Don't despair over Valentine's, it could be a capitalist ploy
The dreaded Januworry has finally bowed out, three months since it started. The month of cupid is now in full swing and there are three people I know who won't be buying roses and candy.
The first is former president Jacob Zuma since Valentine's Day will be the first anniversary of the day he was kicked out of office. The second is former Olympic champion Oscar Pistorius who, apart from being behind bars, will remember that Valentine's Day when he fired four shots in the bathroom.
The third is Vusi Nzapheza to whom the day brings back memories of emptiness when I lay comatose on the operation table three years ago, with my heart being stitched by specialists.
The day of course, signals good tidings since I came out alive. I have also had my fair share of Valentine's hype but these days I'm philosophical about its significance.
For starters, Valentine's Day could just be another gimmick by capitalists to push chocolate sales. It could also be a ploy to push depression medicine for those without dates.
So, if you do not receive a bouquet of roses from me, don't take it personal. Besides, I am told by associates in the dating scene that girls don't do flowers these days where data is a most pressing need. This does not of course absolve me from spending money on Valentine's. The damn schools have implanted the day into our impressionable children. The students, even in lower primary, are urged to wear red and white at a cost.
Last year, my frantic daughter called me in tears because NK, my brother, fetched her earlier from an evening Valentine's Day function at school.
Her appeals for NK to have a heart fell on deaf ears even as I sympathised with her predicament. I am therefore anticipating more tears this year even though I'm certain she'll make alternative arrangements for her transport.
Since Valentine's Day falls on a Thursday this year, it will coincide with my regular Phuza Thursday drinking spree. Anyone with designs to send me flowers should know they run the risk of shrivelling before the day is out. Despite the will to do some gardening, I don't have green fingers. I have never tended to any plant since my grandfather's tomatoes a lifetime ago.
However, it will make a big impression to send me a straight of fine whisky. Chocolates are also out of the equation since I don't have a sweet tooth and besides, we have been warned that sugar is the new cocaine.
To those of you without dates, we can meet at the bar and philosophise about the legend of St Valentine's.
For starters, the day is an ancient and pagan festival of martyrdom. One legend tells the story of a Roman priest who married soldiers in secret to free them from military service.
When Emperor Claudius II discovered what Valentine's was up to, he jailed him for violating laws that soldiers should be devoted to Rome and passed the law preventing them from marrying. You can also bring your own stories to my drinking session but leave those who want to splurge on candy and flowers because our stagnant economy can do with some ching ching.