Valentine’s Day Gone Awry?

So Valentine’s Day has come and gone and I’m wondering what different people’s tales would be. Here in Nigeria, the day after was a public holiday so, for those workers who could not do much after the busy Monday at work, especially those in traffic-cursed Lagos, it was a well-timed one. Good for them! (Maybe?)

While some people just don’t ‘dig’ the idea of having a special day to celebrate love, others would die for it. Some people just did not have that special person to celebrate the occasion with, in grand style, or whatever style, whether they ‘dig’ the Val idea or not. A quick confession: yours truly belongs to this sub-class, and it’s a personal, conscious decision. Ahn? And don’t worry, maybe I’ll feature big time in the next season of this un-ending romance series… Okay, so when you are indoors, just by yourself on the evening and night of February 14, it is only logical that you come up with different ploys to make you feel justified. So I thought, why not just make a joke out of all this. Then, I decided to tidy up a scenario I had thought about almost a year prior to that night. Here goes:

So, there’s this dude, Kamal, a student of the Lagos State University, Ikorodu Campus, who has been speaking on phone with this particular girl, Funbi, from the University of Lagos, Akoka Campus, for two months, but they have never met before in the physical. The dude’s roommate, Kolapo, had been talking with his girlfriend, Francesca, who happens to have a roommate who would like hook-up with the mystery guy who always chuckled in the background. That love-thirsty girl is Funbi. MTN has blessed their impending union with the free midnight calls and, thankfully, Funbi’s got a really nice voice. So Funbi is now fully ‘connected’ to Kamal. Sweet thing, you would say.

Two weeks before St. Valentine’s Day, he decides to meet his angel-with-the-sweetest-voice-in-the-world! He is not prepared for the big surprise. As he enters the highbrow restaurant, he dials the ‘magic’ numbers on his Bold 2. “You are the treasure that I see…” comes the beautiful MTN Caller Tune. She picks the call and tells him she’s five minutes away from the restaurant. “I’m the guy in the red T-shirt and blue jeans and spectacles…” Kamal says.

“Okay… we are close to the place…”

“We? …who’s coming with you?”

“Sweetie, don’t worry, it’s my friend. I’m sure you’ll be happy to meet her…”

“Okay o… I’ll be waiting.”

Kolapo bites his lips. “These UNILAG babes sha! Now I have to care of the two of them. Anyway, the quality of treatment will just suffer 50% damage ni jare…” he reasons.

Just then two figures loom in front of him and he snaps out of his thoughts.

Two ladies, one extra-large, the other super-slim, appear before him.

The big lady gives a big smile, “Kamal…?”

“Aaaww! ”Kamal’s jaw drops as he tries to gain composure. Maybe she’s not the fat one?

She engulfs him in a big embrace. “Kamal, this is Pepeye, my cousin. She really wanted to meet you o!”

“Hello! I’m so plixt to finally met you”, Pepeye says with a fake accent.

Hmmn. Kamal eventually takes his seat. Perhaps, that was why Funbi had only one picture on Facebook and, even in that one, only her face is visible and she must have taken that picture back in her high school days. He thinks Funbi is too big for his liking and even Pepeye, the slim and shapely cousin is a sad story of terrible accent, loud munching, unbridled tongue. Funbi just giggles and does all the talking! Aside the fact that most of his accessories are borrowed stuff, Kamal has to recoup his hard-earned final year project money spent on this time out. Gosh!!! And he has to put up with Pepeye’s constant ogling and blushing for another two hours. What a day!


Celebrating Love’s ‘Birthday’!

It’s that season again, when everything and everywhere turns red. People, young and old, paint the town and big city the colour of blood and Rose flower. Like light at the Stadium on the World Cup final night, smiles illuminate the faces of cake and chocolate confectioners as their orders increase. Their smiles broaden as they pocket their cash and cheques. Valentine’s Day is here once more and we will be celebrating love again!

Really, why fix one particular day for love like we are celebrating love’s birthday? Do you even know when love was born? Love is meant to reside permanently in our hearts and breathe through our actions, and we don’t have to wait till February 14 every year to now ‘do birthday’ for the ‘thing’. Or do we? Anyways, just like we have ‘Independence day’, ‘Democracy Day’, ‘Boxing Day’, ‘International Day for Youth’, ‘Eid-il-Fitri’, Eid-il-Kabir’, and those many holidays and special days, I believe it just makes some sense to set aside a day to celebrate love and emphasize that word, idea, or concept – you can take a pick!

“Love makes the world go round”, someone would say. But as we celebrate ‘love’s birthday’ this year, we need to ask ourselves, do we truly believe in love? What is your definition of love and how do you show love to those you care for? On Valentine’s night, as much as we may preach many beds and cushions and whatever will rock and feel pain, some will even get damaged, illegally! Many girls are likely to lose their innocence that very night in the name of love, only to wake up the morning after with a deep sense of guilt, regret and hurt that could last a lifetime. A few days, or even weeks, or even months later, the same person you go to despicable lengths to satisfy sexually is most likely to disown you. They would even blame you and call you names later, saying you are not responsible or ‘marriage material’, or ‘pure’.

This year, here’s a call that we all lead responsible lives and always be true to our conscience. Love entails doing unto others only that which you would like that they do to you. If you still have a warped definition/understanding of love, go get it straight. After all, ‘if sex were equal to love, then we could conclude that all prostitutes love their clients!’ This calls for crucial introspection and an advance decision never to seize control of our lives and selves, only to give it to our emotions and sexual organs – only lower animals do that. Let everything you do today, in this season and beyond be in moderation and do not be selfish. Show sincere love and appreciation to those who have made impact in your life in many ways over the years, in a special way. Call them, send a customized text, get them cake and chocolate, beautiful hand-made cards, and any of the wonderful gifts too many for this space. Surprise people who cannot, or are most likely never going to be able to, return your kind gesture and those who hardly deserve your kindness.

Let us all celebrate true love – that which is patient, kind and puts others first. Happy Valentine’s Day to you all and happy birthday to ‘love’! :)

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