessary, it would have been done away with ages ago. If people were constant in their ability to love and appreciate loved ones, no one would have to remind them to do it once a year, every year. Regrettably many women would have found their crosses much harder to bear if not for this day when their world seems at peace. Thank you St. Valentine on behalf of the housewife whose husband will not come home late today and who will remember to say I love you after almost a year of no words.
Going to an all girls’ secondary school meant that valentine’s day was a huge affair. It wasn’t about love. Goodness no! It was about showing off your hotness and numerous toasters or cool boyfriend. The girls counted down to the day like it was their birthdays. Those who didn’t get any vals were called ‘roastos’ and the question in the air was ‘Did you roast?’
Yes, I roasted. From Js1 to SS3. Don’t ask me why. My nerdiness may have had a hand in it or maybe I was hanging out with the wrong set of boys. Ah well, science hadn’t provided a clue and every year I prepared my mind for the dreaded day of roasting. Sometimes like peer pressure often does, I’d be tempted to cook up a story about how my valentine’s present got lost in the mail or how it was seized by an imaginary wicked aunt or the guy not meeting me at home and taking the stuff back. I didn’t think no one loved me enough to val me, no! As an avid reader of mills&boons, I was content with the comforting fact that my prince charming had not found me yet. Some girls got a l’il crazy over it. Actually val-ing themselves and spending all their pocket money just to have a cake sent to them to save face. I never thought life was that hard but I did envy albeit slightly the girls who got endless gifts even from gender-confused junior girls on valentine’s day. By senior school, our principal had been changed and we had a nice one who made sure every girl got a bar of chocolate on valentine’s day. God bless her heart. If only she knew then that chocolate stimulates the brain to release the same endorphins as sex, she’d have given us chocolates everyday so that the girls would jump around less and seek more oral pleasures.
There were also girls who cried their hearts out on valentine’s day. Girls who realised on that day that they were the side-chicks or had been sharing their man with some unknown female or worse still had their bubbles burst when a beau was a no-show or they got a box containing nicely wrapped sure deodorant or a garri and toothpaste cake. Some of these girls had self- esteem issues for years after and I’m sure St. Valentine rolled in his grave at the inhumanity of it all.
University was way better. Proud to say I’ve made up for my roasting years. Boyfriend or no, I haven’t roasted till date but did not-roasting mean I had a perfect man and a perfect relationship? No. Did not-roasting mean I was hotter than fire or that my isoko jazz was on point? No.
People have placed so much importance on the gift-giving, take me out part of valentine’s day and less on the sincerity of the love expressed. Now men see it in terms of a holiday-liability. And like everything else in the world, demands have gotten more expensive. A chic I know got a range rover sport, brazilian hair, an I-pad and a new bb from her maga today. She’s only in year two and many working class women would kill to be in her shoes but while she struts around oppressing girls her own age, there’s a girl somewhere who’s feeling bad because she got a cheap bottle of perfume and a Mr Biggs cake and a card full of heart-felt words. She compares herself to the other girl and feels unlucky and cheated. The irony of the matter is that the former girl may have gotten those gifts from a man who doesn’t have to worry about money and who may have a wife somewhere while the latter probably has a boyfriend that loves her dearly, saved up for months to afford those presents and meant every word he wrote in the card. This isn’t to say that men are allowed to be cheap cos a lot of men will probably twist this out of concept but it just points out that the size of the gift is hardly a reflection of the size of the heart, perhaps only a reflection of the size of the wallet and the generosity of the giver.
Ladies, valentine’s day wasn’t made for just the women. Men love gifts too and once you are not single, there’s no excuse not to make the man you love feel special and appreciated.
For those who truly celebrate love everyday, valentine’s day is just another day but for those who only remember to appreciate their partners on birthdays and during christmas, it’s one more day to show you care. Some people have perfected the ‘wow’ factor and their elaborate valentine surprises leave you excited and breathless but for women stuck with the average naija man, be grateful that you have a man who comes home to you every night and who in his own way cares about you and thinks the world of you. Some people have it worse.
So as you celebrate this day of love, remember not to focus on the gift but on the person giving it and be thankful for the most precious gift of all…love! Tomorrow’s a public holiday and since the love bug will keep biting till dusk tomorrow, I envisage a lot of babies being born in November. 😉
Remember that HIV is real and that if your boyfriend says he’s working late or travelling today&so can’t see you, you are probably his kele! 🙂
Here’s a l’il poem I wrote for the man I love…
You are worth it.
Worth every sacrifice.
Worth every show of love.
Worth every ounce of care.
Worth every time I’ve spent.
Worth every door I’ve closed for u. Worth every dime I’ve spent.
Worth every prayer I’ve said.
Worth every thought in my head. Worth every plan I made.
Worth every tear I shed.
Worth every l’il part of my heart that’s dedicated to loving you forever…
I love you.
Happy valentine’s day Obi’m and happy valentine’s day the rest of y’all…have a fabulous evening…hugs and kisses…xoxoxo