Hilda screamed in a squeaky voice ‘It’s Valentine’s Day! It’s Valentine’s Day!’ She tossed herself up and down the bed in so much excitement.
Jake: Urmmmm……. No it’s not. It’s just 14th January.
Hilda: Oh no! I must be ahead of myself then.
This incident scared the hell out of Jake. You may ask why, here’s the reason – Hilda is a holiday freak, a high maintenance and working class lady. She wears Louboutin and Dior, eats biscuits with fine china and drinks water with champagne glasses. Dating her was like dating luxury.
Out of the blue, she makes up random special days and holidays that attract gifts, and her gifts are costly. She once made up harmattan’s day and house chores gift day. Seriously, who does that?
Hilda and Jake had only been dating since March 2014, so Hilda was really looking forward to their first valentine but not so much for Jake because he wasn’t ready to spend money again.
Hilda: What plans do you have for Valentine’s Day?
Jake was looking away from her and on hearing the question, he popped his eyes open, turned to her slowly with a fake grin and replied ‘it would be a surprise.’
As Jake wasn’t keen on responding to the pressures of Valentine’s Day, he felt he had to brainstorm a plan and turned to his friend Roy for help.
Jake: I need help avoiding Valentine’s Day.
Roy: (laughs hardly) how is that possible? It’s the most special day among the 365 days in the year for couples. You can only avoid the commitments of the day such as gift buying if you’re single/widowed/divorced/dead and none of these apply to you so unfortunately bro, you’re stuck.
Jake: Oh, please. Stop with the sermon Al Sharpton! I need a plan, I have about three weeks to plan and am sure something can be done.
Roy: Ok! Tell her you have a business meeting that week that requires you to travel out.
Jake: Naaaa, she wouldn’t believe that.
Roy: Break up with her now & get back together with her one week after Valentine’s Day.
Jake: (with a blank stare) No!
Roy: (looking away with a grin) Pop a pill into a drink the night before so it knocks her out completely.
Jake: What? No way! I can see your ideas are better than no ideas so thanks a lot (takes a deep breath).
(The room was silent for about a minute as both were in thoughts)
Jake: Aha! I have an idea.
(Both sat up)
Jake: I would secretly invite my mum over to the house during Valentine’s weekend. My mum and Hilda haven’t really bonded and my mum doesn’t really like her.
Roy: Why? Who wouldn’t love Hilda?
Jake: My mum because Hilda farts a lot in her sleep and my mum hates that.
(Both laugh out loud)
Jake: Yeah, my mum is quite superstitious and she feels that those who fart in their sleep dream that they eat eggs that have been sacrificed to the gods, and farting is a punishment for that.
Roy: (laughing) Superstitions lead to a crazy way of thinking.
Jake: Yes, I agree. On a more serious note, this would be a nice time for the ladies in my life to bond plus my mum would keep her really busy and hopefully get her mind off Valentine’s Day.
Roy: Interesting. Go for it then.
On Valentine’s eve, the doorbell rings and Hilda goes to respond. To her amazement, she sees Jake’s mum – Mrs Seun. She stood at the door gazing at the human being in front of her with her eyes & mouth wide open.
Mrs Seun: Hey! Lady! Have you seen a ghost?
Hilda: No. Welcome mum, please come in.
Mrs Seun: Where’s my son?
Hilda: (stammering) in the kitchen.
Jake comes to give his mum a hug and she makes her way straight to the guest room like she knew every nook and cranny of the house.
Hilda: What’s she doing here on Valentine’s eve? Did you invite her?
Jake: No, not at all. But it won’t be bad having mum around. She could prepare some delicious local dishes for us.
Hilda had no words. She shook her head in disappointment and left the area.
Mrs Seun had the weekend planned and Hilda had no choice but to comply with her schedule. You could say she was trying to win her affection, I believe this was the case. The weekend was filled with shopping, cooking and touring. Gifts were also bought and taken to orphanages. The busy weekend took Hilda’s mind off the gift-receiving conventions of Valentine’s day.
Mrs Seun left two days after Valentine’s day and Hilda wished she stayed longer. The weekend turned to a mum-girlfriend bonding weekend.
Jake felt really bad about his plans as his plan went too well, and he felt he had to let it all out.
Jake: I have a confession.
Hilda: What is it? Could it be that you invited your mum over this weekend?
Jake: (with a cunning look) could be. Why would you say that?
Hilda: I kind of figured it out and your mum told me.
Jake: I am really sorry about this. However, I got you a watch.
Hilda: I am not offended but I accept your gift wholeheartedly, and I got you a watch.
Jake: (hesitantly accepting the gift) thank you. You’ve never gotten me a gift before except on my birthday.
Hilda: (laughs) Yes I know and I do apologise. I really bonded with your mum, and the memories of this weekend are priceless. Our first valentine has taught me that Valentine’s Day is not just a day to give or receive material things but also a day to give, receive and share love. The practice of love also shouldn’t be shown only on one day, there are 365 days in a year. We too often have a materialistic view of Valentine’s Day & holidays but my perception has changed in one weekend, and I have you to thank for that.