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Do you want his presence or presents on Valentines Day?

By Patience Ahumuza
Today, I went by Bra world, a lingerie boutique, and I found a very distressed looking man, he was waiting on the shop attendants to finish packing his gift. This gift had a red ribbon finish. After some small chit chat, I asked, and he said it was his Valentine’s present for his woman, he however was shook by the fact that I was in this boutique, on this day, and not my boyfriend.

Valentine’s is here. Romance reigns supreme, and it has got every lover by the balls. The anxiety is real. The pressures are overboard. In other terms, this could very well be the most fragile day of the year when it comes to love and relationships.

What’s the right gift to get her? Where is the right place to take her? What kind of flowers? These are some of the whisper questions you hear when you walk down the office halls, and among the campus boys that have had luck in maintaining a relationship up till now, before their girls have to be scooped by the money men.

People making a mad dash valentines day shopping in Kampala

It’s imperative that these men get presents for them, because if not, their ladies’ girlfriends will put it to a discussion, and will decide if this relationship survives. It will mostly not survive if there was no gift. The meaning of a successful relationship in these modern days is measured by what he has, but more so, what he gives you. In short, if he spoils you with dollar signs.

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The more traditional woman however, will say that their lover’s presence matters more, and whether this would be because their men have mostly gone out to catch the younger birds on the other days is still unclear.

Angela Umutoni, a post graduate student at Makerere University says that her man, whom she is aware to be married with kids will sure get her something for Valentines. “I can’t expect him to be with me on that day, he has to go to the old mama. I am expecting my gift though,” she recklessly said.

Ladies that have “blessers” appreciate the presents that their men get them, than their presence. Campus boys have not had a fair competition in these regards due to the broke life style that being at university brings. For them, taking their girl out for some hard earned KFC will do the magic.

The longer and stable the relationship is, the lesser the likelihood that there will be any presents involved. These people have had all the chocolates there is, and have gotten weary of flowers, as some have ended up in compost pits, literally in rotting mode every year. They are tired of the routine of the same gifts year in, year out. Mrs. Bridget Agaba, a resident in Ntinda says that with this valentine’s, she doesn’t intend on spending any of her pennies on anything that won’t be appreciated.

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“I want to offer my husband my time and undivided attention, since we both are always tied up with work, this will be the time to cook his best meal, talk with him and let him know how much I appreciate and love him. I will probably write him a love letter” she said between smiles.

A couple kissing during Valentines Day at Club Amnesia

Valentine’s is a love day, it shouldn’t have to come with depression because a lover wanted a gift that the other party is not able to afford. It should be more than just buying things for the special person in your life, more about gratitude and offering appreciation and homage to all the relationships in one’s life.

A relationship that ends up in turmoil because a boyfriend took to you to Kyadondo for some delightful roasted pork and a few beers and not Pearl of Africa Hotel for a candle lit dinner and bought a bouquet of flowers should have never been a relationship to begin with.

There is a need for this holiday to be reframed. And as much as it is a divine idea to set aside a day to honour love and really spend some time appreciating the love in your life, living within the means of said relationship should be as vital as the love itself, and no one should have to bend over backwards, in gloom of the gifts to buy, that are above pocket, when in fact, their mere presence would make the day complete.


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