by Benson Agoha
Today is a special day for many of us. Perhaps, indeed for everyone.
A great many of us have already had the day planned. Some have had their gifts ordered, and many others will stop halfway home to purchase stuff for a special night-in, or as it is a Friday, a night-out, with that special someone.
There has been arguments as to what the importance of celebrating Valentines day really is.
This week, Louisa Pawsey mused over what the point of Valentines Day really is and, like many of us, she has seen the eurphoria of the day come and go over the years, without even receiving a single Card.
What the city girl failed to tell was whether she has ever given one to anyone. You see, that is my point when I said that Valentine's Day is a special day for many of us.
But `special' itself may be relative. And while some relish and covet the experience of the day, others despise it - sometimes, for exactly the same reason.
As hard as I have tried to reflect on it, I can't remember if I have ever given or received a Valentine Card. But, I know for sure that I have never stopped thinking of it. For me too, the day even happens to be an important anniversary.
Yet I fear that bothering about it's validity or otherwise, will only put me in the same boat as those equally hitting on the validity of Christmas Day. Don't they ask the same questions?
Those who argue for the point or historical proof of valentine's day, miss the point because its continual popularity appear to hinge not on the veracity of historical proof, but on the valued distraction the day provides for all observers.
Many of us cannot resist the allure of determined focus on a given problem, but will on valentines season forgivingly allow ourselves a momentary shift of attention.
A historian by education, Louisa Pawsey's musings was quite educative to lay me, and perhaps to others like me who, non-challant as we prefer, never even bothered to worry about the validity of a day that has managed to come fourth only to New Year's, Christmas and Easter celebration's.
"I always get depressed around valentines day", she says "because I don’t need it so confounded that I become truly unlovable". But unless you don't want to begin to understand how her mind works, I recommend you read.
Yet again, there are those who, like she argued, believe that valentines day is supposed to be a special day for singletons. Do you agree? It seems to me that saying yes will suggest we have deliberately, perhaps `wickedly', alienated married and `partnered' couples.
Afterall, shouldn't everyone be entitled to the freedom to experience and express love?
Isn't it said to be what actually makes the world go round in a planet that have chosen to exist through an unfair 'survival-of-the-fittest-syndrom'. A planet that have variously tinkered with the idea of peaceful co-existence and still easily finds many prefering to tamper with one another's feelings, and then, only to show them who is boss?
Which is why the above photo of a modern President, showing how Valentines Day should be seen, is interesting.
President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria released the photo of him and his wife in a colourful traditional geer, to wish Nigerians a Happy Valentine's Day. Happy Valentine's Day to you and your family too, Mr. President.
I was out yesterday, hoping to bag an invitation for today. And my target? One truly loveable lady. Beautiful, inside-out. But, guess what? "I doubt it, but you never know", she told me. Well, I tried, you see. Never mind you could have done it differently, but at least, I showed up even though.....
While I am waiting and hoping, one thing I am sure many of you, who have already sent or received invitations may be facing today, is one important question, captured very succintly by 'The Three Degrees', in their hit song "When Will I See You Again".
"Are we in love ..... or just friends?", they asked, adding "Is this just the beginning .... or is it the end? "When Will I See You Again?"
Today, if you have received or given out an invitation, lucky you. But perhaps, you can make sure it outlasts the meeting. Now, are we saying the same thing?
Happy Valentine's Day to you all.
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