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Valentine's Day is a sham, a pathetic excuse to waste resources
By Wambui Mbuthia | Updated Feb 14, 2018 at 08:15 EAT
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Valentine's Day is an overrated day
SUMMARY
  • One of the Valentines, a priest, was beheaded for secretly marrying Christian couples
  • The Catholic Church first celebrated the murdered Valentines by marking St. Valentines

The day is here when ladies will paint the town a bright red and men will grudgingly carry bouquets of red roses in their arms. Today, relationships will be put into test as ladies will judge how much their men love them by the amount of money they throw away. Men, on the other hand, will put on plastic smiles that will fade with each swipe of the card hoping to pass this year’s test.

Before you call me sad, lonely and an unloved person, kindly walk with me as I try to figure out what this whole hullabaloo is about. Before you label me jealous, stop a bit and question how necessary this entire spectacle is.

To begin with, the origin of this whole tribulation is a story with a tragic ending. This whole racket of modern-day flowers, chocolates, wine and dinner dates began in an ugly occurrence back in the ancient Rome. In those days that Emperor Claudius II executed two men, both named Valentinus, on two different February 14.

One of the Valentines, a priest, was beheaded for secretly marrying Christian couples. Before his cruel death, Valentinus wrote a letter to the daughter of his judge and signed it ‘your Valentine’. Since then, Valentine was associated with romantic love, but most definitely not flowers and chocolate and the color red.

The Catholic Church first celebrated the murdered Valentines by marking St. Valentines. This was made uglier by Pope Gelasius who joined the day with Lupercalia, a ceremony where men used fresh goat and dog hide to beat naked women in a bid to make them more fertile. Although people put their clothes on, the ceremony went on as before.

Lupercalia, a ceremony for fertility carried on as usual even after being termed unchristian. With time and civilization, the day morphed into one for sending handwritten notes to giving tokens of affection and finally to what we have today, a day where love is put to test, a day where men’s wallets bleed.

In France and England, mid-February was known to be the beginning of bird’s mating season, another revolting way to compare it to love.

For ladies, between you and me, that red dress you saved for many months isn’t fooling anyone. We know the competition is real amongst you and your friends. We understand tomorrow will be a note comparing day and you hope he will up his game this time around. You forget today is just an overrated day where people will stock sad looking teddy bears that they have wanted to get rid of all year long in the shops for your man to buy. It is not too late for you to resell the dress while the tag is still on and buy something worthwhile.

For those intending to have a night out as a show of love, why don’t you boycott the restaurants with their hiked prices and cuddle at home? You can do better than order bits of food scantily thrown to you and droplets of wine served there. You can celebrate your love as you did yesterday and the day before. If it is true Valentine died for love, won’t you be showing more togetherness by staying at home and marking his martyrdom?

If by now you still want to spend money on this day under the pretense of love, you must be twisted and ignorant. We will watch you take the well-planned guilt trip your ladies will take you on, then listen tomorrow as you whine about a wasted night.

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