Jealous and Insecure Boyfriends

The other day I had a client meeting and something a little embarrassing happened. In the course of our meeting, the client’s boyfriend called. He demanded to know where the lady was and what she was doing. So the lady explained she was meeting me to discuss details of her project. After a few minutes, the guy called again. Asking the same thing. Turns out he is those jealous, insecure kind.

“I am sorry, he has always been like that. Always on my business. Nagging and pushy.” she offered.

The girl kept reassuring him that she loves him and that she wasn’t doing what he was thinking. At one point she offered that I speak to him to ascertain what she had told him. After a few minutes he called again ranting how she is not being fair. In the long run, we had to interrupt the discussion, so that they could sort out their issue. She promised to email me the details and apologized for what had happened.

The jealous, insecure boyfriend is something we all know about.

Later she called explaining how their relationship has been strained by his characteristic hen-pecking. He calls her all the time. Demands she gives him audience even when she is working. He shows up at her place of work. He snoops through her handbags and cell phone and PC every time they are together. Their interactions have become jaded with arguments as he is always “suspecting her of seeing another guy”. Well, I could understand – she is a pretty lady with a model figure and wears figure hugging dresses and skirts suits and pants. She has this infectious laughter that makes you dazed. She is fun to be around. She is an interesting conversationalist too.

She was torn between keeping up with this guy and calling off the relationship. Due to the professional nature of my association with her, I chose to refrain from commenting on what course of action she should pursue. It’s her private life.

So, guys who are hitched or are seeing someone, listen up. I know you can get deep into it.It is allowed. You will fall so deep in love with your girlfriend that you want to incessantly monitor their life. You will want to see where she does her nails. You will want to know her girlfriends. You will want to know what she does at work. You will want to see her Facebook Inbox and her WhatsApp Chats and her emails. You will want to know who she calls and where she hangs out and all she does. You will want to see her bank statements and all she is up to. You will say you are her partner and you demand to know everything about her because you can’t risk losing her to another guy.

You will keep spamming her inbox with sweet nothings and calling her all day along. When she threatens to leave, you will beg her to stay – write lengthy essays on how you can’t live without her. You will spend on her so that you can keep her. You will do everything for her so you can keep the relationship going. You will adjust to suit her demands. You will give in to her theatrical whims so as to keep her. You are afraid of losing her. You have been wired to imagine life without her wouldn’t be worth living anymore.

When she makes good her threat to live, you will heighten to stalking her in social media, her circle of friends and when it turns out that you can’t ever be an item again, the depression kicks in.You skip work, you get late to work. You stop talking to your buddies. You start drinking at unconscionable levels. You remain indoors all day. You will open your diary and write a break up poem. And a personal note on how things have changed since she dumped you. You will entertain suicidal thoughts.You will uncloak the boy in you.

Boyfriends can be insecure and jealous. They can be nagging and nosy and pushy. They can fall in love to the extent they tattoo their girlfriend’s name on their necks. They can spend a fortune on the lady to keep the relationship afloat. They snoop and stalk and demand audience at all times. They feel the love they give should be reciprocated in equal measure.

I hold the view that boyfriends or partners need not be insecure or jealous. Personally, in my case, I don’t exhibit it. I usually have no business even imagining it. I wouldn’t touch her phone and her personal effects without her express approval. I really wouldn’t care what she does when she is not within sight. As long as she has the common courtesy and decency to inform me of her whereabouts for her security, the rest is logically beyond my reach. There is need for boyfriends to accord their partners the respect they deserve when it comes to personal space. It is not always about you. They also have a life outside your relationship which you need not overbearingly interfere with.

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Becoming

She takes the cake for chutzpah. She has a mellifluous voice and lovely, beaming eyes. She has a tantalizing taste of success: I can tell from her outlook. She is in an ecru, thick, chiffon, prom mini- dress, matching stilettos and matching icon trench coat. She has immaculately long, dark hair. It is comme il faut to compliment such a beauty.

But the man I am becoming won’t let me.She keeps gazing at me as she awaits the patron to make her order ready.She could be in her mid twenties,and in her first job.She looks like an investment banker or a supply chains analyst.She is holding what looks like an Apple gadget in her left hand.According to a study I bumped into a while back,left handers are more likely to be geniuses.It is probable that she could be up for promotion in the next few weeks.She could be the most reliable employee in her department.May be she works with precision,hates procrastination and falls under the category of perfectionists.

She is seated two tables in front of me,this Thursday evening.

Luck Lounge has been my most favorite hang out spot for the past 23 months since I became a teetotaler.I usually come here to steam out after a gaga day in the office. The Lounge Management usually brings in live dance orchestras every Thursday evenings.It is this assuasive musical performance that keep me glued here for some hours,before I drive myself home to turn in.

She has ordered red Spanish table wine.I am half way through my clam juice.It usually takes me more than half an hour to clear my beverage.I am easily distracted either peeking at fellow revelers around the lounge or checking through the cyberspace on my device for any interesting long read.I am a long reads buff. Over lunch breaks, when I am not absorbed in any office work, I usually partake some of these.And proceed in the evenings after work.

The past 23 months have been over- the — top. I quit drinking. I haven’t dated anyone — let alone a fling. I just take out lady friends for lunch and dinner dates over weekend and maintain steady platonic relationships. I rarely make advances at ladies I might feel attracted to. I am afraid of the man I am becoming.

A few months back, I was the typical plate spinner. I was a notorious philanderer and a regular boozer and reveler. After all, I have what any good looking young man at my age would ever dream of — a cozy, imposing mansion, a Tatra 613 and a Mercedes- AMG GLC 63 S in my garage and a thriving PR firm. I would say luxuriance is one of my attributes.
 The dance band is performing French Montana’s Shisha. I barely notice as the lady approaches my table.

‘Mind a dance?’

She inquires as she stretches out her manicured right hand. She is smiling sheepishly, a wry dimple forming on her cheek.

“Sure.”

I join her on the dance floor.

“You are a rattling dancer! I am awed,” I aver.

Her chubby cheeks are crimsoning. She looks prettier while blushing. Her skin looks lighter in the glare of the neon lighting on the dance floor.

“Really? My friends tell me I am terrible dancer.”

“Your friends are terrible liars.”

By now, they are playing Ciara’s ‘Dance like we’re making love.’ The rhythmical dance steps that my dancing partner takes me through makes me conclude she is a seasoned dancer.

“Where did you learn this?”

“Salsa class. A few years ago.”

“Wow! You are really good at it.”

“Many thanks. You are an equally great dancer.Learnt it somewhere?”

“Nay! My dancing has always been limited to this space — the dance floor. I observe and learn. Then try it by myself.”

“What else have you observed and learned today?”

“That you are pretty.”

She chuckles and tightens her grip of her left arm on my shoulder and moves closer. The distance between us is almost occupied. I am enthused. Here I am — with a beautiful in my arms. I haven’t introduced myself by name and neither has she, but we are already acquainted on the dance floor like a couple.

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Minutes later, we are walking out. She is slightly tipsy. But still in her right frame of mind. For the man I am becoming, I drive her home. Help her to her king-size bed. Prepare her a glass of lukewarm water which she requests. She has a great taste in an epicurean lifestyle — the furniture, crockery and all the accessories in her beautiful apartment tell it all. Before I excuse myself, she offers her business card.I promise to call her the following morning.

I drive off home. One thing I am trying to do currently is to balance my social life. I am cautious not to get neck — deep in any new association.

In the next couple of weeks, I will occasionally meet Octavia for lunch and dinner dates. We will make weekend plans. What takes her aback for all this time is that I am not inclined to try any romantic overtures. I have kept our communication and platonic friendship very candid.

One Sunday afternoon, as we are enjoying a nature walk in some woodland a few miles from my home, she inquires why I haven’t asked her out or even made a move yet we have been friends for seven months now.

She has fallen in love with the man I am becoming.

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Just how did I get here? It is more of inadvertent than plotted. It is a journey that I commenced arbitrarily. No design. But at some point, I think it was a novel idea.

It’s now a year since OCTAVIA walked up to me for a dance. Looking back, I think I have made great progress with the man I am becoming.

“Your girlfriend is on Line 1, Sir. “My secretary enounces as she storms into my office.

“Hehe.Doreen, I have told you time and again I am not dating Ms. Octavia…”

“But she is a frequent caller. And a regular guest here too.”

“Haha.Put her through, please. We will finish this discussion later.”

Almost everyone in my social circle now thinks Octavia and I are an item. It would be hard to convince them that I can keep a lady as a best friend without necessarily going steady with her. In a way, others are convinced with my explanation.

I have driven Octavia to her place after work every day for the past year. It has become a routine. I drop her off at her door step and drive off home when I have unfinished work that I am taking home. When I have none, we have kept a schedule where I prepare dinner at her place and then leave shortly after. Alternatively, she comes cooks at my place, then I drive her home. At no particular time have I ever spent a night at her place. She has moved to bigger apartments in the same period. Her current residence has 4 spacious bedrooms. I have 5 spacious bedrooms that I do not use.

Our fortunes have quadrupled. She has risen through the ranks in this past year to control operations in three countries. My firm also expanded operations to accommodate all cadres of clientele.

I once offered one of my cars to Octavia so she could use it before she acquired hers. She declined. She argued that she was okay with me ‘being her chauffeur for the next 100 years.’ She even turned down the official car and driver assigned to her. She diverted the allowances allocated to her for that purpose to a program we started together. We co — sponsor some kids’ education with those monies — from her allowances and from my business profits.

The metamorphosis from having amorous affairs to asexuality is something that still baffles me. Sometimes I ogle at OCTAVIA as she makes her way through the staircases in her house or as she walks out of my car. How I am able to control my sexual itch flummoxes me. We have been in very compromising instances and I still didn’t succumb to any of it.

There is this one time I asked her to accompany me on a vacation. I had booked separate rooms. That’s how we always do it. After dinner, I saw her off to her room. She was a little inebriated. So we walked arm in arm to her room. I opened her door and helped her out of her flats.

She requested that I stay a while longer as I wait for her to freshen up. She undressed right in front of me. And donned her bath robe before proceeding to the bath room. She didn’t even close the bathroom door. I have never been so much aroused instantly like on that night. Watching her strip down in my very presence made me uncomfortable. At some point, she stood with her arms akimbo and stared at me without uttering a single word. At that instance, I froze. My skin twitching in excitement. I began fidgeting in my seat. I had to keep off eye contact after a few seconds. That’s when she took her bathrobe and disappeared into the bath room.

After that night, we have joked about it severally. And she keeps confessing that she had done it on purpose to test my patience.

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Some choices are never meant to be easy. The discipline to follow through such choices requires some extraordinary elan.

It all came in a flush. That Saturday evening, 34 months ago, after boozing with a few friends, one of the ladies I had been flirting with at the counter, drove me home. As we staggered into the bedroom, I stopped and excused myself to rush into the wash room. I washed my face and looked at myself in the mirror. I don’t know what came over me, but I remember walking back to my bedroom where I found that the lady had already undressed, leaving only her undergarments. I demanded that she dress up immediately.

Of course she reluctantly obliged. She kept asking if I didn’t like her what I had seen (her body) or what she had done to piss me off. Frankly, it wasn’t her. It was media had seen a version of me at the mirror that I couldn’t recognize. That wasn’t the man I wanted to be. With blood shot eyes and a hangover. As I dropped her off at her place, I knew I needed to start doing things differently. It was on that particular night that I made the decision to be the man I am becoming.

The man I am becoming is a gentleman. A respecter of persons. A man with integrity. A man with a set of great values. A dreamer. A worker. A man hungry for success. A stickler for promptness, quality and perfection. A man who has set his eyes on the prize. A man with a destiny. A man who is conscious of everything.

My legacy will be my turn around. My memories will be those of a man who defied the odds to create a version of himself he wasn’t aware existed.

I want to look back and be proud of the things I have done. Thus far, OCTAVIA has been a great ally in this journey. She has been pivotal in every major decision I have made. I don’t know how things will be between us few years from now, but I know I can always count on her. She is loyal and trustworthy. On weekends when we are together, she practically takes over my phone. She answers my calls. Replies my messages on my behalf. She does pretty everything for me.Our is an open association. That level of trust is not easy to establish. She knows almost everything there is to know. I have opened up to her in a way no one else has. She has done the same. We have become a formidable team.

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As I type this, Octavia is dancing to Sarkodie’s “Pain Killer” as she tenders to her kitchen garden. Am at her gazebo. The freshness of the air here is therapeutic. When she is done, she has promised to fly with me to see my folks in the countryside. It’s been a fortnight since we last went there. It has become more of a habit. We alternate visits. We go to see her folks on one, then mine on the next one.

I tend to think I have created a purpose for myself and for those I cherish. I am happy with the progress. I am constantly working towards making lives of those around me comfortable. It is a privilege and an honor


International Women’s Day

Today is International Women’s Day.

Women will always be the best gifts life ever gave us. That’s why I celebrate them.

They show hospitality to the world without grumbling. They are wonderful. They do miracles in our lives. They help us focus ahead always. They are valiant stewards of varied grace. They make every day a joy to live.

Women are uniquely magical and they remain successful amidst the cold practices of life. They are lively and well – rounded. They are mesmerizing, warm and vivacious. They have helped us build a kingdom of dreams. They are majorly responsible for the perfect paradises we live in. They aim high, shoot straight and fight for what they believe in.Women’s affection, kindness and support enrich our lives.

Women have the warmth of the summer sun, the generous souls of nature, the wisdom of ages, and the faith of a mustard seed and the power of an eagle’s flight.

Sometimes their moods have fluctuations. Sometimes their patience will be put to test.Sometimes they will be surly. They give up their best years to give us invaluable assistance. Women help us observe and learn things. They are top of their game. Women are the engines our lives.

Happy International Women’s Day to you all wonderful ladies!

A Dark Apology


It was a wild ride into the terror of rerouting back to where we began. It was walking down the dark side of our relationship. I was deeply engrossed on myself that I lost track of us. We used to have broad, compelling conversations – the kind that make one give a satisfying look at hell. I used to share grand adventure crafted in words. They were notes and letters that were crafted with distinctive and engrossing writing that combined gritty realism with magic. They were entertaining notes that warmed her soul. I wrote with matchless insight into her soul.

I thought resurfacing to her would give her a reason to rejoice. I thought of it as a return of master who kept his audience spellbound with every word. The note was powerful and intense, thrilling and atmospheric. It was shocking and funny, richly imagined and genuinely compelling. I wanted to be the potent force I once was in her life.

I had missed the strange beauty around us. It was about the pain of growing together and then apart. It was about the inherent magic that was our everyday life. It was about conveying the love we once held onto. It was about capturing the joys and fears of our love life with sure strokes. It was about an evocative retouch of the plot-line of what we used to have. The difference is that this time, I wanted to do it with marvelous images and an inventive narrative that would be filled with adventure, joy and discovery. I intended it to be a cornucopia of fine, bittersweet fantasy.

From the quiet wells of my creative juices, the most enthralling apology note was born. As a finicky aficionado of expertly told episodic tales, I bared my bones with spellbinding sentences. I was ultra-confident that every word of my apology note would hit her like a thunderclap.

In part it read:

“Today, I would have been your partner for seven months. You gave me my best days. I know I am hardwired for defensiveness, but on this I take unequivocal responsibility for my hurtful actions. It has taken a great deal of maturity to put you before my need to be right. I promptly acknowledge my actions. I am deeply sorry and embarrassed for the anxiety, frustration and inconvenience that you experienced.

Consider this as my first corrective step to regaining your confidence in us as part of a grander scheme of making us the happiest that we’ve ever been. You deserve a lot better from me. I hadn’t been contrite enough in the past, and you can hold onto that as a memento of the journey of learning, unlearning and relearning that I am on.

It has taken a great deal of self – loathing and remorse to come to terms with the gravity of distress, disillusion, betrayal and revulsion I meted upon you.”

In hindsight, I felt like I had offered a dark apology. It felt like I had abused my prowess as a literary craftsman to manipulate her into rejuvenating our relationship. It felt like rubbing salt on a wound. It was pretty much like stirring up some controversy or engaging her in emotional fisticuffs. And it felt like I was badgering and hounding her on that.

I had already hit the SEND button. And there was no way of taking that back. The only option was to retract sections of it that apology note that I felt were inappropriate.

True to it, she gave the most heartwarming response.

However, I felt like it was time to put a stop to that relationship cycling. I held on to the initial belief that the initial split was to offer perspective of what we had valued and not valued in each other. Falling back to that relationship would hamper our individual growth and water down the quality of our association. We could have an explicit conversation on what led to the break up, and still not resolve some of the issues. They could reoccur and there was no way of repairing or improving them. Therefore, it dawned on me that rekindling that relationship would not be a good idea.

The sneaky little add-ons in my apology note somehow undid the utmost sincerity of my apology. Re-framing it would have not made it better. Despite solely focusing on expressing responsibility and remorse for my part, I felt that I couldn’t bring up her crime sheet or save my complaints for a different conversation. I felt like i had not taken time to carefully listen to her anger and pain.

It was important that I had shown genuine remorse, but she could misinterpret it as my acting forlorn and beleaguered. I was confused that I would leave her worse or muck things, in the long run. That felt convincing enough to hold off all that I had set in motion.

My consideration of revitalizing that relationship was not well thought out. Reconnecting with her would obviously unearth the shades of grey and it was the worst course of action I would have taken.

Learning From Failure

Tie no weights to your ankles. You might have had subconscious failings that cost you some important things and people. Sometimes by losing the battle you find new ways of winning of the war.

You can accept failure. Everyone fails at something. It is Winston Churchill who averred that success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.

You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don’t try to forget the mistakes, but you don’t dwell on it.You don’t let it have any of your energy, or any of your time or any of your space.

You tell yourself that you are going to the stars and then past them.

You want to win glorious triumphs. You want to dare mighty things.

Remembering that you’ll be dead soon is the most important tool you have encountered to help you make the important choices in life. Almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things that just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is important.

It is important for you to heed to the lessons of failure. There is no innovation and creativity with failure. Failure is not final. It is the courage to continue that counts. It is the condiment that gives success its flavor.

You could have spent time beating on a wall, hoping to transform it into a door, but you knew that isn’t the solution.

Maya Angelou encouraged failing. She suggested that it was necessary to encounter defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from and how you can still come out of it.

Life is full of screw ups.You are supposed to fail sometimes. It’s a required part of existence.

This is the only opportunity to more intelligently begin again. You are ready enough. You are finding compensation in that disappointment.

Eat humble pie. Have the resilience to face up failure, learn lessons and adapt from it.

Humility Gets You Nothing

POTUS Donald John Trump in the Oval Office

Everyone hates egotists. Big ego guys rule the world. Donald John Trump isn’t swinging in the Big Chair in the Oval Office today because he listened to ankle-biters at the bottom who cry about humility being a virtue.

If humility were a virtue by any standard, we would look up to and worship unkempt street beggars. But we don’t do that. We want to be the guy that signs autographs and smile for the cameras.

You can’t be a winner without ego. Winning at any costs is the driving force of being ahead of the park. The thing about humility is that you only show it to your superiors. Of course, not the kissing ass type of humility. You don’t show humility to your inferiors. Humility is for them. They can have it.You can’t be comfortable with being a spectator while others take your place at the high table.

Only be humble when you want to learn something. When you are cock of the walk, act like it.You earned. You are King Shit.

When they tell you, you are so full of yourself; you thank them for the compliment. Be proud of your accomplishments, whatever they maybe.

You can be humble all day about the shit you know zilch about. When it comes to your field of expertise, you are the Top Dog. Have ultra-confidence in it.

Ego isn’t braggadocio, FYI.Bragging is arrogance and empty boasting. Ego, my friend, is pride — that all-consuming desire to win and pushing yourself past your limits to do it.

With ego, you get things done — it becomes like taking candy from a baby. People will get drawn to you like flies on poop.Just look at the cult following of any puffed –up star in any field. That’s the real deal. It’s a man eat man society.

When you have ultra-confidence, you got to grow deaf to the haters who will come to your ass with that “pride comes before a fall ’’ hogwash. You get to be in control and not the other way round. You are Batman. As soon as that rubbish of humble talk turns on, you transport yourself mentally to your town. In that town where the opinion of lesser means less than those old pennies on the sidewalk. Unless they are better than you, they are swiftly thrown and kicked out of your life.

A man will hide behind his struggles

I am not a Psychology Major or a practicing/licensed Psychologist – but having gone through substantial literature on male psychology and observed my fellow gentlemen, I feel competent enough, like a sensei in the discipline, to discuss why a man prefers to keep his struggles and challenges to himself. He will rarely manifest such to even a confidante. It is only when shit hits the fans that they will come clean on their predicament.

It is common practice that almost every LADY has a GIRLFRIEND or more. One who they tell the nitty-gritties about their personal life, the happenings in their life and what not. Ladies are naturally, sharers. They have that gift of telling. They rarely sit on their struggles unlike their counterparts.

A man might only open up to a fellow man when he has completely hit rock bottom. Especially when it comes to their financial situation. You might have realized that it’s easier for any man to make a BEER BUDDY than it is to have a MALE CONFIDANTE.

I was at a bank booth the other day, and there was this old chap struggling to fill some forms. He had been stuck for fifteen or so minutes. Then a lady joined our booth. At some point, the lady was missing some information, and she quickly shot at me, ” Excuse me young man, please assist me in getting some of these details right”. I gladly obliged. It is only then, than this other guy had the guts to peek at what we were doing, and smiled sheepishly. He made some gestures indicating he needed me to approach. What took seconds for the lady, took a whole half hour for the gentleman.

I will not delve into the psychological or biological disposition of men and women and why the act that way. You can dig deeper. I will only explore the social dimension to it.

A bruised ego is what every man tries to avoid. He doesn’t want to be seen as weak or incapacitated or ineffective. You take away what makes him what he is, and not who he is, and you take everything away from him. And his ego is what constructs his confidence. Every man believes in his own immortality and invincibility and once you pull the rag out of it, you leave him vulnerable. Part of this cushion is MONEY and POWER.

You will notice that every man builds his own aura of confidence when he has money and power. With money and power comes the ability to purchase and use/misuse his masculinity in any aspect of his life. He will use it in his personal life, in his business life, in his work life. It consumes him and he loses himself.

He will be able to conceal his inadequacies and struggles with money and power. Sexual conquests are easily achievable when he sees himself as indispensable. Carefully listen to sexual braggadocio by men and you will link it to some imagined power from within, even when it exists not. Sexual exploits of a wild nature, becomes a hallmark of their manhood. But there has always been a distinction between manhood and maleness.

This is not an indictment on my fellow men. Rather a scrutiny into what makes manhood a phenomenon that crumbles like a house of cards when it comes to how they approach social issues. Men have failed when it comes to expressing themselves when they are in want. Which is what makes them more vulnerable to indecent acts of graft, larceny, pilferage among others.

When the king is naked, nothing can remedy. But the king will still insist he is fully clothed. This is a sloppy approach to incentivize a man’s dwindling ego.

I will give an example. When a guy wants to create an impression on a lady he likes, he will go out of his way to even get into debt to get it done. He might borrow to take the lady out on a date. He will do outrageous things just for the cookie. He is not confident in himself to make an impression without inflating his worth. It’s a wrong move. At some point, the lady will pick the pieces of the puzzle and see through the bullshit and dump his ass.

Who said it is a crime to be at the bottom of the economic chain? Who said being cash strapped is bad? Who said being in need is wrong? Being at a disadvantaged position as a man is NORMAL. It is NATURAL. It happens many times in a lifetime. You just have to be true to it. And use it to be a better version of yourself, faking it actually puts you at more risk and danger. It will be hard to keep up the charade.

When you are struggling, get someone close you can approach and discuss how to get yourself out of it. Be bold about it. Don’t be ashamed about it. Embrace it. It will be the silver lining in that cloud. And you’ll see how easy it will be to get out of the mess you are in. NEVER try to conceal struggles. They eventually explode in the most disastrous ways. The ripple effect comes with many aftershocks. To mitigate such, be quite open to external guidance on how to get out of it. Don’t get into the trap of malarkey or posturing just to seem okay. It won’t work. It will backfire on you at a magnitude you hadn’t anticipated.

Ode to her

You are the mirror of the night.

You are the violent flash of the lightning.

You are the dampness of the earth.

All my joy is to feel life

Spring from your soul – the fountain of your greatness. 

You have sweetened and warmed up my life.

You are my inspiration and my motivation.

Breathtaking should mean YOU in the thesaurus.

You are by far the most amazing, beautiful, kind and loving soul in the world.

Life with you is tranquil yet full of surprises in the long haul.

You thrill and amaze me every single day.

You are the sun of my life and i revolve around you.

You are my human diary.

You nourish me.

You give me more life.

You are extraordinary, exquisite, impressive and magical.

Having you is the highlight of my  existence.

The “Men’s Conference”: St. Valentine’s Day antidote

On 13th February 2011 at 8.33 am, I walked into a classroom in a small school in a hamlet somewhere in Nyeri County. It was the first period. I had been an untrained tutor, for a few weeks, contracted by the Board of Management to teach Business Studies, Chemistry and Physics as an official T.S.C.  replacement was being sought. I had just turned 20 and teaching teenagers must have been the most entrancing phase of my youthful days.


Usually, I instructed without text books. I would master the content before the lesson and then match to class. I preferred interactive classes as opposed to what I went through during my time as a high school student in an elite school in the western part of Kenya.

Immediately after scribbling the topic on the chalkboard, one student, from the middle row shot a question: “Mwalimu, kesho utavaa RED?” The class erupted in a prolonged laughter. I guessed it was lost on me that the following day was St. Valentine’s Day.

Abjectly, I replied, “Hehe! I will think about it.”

In the evening, I rummaged my wardrobe for a red shirt, and I got hold of a short – sleeved crayola shirt. That is what I showed up in at work the following morning. Of course my red shirt was the subject of discussion during that day’s classes. I was teaching a mixed school. The girls went gaga when I showed up in class.

I don’t think there is anything constructive (academic) we covered on that day. I barely touched my box of chalks let alone the chalk board. It was all laughter and banter for the entire double lesson. We discussed St. Valentine’s Day and related content. Most of those students were around 14 to 17 years. Just 3 to 4 years my junior. They always felt comfortable around me. It was therefore quite easy to relate with their experiences and to create rapport.

I guess that must have been the only time I ever had some regard for St. Valentine’s Day.

In the ensuing years, I have publicly chided St. Valentine’s Day for what it is – bunkum.

Let’s have a look at its fuzzy history. In 1969, the Roman Catholic Church of Calendar of Saints removed the feast day of St. Valentine on February from the Roman Catholic Calendar and it was relegated to local calendar citing: “Though the memorial of Saint Valentine is ancient, it is left to particular calendars, since, apart from his name, nothing is known of Saint Valentine except that he was buried on the Via Flaminia on February 14.” See that? The Roman Catholic Church – which is one of the prominent religious outfits with a fanatical following of over a billion faithfuls – dropped it citing its ambiguity.

Contemporary records of Saint Valentine from the 4th Century indicate that he was a rugged priest who was imprisoned for succoring persecuted Christians. He had chosen to defy Claudius’ law that denied young men the agony of marriage and instead have them be faithful to the Corps where they’d get a shot at. He’d marry the young men to their beloved ladies in secret. This was the genesis of his trouble with the powers that be.

St. Valentine’s Day is engineered to commercialize emotions. It is by and large financial abuse for people who deeply care about the things that really appeal to them. There is a concomitant emotional abuse linked to it. The naiveté of validating human emotions only on a single day out of 366 days in a year is lunacy.

We can excuse teenagers experiencing puppy love, but for an adult of sound mind being at the center of this splurge, makes it all laughable.

You honestly need no special day to honor someone you deeply care about. I don’t think anyone should make a big fuss about it. Handing out cards and gifts only on a particular day of the year to lionize love is crap. Consumerism strikes at its peak and giving it to the notion that a day’s events gives credence to a relationship and the emotions is losing the plot.

When the fictitious “Men’s Conference” stormed the cyberspace with alacrity, we were bound to underestimate the underlying message. The nonexistent “Men’s Conference” became the antidote of St. Valentine’s Day.

What began as banter on Facebook and Twitter virally morphed into a message board where men were finally laying bare what they have silently held onto themselves for decades about St. Valentine’s Day. St. Valentine’s Day was on trial. At the drop of the judge’s gavel, the verdict had been rendered – it was time to relegate St. Valentine’s Day into limbo.

The disillusionment that comes with the level of effort people put into celebrating St. Valentine’s Day is otherworldly. It doesn’t really mean anything at all except the meaning we imagine we accord it. Requiring a reassurance that you are loved through a made – up holiday is the height of vanity.

St. Valentine’s Day shouldn’t be a launch pad for gauging your partner’s commitment or worth in your companionship. An obligatory celebration of love is just a house of cards.

In 2020, it will be time to actualize the Men’s Conference to a global festival – something that rivals Tomorrowland, the world’s greatest and most notable music festivals.

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