BY OMOLIGHO UDENTA
I AM sitting here in the small crowd; most of who have paid handsomely and gathered to watch our very own Grammy nominated Nigerian artiste, Femi Kuti. There is an air of expectancy as people wait for the show to start.
Really loud music blares from speakers all around. I consider changing seats because there’s this loud speaker in front of me, which seems to make my heart thump a little louder and in tune to the music.
It feels real good to be out again. I try to remember when last I’ve been out like this and can’t. It’s been that long.
We must try to do this a little more often I think to myself. My eyes like many others follow these three absolutely gorgeous girls as they shimmy their way to their seats.
Jaws are dropping but the girls care little about the effect they are having particularly on the males or so they make us think.
Their dresses are as short as short can be and they fit like gloves two sizes too small. They order for drinks and make themselves comfortable as they join in the wait for the show to start.
I look around and notice this couple coming in. They look real comfortable with each other and stroll in casually, holding hands.
Nothing strange there and how nice too I think until when they get closer I realise that the girl is at least half the man’s age but I guess it can be said that with love age is just a number.
It would also seem that colour has absolutely nothing to do with love as the said man was as white as she was black. They sit and snuggle into each other.
All around are couples, some more demonstrative than others and all at one stage or the other of love or something like it. A drink is pushed into my hands by my dearly beloved and much adored other half.
I smile my thanks as I notice that one of the three gorgeous girls is up from her seat. She makes her way to greet and then join this elderly man at his table. They must be in love too; I think to myself and smile wryly.
Pity the other two girls didn’t seem to have any ‘love interest’ present but quite a number of guys were interested in them though no one can be sure if what they were feeling or thinking was related to love.
I wonder what will be g received for Valentine this year by those here today. Maybe phones, maybe houses, cars maybe, jewellery, perhaps.
I remembered once when a man was asked what he’d given his wife for their last Valentine. His response was ‘A Gas cooker’.
My husband laughed because he knows that a gift like that doesn’t count in my books! Especially not on Valentine’s Day?
A FEW acts perform before it is time for the big ‘masquerade’ to come out and when he does I forget everything for a while.
His three dancers/singers are fire and they move their bodies in ways I am not sure God intended we should move! When he starts to play ‘B*ng, b*ng, b*ng’, I look around and see that almost everyone is dancing, making suggestive moves.
It is obvious most intend to continue the dancing at home or wherever they intend to spend the night.
The show ends a little sooner than I’d have liked for I was having so much fun. People start to leave and I whisper ‘thank you and happy valentine’ to my dearly beloved and much adored other half. ‘But it isn’t Valentine yet’, he says.
‘I know’ I say ‘but I just wanted you to know how I feel. Besides we shouldn’t keep all the good stuff till Valentine’s day when we have 364 other days to live through.’
‘Loving every day, eh? Hmm…’
He wasn’t having any of that and I had to laugh at the expression on his face.
A COUPLE of days later I overheard two young girls, one of them in a really flashy car, discussing their plans for Valentine.
The first girl was asking for advice on how she was to manage and manipulate her three man-friends.
The second, the one with the car, talked about how she planned to be merciless with men, how she was now ‘hard’.
With me was a young lady about to be married and she was appalled at what was being discussed. I was too polite to ask if she’d never dated a married man.
A lot has been said and done because of this thing called love, which by the way scientists say, is just a chemical reaction between two people.
Sometimes I just wonder at the things we get up to in the name of love. For the young ones I’ll say have ‘clean’ fun, and for the married, do nothing to undo your ‘I do’! Have a happy Valentine’s Day.
BY REBECCA AKINMOLAYAN
THE V-day is here again and the signs are in the air. It has been a tradition over 1700 years. Though its history is still a mystery, however, seven legends explain its origin.
The Catholic Church, in its account, says it has three different saints named Valentine in its records.
Around the middle ages, St. Valentine was one of the most popular saints in England and France likewise the date (February 14) can be traced to the date of the Roman pagan Lupercalia festival for fertility.
St. Valentine’s Day has been celebrated worldwide for ages even William Shakespeare mentioned it in a poem in his book, Hamlet. It records the second most sent cards after Christmas.
Its symbols have always been the boy Cupid, doves and a heart shape. Its traditional gifts are chocolates and flowers but it has expanded to jewellery, all sorts of confectionery, cards in red heart-shaped boxes, gifts wrapped in red ribbons, hand-written poems and candle-lit dinners.
These days, there are SMS, e-cards, love coupons or one could decide to spend the day at the cinema, spa, clubs, game/sport centre, restaurant, go on a getaway, throw a party or better still reach out to the less-privileged with NGOs and charity organisations
THE reason for the season mainly is to celebrate the beauty of love. It is not meant for couples but for loved ones i.e. family and friends. For some, it could be an opportunity for a marriage proposal.
Because of the symbol of love (heart-shape), February has been declared the heart month. So this Val is not only time to celebrate love with gifts and romance but also to celebrate our hearts and well being. For a hearty Val:
• Avoid smoking and also inhalation of second hand smoke
• Don’t get lovesick and drink so much you forget and lose control of your surroundings. Usually, in this season, women are more susceptible to sexual violence than men.
• Eat healthy. There is permission to indulge in chocolate because dark chocolate could be beneficial to the heart but only if eaten in moderation. Also remember the heart healthy tips i.e. eat well, exercise and limit stress
• Don’t throw caution to the wind, be protective. While driving, take safety measures and while cooking, watch out for the sparks.
• Budget well. You wont enjoy the season of you dug a hole in your pocket to finance it.
• It is a golden opportunity that this year’s Val falls on a weekend (Sunday). But for the busy folks, don’t ditch the day; rather postpone its celebration. At least, love is not seasonal.
• For those travelling, take note of vaccinations, special clothing if there will be a change of climate. If you are on medication take enough along
• Before purchasing gifts for loved ones, find about allergies to certain products like perfumes etc likewise, before preparing food, take note of preferences and prohibitions of your partner.
• Please spread love not diseases.
IF you will be alone this season, no need to fuss! Being alone is one thing, being lonely is another. You can spend the whole day immersing yourself in the things you love then you will realise that your happiness does not depend on your external environment.
In addendum, a health expert, David Romanelli advised that this is the season not only to fall in love but also to rise in love whether you are in a long-term or brand-new relationship.
ON a final note, this season, be yourself scan your mind for in-built prisons and walls against love and break them. Forget all disappointments including jilts and encourage reconciliation at least love is all that matters (thank you Diana Ross) and also guard your heart health wise and emotionally too, this Val, this month and of course for the rest of the year. Joyeuse Saint-Valentin