Thursday February 14 2013

Thursday Thoughts: Oops… It’s Valentine’s day!

By Brenda Banura

Days like Christmas or even Independence Day are impossible to forget. What with the Christmas melodies that fill the atmosphere. And need I mention how early the Christmas trees are put up even though the natural ones risk drying up before the D-day. And on Independence Day, the city is painted red, black and yellow- the colours of the Uganda flag.

Then comes Valentine’s Day which is popularised by providers of services related to the Valentine’s Day theme of love. You can therefore easily forget it’s actually Valentine’s Day.

And chances are that you won’t remember even as you hurriedly dress up in a red top and black bottom or in a black dress and decide to carry a hot red bag, complete with red jewellery on that day.

Usually, you will notice that something is wrong because of the awkward glances from your neighbour in the taxi or people you meet on the streets.

These are usually strangers so they may not comment about your dress code. But your workmates (at least some of them) will most definitely have a loud opinion about what appears like a sole celebration of Valentine’s Day. If it is a dramatic lot, they might even compose a song for you. These will barely allow you to explain that your red and black combination is accidental.

And just like that, your day will get messed up just as it begins. When something like this happens, it is impossible not to be overly conscious. If a visitor smiles and looks at you a little longer, you will conclude that he or she also thinks you are dressed for the day.

For the rest of the day, you will involuntarily minimise your movements, sit in a corner and stay quiet during meetings. You may miss lunch all thanks to your “attention seeking” attire.

But that is just the beginning of your troubles. What will change your day from a mess to a ruin is your trip back home. This is after everyone has been reminded that it is Valentine’s Day. Comments about your attire will get louder especially if made by boda boda riders, taxi touts or drivers. It is tormenting.

It is like wearing a Halloween costume to work the way Jesse Tyler Ferguson in the TV Series Modern Family, did only to reach office (a law firm to make it worse) and find he was the only one that thought it was a norm. Everyone else was dressed in their suits and ties – business as usual.

And this is not because it is wrong to wear red and black on Valentine’s Day or celebrate the day for that matter. It is just that most loved ones that celebrate the day do so in subtle ways and stay away from red and black attires especially in public places. So it is weird when you turn up in one.

So if you plan on plugging your ears to block all comments, then go ahead and celebrate the day in what have become the official February 14 colours – red and black.

But if as you read this you couldn’t help but exclaim “oopsss…It’s Valentine’s Day and I am accidentally wearing red and black...” with a frown, then you might want to take a boda boda home and if you received flowers ask that person to send you a cab as well.