Unmasking The Olympians

If you are a guy who has been actively pursuing a lady you intend to date, ever noticed how things change in January? That lady you’ve been chasing with fervor who previously had no interest in you or was even downright rude suddenly begins to see you in a new light and begins to reciprocate your interest in her. Well, ordinarily you ought to pat yourself on the back for a job well done, right? Of course! You’ve been persistent, you’ve been dogged and you’ve been determined and here’s your reward!

But hold it right there! Don’t be so bowled over by your success yet…take it slow and think it through; why now? You’ve been on this case since April last year and it suddenly unfolds now. What changed? 

Many guys get carried away by this change in attitude that they actually forget that sometimes, its part of a grand scheme. Recently, a lot of friends gloated about having finally “conquered” their object of affection. It was a coincidence when four guys who had been in the race for 8-6-4-2 months respectively suddenly became winners in January. A phenomenon I find familiarly odd because it always happens in January. Its always in January when prospects turn to new flames and old flames automatically rekindle to infernos. Why now?

The reason for this “sudden change” invariably manifests as February draws closer; when on more than one occasion, you’re asked, “What are you going to get me on the 14th?”; a tentative reminder of expectations that come with a day which is acknowledged world wide as Valentine’s Day or Feast of St. Valentine.

St. Valentine’s Day began as a liturgical celebration of one or more early Christian saints named Valentinus. The most popular account tells of a Saint Valentine who was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry, and for ministering to Christians, who were persecuted under the Roman Empire. During his imprisonment, he is said to have healed the daughter of his jailer Asterius and before his execution, he wrote, “from your Valentine” as a farewell to her.

Its association with romantic love grew in the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer, the English poet in the High Middle Ages when the tradition of courtly love flourished and by the 15th century, it had evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery and sending greeting cards (known as “valentines”).

In Nigeria, though not a public holiday as in many parts of the world, it is a day well marked by both the younger and the older generations as lots of couples, families and friends throng fun spots to share in the fun. For the more romantically involved, its a day to exchange gifts with one you love and basking in the euphoria of companionship. For others, its the Olympics; a time to assemble gifts (not your average simplistic greeting cards, confectionery and certainly, not flowers!) from as many “wooers” as possible, while for some, its a time to play hide-and-seek!

A serious argument erupted as a result of my theory. Many ladies put on their best behaviour to influence their chances of what they get and conversely, many guys spend their best to influence what they get on that day. Intent is what sets it all apart and only time can tell, for there is no art to finding the mind’s construction in the face.

Exciting theory, isn’t it? Not very far from the truth. But seriously, what’s all the fuss about? All for a day set aside to show love that’s not even a public holiday. What’s the big deal really? Never really made much sense to me especially as it has taken on a whole new dimension today but then, never underestimate the power of crowd mentality.

Engage on twitter @saymalcolm



6 thoughts on “Unmasking The Olympians” by Malcolm O. Ifi (@saymalcolm)

  1. Well, it may be crowd mentality, and the commercialization has definitely done it no good. But it taps into that innate desire in all of us to seek and have love.

  2. Hmm…nice theory…I totally agree with myne..

  3. @saymalcom. You need a val, and not necessarily on February 14th. All this antagonism from the male folk over St. Valentine’s day signals that the female folk are not doing something right. Maybe we’ve been receiving more than we’ve been giving. saymalcom, you’ll get a val to spoil you rotten (I hope), then you’ll understand the hype and earnestly anticipate the next one.

    1. @febidel There are 365 days in a year and its absolutely ridiculous to focus so much attention on a day that is not even a public holiday just because the world says its a day for me to express love to my lover. I’ve never been one to run with the crowd so even if a val buys me a Bentley as a valentine gift, I’ll still find it silly of me to let the world dictate the pace of how I love and show love. What happens to the remaining 364 days?

      1. Nobody says you should only love on St. Valentine’s day. I’m not one for going with the crowd too, but if what the crowd is doing isn’t bad, what’s the big deal? You don’t have to do Valentine’s Day, but don’t run it down for the people who enjoy it. To each man his own.

        1. You think I’m running it down for other people? And there was I thinking I was just stating an opinion…my opinion. So much for freedom of speech.

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