I know this is not our culture but if you insist on celebrating things from foreign lands then do it right. You can propose but also please buy gifts that speak love.
Traditionally you are supposed to send flowers or chocolates accompanied by an unsigned card but Zimbabweans who are unaware of this normally sign their names so the person who receives the flowers knows who sent them.
It is a day when you can anonymously tell someone that you care — normally a person you are not even in a relationship with but one that you ache for, or wish you were with.
In the past I have seen some friends of mine receive ridiculous Valentine’s Day gifts — an electric cooker or a refrigerator from their husbands. Those are not appropriate presents from the heart.
They are presents to remind your wife you want your beer cold and that you want to have hot meals everyday.
In fact they are presents to yourself! So girls if you are going to propose be certain that the man will say yes because it can be very embarrassing if he dithers or pretends he has not heard you.
You will need to think of something to say to fill the lengthy embarrassing quiet void following your proposal.
You need to be able to rescue the situation so that your whole evening is not completely ruined. If he says no or says he is not sure and needs time then take it in your stride and make the most of the rest of the evening. You can lick your wounds in private later.
Just be grateful we are not heavily into technology so you will not be tempted to propose at some ball game on the big screen.
Most men plan their proposals so you need to do the same. Are you taking him out or are you cooking?
At what stage during the meal are you going to pop the question?
I think just before dessert is better because whatever the answer is you will receive it on a full stomach unless you really want that dessert, then you do it during coffee or brandies.
Follow the tradition
You could also simply take him out to dinner and towards the end casually pull out a revolver and ask him to marry you.
That way you will have made up his mind for him. No man wants to die — he will marry you.
Have a very happy Valentine’s Day and remember that there is a right way to celebrate — follow the tradition and simplicity does it.
How to woo a man on Valentine’s Day
If you are going to cook it might be too late to watch Gordon Ramsey or Nigella Lawson now to learn how to cook, but go online and look for simple but attractive dishes to make for that particular day.
Bring out that lovely cutlery and china you have been saving for your never coming wedding day and use that beautiful tablecloth you have hidden away. Bring out your lovely crystal and do not worry about breaking it — Valentine’s Night might be a very good night if you play your cards right.
If you are going to invite a man you have never been out with, find out what kind of food he likes and if he is allergic to anything.
You do not want to end up at the Trauma Centre and you do not want to cook meat for a vegetarian.
In fact if the man says he is a vegetarian I think you should ask yourself if you want to spend the rest of your life being taken on mad guilt trips about eating meat!
If he is already in your life then it might be too late to worry about that and if you are willing to forgo meat or any pleasure for a man then so be it.
Red roses will certainly convey the message that your heart has some serious discussions with the man. They are traditionally the flowers of love. Yellow roses will tell him you just want to be friends!
Now that you have wined and dined you come to the proposal. What I do not know is do you buy an engagement ring and ask him to marry you or you just ask and then let him buy the ring.
I mean you are asking so in a way you should carry the expense. After all you are the one who wants to get married and you have pretty much dispensed with tradition so why should the boy pay?
You must think of the words you are going to use. You can borrow from books or movies if you are not good with words. Here are some insane but viable suggestions:
“I love you. I pray for you more than I pray for myself. When I’m away from you I think of you all the time. I carry you in my heart. Will you marry me?”
Or: “I feel so miserable without you. I love your eyes. You remind me of my father, please help me change my surname, marry me.”
“I cannot work, I cannot eat or sleep. I love you and you alone but most of all I love us together — will you marry me?”