Chocolate, roses, dinner on a plane en route to a secluded island, gifts, presents, Uji in bed, a drive out of town, chocolate, a surprise, flowers, something spontaneous, presents, more chocolate, more dinners and more flowers. These were the answers I got when I asked a variety of women, ‘what, to you, is a good valentine’s day?’ Very few indicated that these things were to be enjoyed with a loved one or a significant other. I got the vibe it was with anyone who was offering. Only a few mentioned love.
To the men, I posed this simple question-because men, be they rocket scientists, nuclear physicists, cardiologists, lawyers, cart pushers, P.E teachers or school bursars are really simple beings-‘What’s your take on Valentine’s Day?’. It sucks, it is a day full of lies and pretence, I don’t know, tricky, it’s just a kawa day, it’s a sad commercial creation that tries to monetize love, it’s lazy, it has nothing to do with love, a bit over hyped were some of the responses to that simple question. No mention of love. Love kicked to the curb where it lies, bleeding.
But what is love really? And does it have anything to do Valentine’s Day? I asked myself. Here is the thing though, I shouldn’t write about love. To write about love is to pretend to know about love and that’s a very dangerous thing to do. I can feel the adrenaline rise already. My writing about love can only be compared to a Matatu driver lecturing on road courtesy. Not that I’m reckless that way, it’s just that I’m clues on the subject. But I’ll go ahead and do it because the moon told me to do it. Yes, the moon tells me what to write when everyone has gone to sleep and the night is pitch dark.
I believed that the different views on Valentine’s Day drew a certain picture that had a great measure of truth about love. These views drew a line that I was going to delineate. But I learnt something instead. Back to love though. I learnt that love has no single definition. I learnt that love is big. And it is serious. So you should be sure before you declare your love for someone. I learnt that Love is many things. It is a feeling, an emotion. But it is also more than that. It is more than infatuation, than eroticism, than intimacy and more than romance. Love is a child and a parent. It is a child of infatuation and romance and it is a parent. Love gives birth. Its’ children include trust, compassion, happiness, respect amongst others. But the respect for your boss doesn’t count because that is a child of the corporate structure. Love is a fire but it’s also what remains after the fire burns out. Love is like light; it travels the distance and illuminates. Love then is a journey and not a destination. Love is a process and the product of that process. Love is more than love, it is a decision. Love is a commitment-think of a binding contract. Love then cannot hide. It is always visible. Love is not the words but the actions so to if you have to ask someone whether they love you, then you are missing the point because you should already know. Love, sometimes, wanes and waxes but it never morphs into a monster I always hangs around, in the background. Love doesn’t follow the heart, it leads it. Love’s avatar shouldn’t be a red rose. It should be a photo of those couples that endured; the ones that are sometimes featured on the Saturday Nation for celebrating 50 years together.
I believed, and still do, that Valentine’s Day has nothing to do with love. And I still do. My pal Linet(who believes the kirinyaga are kenya’s 44th tribe) told me that women just want to outdo each other’s ‘story’. Joey said that it’s overrated because love is supposed to be sweet, constant and intimate not red, pressurized and exaggerated. Yes, there were women in the men crowd holding anti-valentine’s day placards. But it was one man who stood in the middle and said something different. He, my neighbour Cheruiyot, is married. Has been for some years(not more than 5 I believe). He said that for him as a man, it is a day to rededicate his commitment to his wife. He said that a present matters for the ladies and as such, he has never missed to get one. It is a day I would observe, it makes a difference, he added. There, he just gave Valentine’s Day another meaning, his own meaning. And it has nothing to do with dinner, roses or getaways. Not that they won’t be there, but they are secondary to love.
That is the problem with Valentine’s Day; it pushes love aside. It makes it about one day. It fights love by bringing in unnecessary pressure because it is billed as the day of love. What about the 364 days? What about love?
Don’t let love bleed this Valentine’s Day
I’m out. *Deuces sign*