How a ‘hater’ survives Valentine’s Day

This world is full of lies. Lies everywhere. There are so many lies around us that you don’t even know if I’m lying when I say that the world is full of lies, but ironically, that is the truest statement of this article.

The world is filled with lies and the most pernicious of them are those found in the fields of commerce and romance. So when those two fields meet and intersect, as they do once a year in an evil, blood-mooned, vampires’ feast called Valentine’s Day, one of the most monstrous lies of all is let loose.

That is the lie that, in the entire world population of torn and broken hearts, there are still enough people happily in love to warrant a whole day to themselves.

Maybe you don’t want to admit it because you are one of the lucky few, or because if she catches you so much as thinking that your relationship isn’t perfect you will sleep in the garage again, or maybe you sell roses so you have a vested interest in the fallacy that ‘everyone loves someone’.

But no. No, they don’t.

By far, the bulk of us are either single and alone, single because side pieces are not in couples, single and prolifically sluttish in a way that does not leave room for any emotional attachment, such as Valentine’s love, and so we often end up telling partners things like: “We need to stop seeing each other. This is moving too fast for me. Wait, are you crying? But you knew I wasn’t looking for anything serious from the moment we met. See? This is why I don’t commit to guys. They cry in the middle of nightclubs.”

Or, we are coupled up in a fraught, toxic swirl of codependency that will traumatise us, the children and all the pets; or coupled up in a boring, loveless routine that is only held together by a shared Netflix and water bills, or coupled up in imbalanced farce where one fool is and utterly besotted while the other is barely involved and just takes it all for granted…

What the Valentines Industrial Complex tries to tell us is the ideal is a rare and unlikely thing. If you have it, you are incredibly lucky. You beat massive odds. In fact, stop reading this and go away. Go kiss each other or something. The rest of us have stuff to talk about.

Like what we are going to do on Valentine’s.

Aren’t you tired of our voices being disregarded as if we don’t count? Single Lives Matter! It is time to rise up and make our presence felt! This year, I say we take February 14 back. Who’s with me?

I would prefer demented gangs rioting in the streets, just to put the statistics in perspective: for every couple cooing “I love you” in the restaurant, an entire horde of bitter lunatics yelling “I hate my life” out there, but I am prepared to be reasonable.

So this is what I suggest.

All the single ladies, all the single ladies, and all the single gents as well, get in formation. Dress up and go to restaurants.

No, you are not going to date yourself. You tried that last year and found out that you are a horrible date. You spend all your time on the phone and that’s so rude.

No, we are going to walk around ruining other people’s dates.

You know how people won’t admit that they don’t know you when you just stroll up and say hi? We are going to exploit that weakness.

Walk up to random couples, beam smiles at the guy, offer a warm hug, allude to how well he is looking, and then turn to the lady and say: “This must be your lovely girlfriend, Coraline! I’ve heard so much about you.”

I guarantee you that her name will NOT be Coraline.

Do this at least ten times that night, then you can go home to sleep, smiling at the thought of how many lives you have just ruined, how many guys are still, hours later, trying to explain that there is no Coraline. “I am telling you, I don’t even know who that guy was. I have never even heard of a Coraline! Baby? Baby please open the door. Baby, can’t we just talk about this. Let me in, baby! Babe?”

And as for those in unfulfilled relationships, I propose that Valentines’ businesses cater accordingly by providing the appropriate merchandise.

I would like to see argument cards in shops. Or ambivalence poems recited. And delivery of bouquets of cassava flowers — which are to disappointment what roses are to passion.

I would like to have more hate songs on the radio, too.

I want to hear ‘She Hate Me’ by Blink 182, ‘Hate Me Now’ by Nas, ‘I Hate You So Much Right Now’ by Kelis and whatever hate mumble trap songs the millennials have in their Spotify.

If this sounds cynical, well, there is an elderly couple I know, names withheld, who celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary today. They are as devoted to each other as they have each day of those 50 years. True love exists and if you have it, thank God himself for that; hold on to that person and give them your all.

As for the rest of us, suit up, haters. We are going to town to ruin some dates.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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