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Funmi Iyanda
Lagos, Nigeria
Funmi Iyanda is a multi award-winning producer and broadcast journalist. She is the CEO of Ignite Media and Executive Director of Creation Television
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Friday, February 15, 2008

The valentine scrooge

Okay, enough already, can’t you take a joke! My description of Song is my idea of the sort of man I like, if I had met Song (you can bet your last kobo that I still will) I would have got an interview, a picture and at best run a naughty hand through his dreads chikena! I don't necessarily want Song himself just someone with similarities. It would be great to find a man who has his body beauty, his determined spirit and commitment to a national, community or human cause. I means surely that is not too much to ask for. I know I have told the gals about my wise friend's half bread is better than puff puff philosophy so I speak for most women when I say we don't necessarily seek perfection. Just a man who is wise enough to know that Valentine's Day is no day to be a bloody-minded communist scrooge! What is that rubbish about not buying into the commercialism, not needing a special day and the rest of the wet blanket bullocks that some yeye men come up with? We all know the good lord wasn't born on the 25th of December but we sensibly and happily celebrate our very commercialized Christmas holiday with glee. Then there are the ones who say oh, it should be an all encompassing agape love so maybe you should be exchanging gifts with your children, siblings and the under privileged. Excuse me, what are mother's/ fathers days for? Also any person who needs a special day to give to the poor is a philistine. More importantly who are those miserly knuckleheads who are saying it should go both ways. Read my lips, slowly, Valentine is a one way traffic, you give, she takes, that's romance, chivalry, sexy etc etc and any woman telling you otherwise is delusional, naïve or has not come to her full female power.

So yesterday, the traffic was awful but the city was gay as it should be, sensible men went and purchased flowers and a thoughtful gift for the wife, love interest and other interested parties. The unimaginative of course just bought mass produced chocolates, perfumes and regular (even worse plastic urg!) flowers. I don't care if you don't have money, why not just be the one to cook for her that day or something. Off course there are the city Lotharios who had ordered ten or more copies of the same things for different women. Peace to the world, all I can say is if he wasn't with you last night, he isn't with you period!

Myself, I sat and waited to see who to put on my yes, maybe and bugger off lists. I can tell you I have no yes, a couple of maybes and a lot of bugger offs. I went out for drinks with my gal pals at the new Lagos hot spot, jay jay okocha's restaurant/bar/lounge. That was when it dawned on me that the city does have a problem as there were only a few "monogamists" staring dreamily into each others eyes, all others were groups of gals, a few errant men out alone (too scared to be seen with just one of their many paramours on valentine) and a weird looking group of oyinbo men.

We have a big city problem, there are a disproportionate amount of women to each man so there you have it, perhaps that's why the men are not quite as creative as they should be, demand obviously outweighs supply.
As we sipped our cocktails we began to consider the options and a few came up
A, erase scarcity by sharing in a sisterly bond, I fear this may be going against our nature.

B. Adopt aunty Angie's (story for another day)'s 4 quarter loaves make a whole loaf philosophy. Seem like that will be energy sapping and self-defeating.
So as we exchanged hugs and bade one another good night I suspect each woman has silently resolved to return home to her half bread and give him hell for being a valentine scrooge just before she falls into his arms.

Have a great weekend people.


Ayo Adedapo said...

You have actually rasied a few debatable issues, but thanks for sharing your yesterday val experience with us, though valentine's priorities has been misplaced, and what we have now is a celebration of lust with mediocrity, why should a day be the day some of us would remember to buy gifts for our spouses/girlfriends/boyfriendsl, when love is a continous thing.

Mediocrity has pervaded our society and blind folded us to reality which sould be our major priority.

Happy val to you Aunty Funmi and all the pro Funmi Iyanda followers

Sherri said...

u actually buy into the mockery called valentine?
a man who has been doing everything right for his woman all year long suddenly falls short if he doesn't give her something on valentine's day? or a man who has been nothing but a pain in the ass all year if he goes all out for her on valentine is then suddenly redeemed?

we are always the first to jump up and down over double standards. and yet can't seem to see this one because it benefits us.

why should the man be the only one doing the gift giving? cos the woman would is expected to give herself?

God help us, if knowing fully well ur man has paid four times what something is worth one day a year, gives any woman joy or satisfaction or even assures her of his love.

aside from the paganistic origin of the day, i have nothing against setting a day aside to celebrate love and lovers. i simply have a problem with the notion of females feeling entitled.

in case u're wondering,
i did have a fab valentine's day sans roses and gifts which weren't the highlight of the day. and yeah, i bought him something too.

Naughty Eyes said...

Ok! I admit it! I am a Valentine Scrooge...but with a reason: there's no-one to be a Mother (or should I say Father) Love Theresa to. For the city isn't just scarce of monogamous men, it is too of women willing to hang around a guy with a less than N300000 per annium means of (any) income. Unless you're loaded, the advice is simple: stay at home on the 14th and adopt a Scrooge mentality. Or better, make that a Christmas Scrooge mentality too... As for me, until that lucky (or unlucky, depending on how you see it) female comes along that can stick it out with a guy going through the rough times of making ends meet, I'll just celebrate Val's Day with my mom...and send all the other gals a well-worded, thought-out, love- overflowing SMS!
PS: If I strike a million before Feb 13th next year, I'll be sure to take you, Funmi out!

juwon said...

They want to see where you live before they commit. They want to see the keys you hold before they affirm. My mum said its not true, and i told her, 'Mama things have changed. Not as they used to be in ur days.'There are guys who leave and there are those who get left. You have poked a part of me that I'll rather not share but i'll put in my two cents worth.

Kids are my bolt holes for now. No absurdities. No complexities. No weights. No tact. No sententious remarks. No 'formings'. No 'efizis'. No ridiculous accent. no expectations. No speculations. No intimidations. No stuck-up-ism. No belligerent attitudes. No bolishie moods. No cardboard characters. No caustic comments. Just conversation. Pleasure. Unfeigned. Friendly bantering. childlike delight. Blind man's buff.
The sensual bliss I once savoured are now dust in my mouth. A clean glove often hides a dirty hand. Looks are a lousy index of character. Im sorry. Im only raw with feeling and oversensitized to everything that happens and surrounds me. However, i hope to someday find the horns in my head fit into the holes of another. Hope is sometimes torment. In the meantime, Im learning that the casts in my past do not determine the character of a vast armada of prospective spinsters. The very thot of this warms me.

Happy Valentine Sis.

My 2 cents said...

I am totally in awe of the scrooge mentality especially with the menfolk and I am refering to our African brothers.

Yes there are 364 days to celebrate love to the significant other. But our men have theorized Valentine's day to mean National PMS day for women especially when they fall short of doing the right thing.

I heard that speech from my man early that day, I did't say a word even as I double dared him in my silence to forget what he's supposed to do. As I stare at the dozen roses and baby breath sitting nicely in a vase and still fresh after 4 day, and reminisce about the whole day and how romantic it was.

I just want to implore men in "monogamous" relationships to oblige the women in their lives.

it might not mean anything to your male egos.it means the world to us as the tingling feelings lasts us the whole year

Naapali said...

I gave, she took. Roles fulfilled I guess.

cleo.kelvin said...

well dats de new trend since iojts meet de gal go out for a drink den meet de parents u know dats wat most gals do so vals day is meant for sharing smooching and remem brance for those who hav dated and most important cancel old faults of ones partner let de gals know dis den dey guy has no excuse but to take u out and hav fun with red ending and white beginning
happy vals mine was coool well we are oin strike again so can holla