MY WEEKEND: Please keep your flowers! Give me something ‘better’

Saturday February 20 2016

A bunch of roses or a bar of chocolate don’t

A bunch of roses or a bar of chocolate don’t excite me as they do many women. They, after all, are no more after some time. PHOTO| FILE| NATION MEDIA GROUP 

More by this Author

If all the women in Kenya were like me, the flower industry would collapse, while Cadbury’s would close shop and take their chocolates elsewhere.

You see, I have searched myself long and hard, and I have come to the conclusion that I have no romantic bone in my body, hence the reason I find flowers, whatever the occasion is, to be a huge waste of money. I mean, it is not as if you can eat them or wear them, right?

Anyway, I was telling you about why I am convinced that I am not romantic. While in my first year in college – I must have been 19 – a boy that admired me bought me a bunch of

roses on Valentine’s Day.

It was lunch time, and I was strolling out of the gate to have lunch with my friends when I saw someone that looked familiar standing across the road, holding a bunch of flowers.

It wasn’t until he raised his hand and waved that I realised who it was. That is when the panic attack struck.

“Somebody please tell me those flowers aren’t mine!” I desperately thought to myself even though I knew they were mine. By then, everyone was curiously looking from me to my

“boyfriend”, who stood expectantly on the other side. My friends were also giggling, and one nudged me, whispering, “si uende …” (Go).

Anyway, I crossed the road, hot with embarrassment, and accepted my very first bunch of flowers. After an awkward hug and some chit chat, my “boyfriend” hopped into a matatu

and left me holding my flowers. In seconds, my friends had surrounded me, touching and smelling the flowers, commenting on how lucky I was to have such a “romantic boyfriend”,

while I flushed with embarrassment.


Anyway, as we headed to our regular cheap lunch joint after the uproar died down, I decided to shove the flowers into my school bag, since they were attracting too much attention.

“What are you doooing!” screamed one of my friends. “You are spoiling them! If you don’t want them, give them to me …” she said.

I promptly did, feeling immensely relieved. There was no way I would spend the whole day lugging a bunch of flowers. Now, does that sound like a romantic person?

A week or so ago, I was having a conversation with a colleague when she happened to mention that her engagement ring had cost her boyfriend half-a-million shillings. Before I could stop myself, I blurted out, “but that could buy a piece of land somewhere!”

Yes, yes, you don’t have to tell me, I know that I urgently need help. Some time back, someone asked me what my ideal romantic holiday would be.

I did not have to think about it – somewhere by the beach where I could bask and laze all day long, have my bed made every morning and my meals served. After my answer, the one

asking the question had looked at me expectantly, as if waiting for me to go on. Eventually, she said in disbelief, “That’s your idea of a romantic getaway?”

Well, it turned out that hers was a candle-lit dinner every day throughout the holiday, preferably with a view of the moonlight. The night would then culminate with her date serenading

her, and afterwards, presenting her with a gift, expensive jewellery, thank you very much, accompanied by a bunch of flowers … obviously, I am in dire need of a little more imagination.

On Monday this week, I jokingly asked a colleague how she and her husband spent Valentine’s Day, only for her to tell me that of all the other days of the year, her husband decided

that this was the most appropriate day to fix the windows on the upper floor of their home.

The outcome? She spent this day of love in the thoroughly unromantic company of four fundis, who filled their home with deafening noise and debris, which she had to clean up later

that evening.

I could not help bursting out with laughter but, as my colleague rationalised, it was a worthwhile Valentine’s Day “gift” which will stand the test of time, and whose benefits she will

enjoy for a long time to come. To hell with the flowers.