If last Sunday was a drag for you and you probably spent the day trying to figure out who to treat for Valentine’s Day, then maybe it is just about time that you take heed of the “O Icheke” campaign, ‘Just Break the Chain’, courtesy of the Ministry of Health.
Although Valentine’s Day is a happy day for couples, in most cases it has proven to be most challenging for some, especially if they have more than a single romantic relationship. This is not only because of the obvious reason that it is financially taxing, but that it can also be depressing for the deserted partner on the day.
In most cases, it is women who feel the pinch.
A few weeks before Valentine’s Day, I was in the company of male colleagues who were all mapping out their plans for the day, and they were all concerned about the monetary part of it. Some admitted to having more than one girlfriend and their concern was burning their cash on all of them on the day.
They needed to help each other with solutions on how to deal with the “problem”, and two prominent solutions being either to choose the one they love/need the most and dump the other/s or to simply choose the one they want for the day and evade all others for that day.
Of course, most were not just going to up and dump someone because of that particular day’s demands and expectations that would come and go.
They’d had their small houses and main houses for a considerable amount of time and, though they were faced with this dilemma, dumping someone was not in their books yet, so the panacea was to evade the other lover and favour one!
I can almost swear that while this went on, the girlfriends had visions of them with their lovers cavorting through fields of flowers (like in the movies) and stopping for passionate embraces and somewhere the man stopping to lavish her with wonderful rhymes from one of Shakespeare’s sonnets, pledging their undying love for them on that day.
It is indeed a temporary society because chances of the same thing happening with the same couple next year are next to zero!
One of my friends got away with it, having been favoured for the day, while the other one was moping all day, getting drunk on the special wine she had bought for that special dinner with that special man who opted for someone else; she ate all that food alone, adding more calories in anger, not because she was hungry.
Frustration is cruel because it attacks you and gives your conscience no sympathy or chance.
And she knew that she was starring alone in all this sad episode while in another part of town her own boyfriend’s chosen one was receiving all the roses, chocolates and the passionate hugs and kisses in some damned hotel or lodge room.
God, why did there have to be more women than men?
Maybe that’s why Kagiso Madibana, my Sunday Standard colleague, went all out to denounce Valentine’s Day last week.
It might be she just feels sorry for the many women who are trapped in relationships in which they are taken for granted and only “on call” on certain days.
Because of the crisis of expectation that Valentine’s Day creates, one would have thought women are much wiser when it comes to this particular day. The crisis of romantic expectations that Valentine’s Day creates has left many women with un-mendably broken hearts over the years.
Most Valentine’s Day expectations are never fulfilled and never come; leave that to the movies.
Whereas it might be quite normal for those who are single to be hugging their knees on the sofa and watching boring TV programmes on Valentine’s Day, it should not be the case for anyone who has a relationship with someone, provided they are not in the army and are somewhere across borders or in the wilderness on duty.
If you are reading this as a married woman, engaged or in a relationship and happened to spend last Sunday alone, and failed dismally to track your partner down, it would just be proper that you demand answers as to their whereabouts on the day, especially if you go to the same church and one worshipper was absent.
It is now in your hands to rectify this; you don’t want to be alone on the next Valentine’s, do you?
I am sure the thought of it is just like adding salt to a gushing wound. But work on it by first removing yourself from the list of those women who have nothing better to do than to sit at home and wait for some Casanova to bring them flowers and chocolates. If you remove the idea of expectation, you will not be disappointed. Besides, if something you did not expect happens, aren’t you likely to thank your lucky stars? It would be a bonus, you’d console yourself.
So you are the solution finder this time. He evaded you, will you too evade him?
No rather dump him.
Take it this way, it is only a week after Valentine’s; the next valentines is a million years from now. If you break the chain now, you will have enough time to figure out who you want to spend the next Valentine with.