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January 24, 2019

What is this hype about Valentine's?

Yes I’m single. No, I never get flowers or presents on Valentine’s Day. I’m not a bitter single woman though who owns 27 cats. What I am blessed with are two beautiful children who love me and keep reminding me in their unique ways how much I matter to them. I get little notes put in my lunch box, I have flowers with petals missing strategically placed where I keep my perfume bottles and what about all those cuddles, hugs and kisses I get?

It is often said that people who don’t have a Valentine's date are the ones who ask what’s the big deal about this day. The thing is, even when I was in a relationship, I always wondered the same. What is the big deal about this day? Why do we need just one day out of 365 days to express our love to people who matter to us? Shouldn’t this be a daily occurrence? Should you make the effort to tell someone how much you love them and how much they mean to you as often as possible?

Not to be a wet blanket and all, I must say it is rather nice to receive flowers or a card or even a little token of love or appreciation on this day. This, unfortunately I feel, is because the commercialism attached to every aspect of human nature has taken over this world.

Some married men seem to be more flustered than others having to choose more than one gift or bouquet of flowers (from different florists sometimes!). There are times when the wife gets nothing, being told that this day is not worth remembering and what not while the girlfriend is showered with flowers and gifts. Each one to himself or herself, I say. We don’t know what goes in such marriages unless we are in them so let them sort it out in a way they know best until they ask for help or just decide to call it quits.

In the past week or so, my email inbox has been filled with newsletters from restaurants that will be offering a sumptuous meal with champagne and strawberries and the clichéd red roses. What made me laugh was a romantic Valentine's holiday getaway being advertised and then the prices are per person. Clearly someone who doesn’t believe in Valentine’s Day wrote all that out!

Look, it’s easy to feel sad and dejected that you don’t have that special someone in your life and that you feel that you too would like to be with someone and spend this special day parting with copious amounts of cash buying useless teddy bears and red roses which will wilt overnight. Do spend a moment to think of those who, for the price of one red rose being sold exorbitantly in Nairobi, you could possibly buy a meal for someone who hasn’t eaten in days.

There is a strangely satisfying feeling in giving back to society, in giving to people who don’t lead the mega privileged lives we lead yet we are always whining about our situations. Your heart will be filled with love and gratitude if you went and bought a box of posh chocolates and gave to those little kids who sit at the roundabouts begging. I speak from experience. Whenever I pass by nowadays they recognise my car and ask me for chocolates. They are worth more than the Ferrero Rochers and Lindtt chocolates I give them but the happiness, glee and excitement they show at receiving them wells my eyes up in tears.

Hope you had a great Valentine’s Day if you are in a relationship and a great Independence Day if you’re not! If you have any chocolate left over, give it to someone who will really appreciate it.

Oh… and I love orange roses. Not red!


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