inside out:with Respect Chofamba
This year happens to be a leap year and there is some exciting news to all ladies in the love department. Once in every four years, ladies get the opportunity to give gifts and determine what happens on Valentine’s Day. As is custom in a leap year, like this year, brings with it the extraordinary and a rare opportunity to not only give gifts, but tradition has it that this is a year the ladies get the chance to boldly, and legally, propose marriage, throughout the year.
The mere fact that ladies can propose marriage changes everything, but that’s a discussion for another day. So, how do the ladies really feel about being the ones who give gifts, spoil and pamper their partners this year?
“I feel that the man has to provide, so even during a leap year I expect him to treat me on Valentine’s Day,” said Grace Ruwaya.
“I don’t mind planning out the day, but he will obviously pay for the plan I would have come up with. It just feels wrong to spend money on a man. Yes, even on Valentine’s Day in a leap year.”
Others, however, feel that it is a great opportunity to express their love through grand gestures and gifts.
“I always give gifts to my husband,” said Runyararo Mwenje.
“To me, giving gifts is an excellent way to express my love and I am into grand gestures.
“After all, what is being in love without the grand and over-the-top gestures that make life more exciting?
“It being a leap year absolutely gives me the opportunity to allow my creativity to go wild and to take a lot of social media worthy pictures.”
“Valentine’s Day is definitely huge for me this year,” Washe Mwatse said excitedly.
“I’m in a new relationship and this is the day I have to at least judge how my partner feels about me.
“I know it’s a leap year, so I have planned a weekend away some form of an early vacation, but secretly I expect him to at least give me something.”
Others who have been in relationships for a while had interesting plans that worked out for them.
“It’s a leap year and I proposed to my boyfriend,” said Leema Mushayi.
“I took my boyfriend to meet my parents over dinner. That’s like the first step to hopefully me getting the ring.”
While giving of material gifts and the grand gestures is a huge part of Valentine’s Day, that is not all there is to the day.
“A day set aside to celebrate love is not to be about material thing only,” Simon Mhodzi explains.
“It also ought to be about appreciation, and the small seemingly insignificant gestures that make one feel appreciated, like a random call during the day just to say hi.
“A leap year is rather confusing for me. My wife will get me a gift but she always expects me to give her something as well.”
Mhodzi is not alone in this as many men seem to be stuck in that place where they expect to receive a gift in a leap year yet still have to get a gift for their partner.
“Sometimes it just feels like I paid for two gifts, one for myself and one for my wife,” said Elias Garwe.
“Whenever it’s a leap year my wife will ask me for money to buy my gift and then expects me to get her a gift as well.
“I think we as Africans do not quite understand what Valentine’s Day is all about, and the confusion increases when it’s a leap year.”
With women getting more and more empowered, it is noble that they become bolder in relationships too, taking it upon themselves to make Valentine’s Day special through their own financial means, wherever and however possible. This might seem like a far-fetched thought as there are some who still refuse to acknowledge the day.
“My husband and I grew up in the rural areas and there was no Valentine’s Day then,” said Christabel Svotwa.
“As a matter of principle, we just agreed that we will not celebrate a day that we do not know about.
“I do feel as though it does get a bit challenging for my husband though when he sees me going through pictures on social media, but honestly, I’m happy with our arrangement.
“My husband has set aside days where he makes me feel extra special and that works for me. So, I never get the Valentine’s Day pressure.”
“Valentine’s Day is a pagan celebration that we refuse to be part of,” explained Munashe Chikomo.
“I have done some research on the origins of the day and I have come to the conclusion that it’s a day I have no business celebrating.
“I celebrate my wife every day because the Bible tells husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the church.”
With all the mixed views and opinions, Valentine’s Day remains a widely popular day and those that acknowledge the day get an opportunity to spoil their partners. Whichever way it panned out for you in your personal space, I hope it was an unexpectedly awesome day of love.