Other than the obvious reason that MG has no clue what to say about Valentine’s Day, there could be two more reasons why he asked me to be a guest writer ( again!) on his blog. MG believes that the times I have had Adams tell me ‘…mimi mateka, mimi pumbavu wa penzi lako…’ are a zillion.
I think he also believes that since I have been on this planet longer than him, then I know a thing or two about Valentine’s Day. Was I going to get out of this elevated position (is it?) by saying unintelligent stuff such as “I have never celebrated valentine’s Day (at least not in the way he might imagine)?” Of course not!
They say Valentine’s Day is all about love but I beg to differ; it’s about love and gifts. Try telling an Eve on this day that you love her, without reaching for a gift pack to back up your rhetoric, and you will regret that simple utterance. The aftermath will be enough to sue the person who lied to you that ‘the three little words count’. I feel as though I have given away a nuclear code.
This is also the day that any florist will make a kill with that wilting commodity, what with demand outstripping supply. I remember the first time I received flowers was many years ago when I was young and naive. There was this guy who I liked but who was obviously more experienced in matters love and Valentine’s than I was.
Here he was, standing outside my parent’s door, hands in his pocket looking a bit nervous. He mumbled something like, “…see, I’ve come in the black metallic Benz (read his dad’s), just to bring you flowers on Valentine’s Day. Come with me to the car and pick them up.” He said that with a big grin on his face.
I’m only but a simple village girl, had never received flowers before, and here was a man, knocking on my parent’s door ready to wow me with flowers. By the way, had my mum, who was at home, seen that young man, she would have gone into instant prayer and fasting for her daughter not to get lost in the ‘glitters and vanity that fills the Lord’s earth.’
I declined to get out of the house, and told him to give the flowers to my sister. So that evening, I received my first ever bouquet of flowers and a note that read, “…my intentions towards you are 100% pure and wholesome.” That made me smile, and I confess, I felt special. Sadly, that was in the pre-mobile phone era, so I didn’t send him any mushy SMS thanking him.
What came out of it? Well, you know a young girl can be wowed without anything coming out of it, right?
First lesson about pleasing a lady; it has to be about the little things and going out of your way to please the other person. It’s not necessarily about the size, and the manner in which it is done. If she knows you have gone out of you way, she will be pleased.
So village girl lands in College and meets Jeremy the hopeless romantic. This Adam followed his heart and never held back, and he expressed himself through his writing, especially poetry. No points for guessing that I had a whole book filled with poems from him.
I remember our walks together, the silent moments that we shared and yet communicated. He once bought me a one stem rose that had the villager in me absorbed in banter with him. Unconsciously, I started plucking the petal one by one, an act, he would later tell me, had made him feel as though his heart was getting ripped!
Jeremy would write me a note almost every day, walk me up to the hostel gate, stand there and wait till I disappeared through the gate and then walk away. These notes became part of our dating life. I would wait till I was settled in bed to read one and then fall asleep thinking about it. Maybe I had turned into a hopeless romantic too!
One that I can never forget, of the many posters full of poetry and notes in my room, read in part, “… I just can’t resist your charm.” Oh Jeremy!!
So, looking back, I marvel at the simplicity with which he expressed his feelings and commitment. By the way when you are young and ‘unpolluted’ by the things of this world, something simple like a love note or poem makes so much sense. These simple acts left such a mark. With Jeremy, we never celebrated Valentine’s Day, because, you see, everyday felt like Valentines.
The second lesson about Love is the same as the first one, only this time round…be consistentJ.
So yes, I am thinking about these simple affirming gestures of love because it is Valentine’s Day. People are now under immense pressure to deliver a performance. Eve will be waiting for a big bouquet that cannot come into office through the front door. Adam will be under the strain to take her to the most expensive restaurant for an overpriced meal. (It’s true, Eves feel Valentine’s Day is more about them than about Adams).
I do not know about you but I would rather have simple gestures of love than wait for only one day to have over the top declaration of love. Only on one day, after which, almost all gestures of love would be near buried till the next February.
Economic crunch and all, love does not have to be an expensive one day affair (I am not saying do not take her to Shompole! – I know they closed, but I can’t think of another place… I am obsessed!), and I am not saying do not celebrate the day. All I am saying is; you do have other 364 days to express your love.
Show it your way, not only on this day, but any other day.
Happy Valentine’s Day ya’all!