New Vision (Kampala)

Uganda: Love Cannot Be Induced, Let It Grow

analysis

I am not ashamed to say I do not celebrate, mark or treat as key, this day called Valentine's. Go ahead, judge me. I am only being me, and I guess that does not go against the penal code, does it?

So instead of explaining why I do not take Valentine's Day as special, I will instead wonder why a woman would think that one day defines love more or better than the rest of the days in a relationship.

While I am no relationship expert, I know that relationships are such complex things, you can hardly straightjacket them into one capsule and say oh, once you do this, then this or that happens. Once you take her out on Valentine's, she will know you love her.

Which is not even as simple as that, considering that one 'she' will want flowers (even this is not uniform, while some want roses, others want carnations), another 'she' will prefer a dinner out, or a movie of one hue or another, or something radically different.

The overly greedy might even want a cocktail of all these things. And you are thinking, if this is true love, are we considering both sides of the romantic divide? Are you sure I am comfortable making you this comfortable on V-Day?

But that is not even my drift. Hear this real life tale first. He was like me, a guy of his own type. He had never celebrated Valentine's in any way. He believed if he was to take his wife out, it had to be because he wanted to, and if he thought it was time to buy her new lingerie, or a phone, or whatever else, then he would, not on the late Valentine's terms, but his own.

Then a friend started him onto this Val's Day stuff. Take your wife out, the friend says. No, I don't do those things, Dude says. Friend presses: C'mon, she expects it. No, she does not. If she did, she would say it.

Anyhow, ultimately, Dude caves in. Big mistake. On his way back home from work, he buys her a bouquet. Great flowers they were, after some advice from the florist. Enough to knock any 'flowery' woman out.

Following day, on their way to work (she was taking a lift in his car - hers was unwell), she sits in the front passenger seat. Then she turns to put her bag in the back seat and, lo and behold, there is the bouquet to end all bouquets. Her hand freezes, her emotional ears prick up, her mental bristles all stand.

'Hey, whose are these?' she asked - calmly. So calmly, his bladder fills suddenly.

'The what... ah, the flowers?'

'Yes, the flowers Baby! What else is in here, which we should be discussing?'

'Nothing,' he stammers. 'Look here; are you saying I cheated on you? Those are your flowers, only that I forgot to give them to you last night.'

'So you expect me to believe that?'

The long and short of it is, she refused to believe that a guy who had never bought her flowers had done it, and then failed to deliver them. Was it a future surprise? Nothing he said changed her fixed mind.

Okay, he got into that mix because the friend had prevailed on him. But for many, it is their women who do... either through not-so-subtle hints, or directly. Sing about Val's Day till in a secret huff (you dare not show her you are doing it under duress) he books a table for two at the Serena, etc. So he showers her with compulsory affection.

Now tell me, will that excite him? After he is done loving you that day, how are you going to bring his heart back to normal? Sister, let love grow on its own. Love cannot be induced. Let those who are lucky to have expressive men enjoy the favour. Yours will do what he can, when he can, how he can, okay? Good girl!

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