Opinion: The Folly of First Love

Written by Victorine Ndinda 

This is my first Valentine’s Day in a real relationship! Real here meaning that there has been  a mutual declaration of love, you argue without fearing each other, you have started talking about your future, all your friends know him and it was the only thing you could talk about for a straight month. Oh, and you have told your mother about him. And he often slips into conversation when you are talking to your siblings.

Sometimes a girl will lie to her girlfriends that she has a ‘really hot man’, in a desperate bid to prove to everyone else that everything is ‘oh so perfect’ but when they demand to meet this perfect creature of God, she will quickly say ‘he flew to Mombasa for an emergency meeting’. Or ‘he is out of the country for an international conference’. Girl, we always know that you are lying.

I have to say at this point that I am not the romantic type. It’s funny however how, as you grow up, maybe I should say, when you are in your first relationship (and more so to ‘late boomers’ like me who had their first relationship after campus), you start having funny and appalling romantic ideas.  For starters, I hate Valentine’s Day ok, I hated Valentine’s Day. I thought it was a meaningless waste of time. I mean, is that the only time of the year that lovers can appreciate each other? You should always show love to your one and only 365 days in a year, all round the clock, not wait for the 14th day of the second month of every year to show them love! What, about the other months, days?  Aren’t there better and more important things to do that day like finish up on that proposal?  Everyone is broke around that time, what with the long festivities so where will money for the stupid presents come from? That was me before I fell in love.

Now…… now I want to have a Valentine’s Day like everyone else! (Funny how people change, huh?). Suddenly I want him to come riding a white horse, carrying a dozen white tulips, singing me a symphony with his deep, sexy voice. I want him to charter a plane just to bring me flowers and chocolates, with my names inscribed on them. Me in my red dress, him in a beautiful black suit with a silk red tie, dancing to the music of our hearts under the starry skies. I want to be the envy of all girls this valentine, maybe even be featured in our local if not international television broadcasts! Is that too much to ask?

A lot changes when you get into your first relationship. All the things you saw your friends do with their boyfriends and loathed, you do without a second thought. You want to hold your guy’s hand in town, (earlier when you were single you would walk right between such couples!).  You talk about him endlessly to your friends, half of it mostly made up. You start watching The Wedding Show religiously and mentally note the theme color of your wedding. Valentine’s Day becomes a right and woe to you if your man is not the romantic type who considers Valentine’s Day ‘a meaningless event that makes no sense to anyone who is reasonable’; just to quote my loving boyfriend. Well girl, you will just have to buy yourself those chocolates that you are craving for, if you don’t get a surprise package from him because  to people who have been in relationships before, Valentine’s Day is just another day. And if you are not having the relationship with a ‘first-timer’ like yourself, be prepared for an ordinary day, and not the grand dreams you have formed in your head about a romantic dinner on the moon, that is unless you have a really romantic man. On the other hand, you could surprise him too by doing to him all the things you would have wished him to do for you, just to make him feel guilty so that come the following valentine, he will have no excuse for not doing the same. Hopefully that is, you know men.

Well, I had resigned myself to the same fate but I have just received a delivery of a box of chocolates with my names inscribed on them, and white tulips! Well they didn’t come via a privately chartered plane but still, maybe dreams do come true sometimes! Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!



Author: Faith Oneya

Lover of the written and spoken word.

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