The ‘Old is Gold’, or the more impartial ‘Good Old Days’ sayings are quickly losing relevance. Everything new is certainly better in all aspects. Think about it. Travel. Medical. Housing, et al. However, not everything is enviable – some areas are worse for wear. In some, old is indeed better.
The dynamic world of dating, for instance.
Dating was an art. A craft, that needed practice to perfect. I haven’t talked to marriage counsellors, experts and social critics, but it doesn’t need a PHD to figure out what held marriages together in the old days. It’s the dating experiences a couple had to go through.
Well, we didn’t have social media. In the event that you’d pity the folks in the grind then, hold on. They had social mechanisms that were more exciting and engaging than poking strangers on Facebook and sliding into their DMs.
Hello, have you heard of village dances?
Village dances ran for a week, and coincided with the full moon. Poets do not wax lyrical about the moon for nothing – it has a romantic pull. The villages had a veritable grapevine to spread the news of the dance. It was rotational, village to village. Preparations would start way before. The village dancers would practice, and the nubile would start eyeing potential mates.
It had a bit of danger, if the apple of your eye hailed from a different village. The resident males had ‘right of possession’ – would gang up, and if you didn’t have a gang watching your back, you’d often suffer a beating to within an inch of your life. If the gods smiled upon you, the girl would agree to elope you at midnight – when the dance ended.
Love that blossomed in the village had an almost tangible tinge, to it. Mobile phones were non-existent. Oh, the things we now take for granted. A lad crushing on someone had to be a clever fellow. What times does she fetch water? (Springs were communal, and fetching water was the one errand most folks would credit for finally landing a spouse).
If you luckily figured out the time she ran the water errand, she still had to fall for you. If you didn’t tickle her fancy, well, that’s that. If she did like you, you had one more barrier to cross – her younger sibling. It was a Herculean task bribing the sibling, to get some space to drop your lines.
“Hey, Njuguna, do you like mangoes? Go get some, let me talk to Shiru….”
“No, we have mangoes at home, too…” Aaaarrrgghh.
Nowadays, it’s an easy walk in the park bribing the younger sibling.
“Hey, Jayden, wanna run grab your Siz a pizza from the mall?” It’s always a Jayden, or a Shawn.
Thank heavens, if your present girlfriend floods your phone with selfies. Back then, a couple would be on their third year of marriage (and second child) before their first photo shoot. One, the regional Kodak photographer would take ages before passing through the village. And, if he did pass, perhaps, your Sunday best clothes aren’t in a photogenic state.
If the girl of your dreams has the jitters for you this Valentine’s Day, treat her well. Give your all – at least for your older folks – who had to walk over hot coal like a Kung Fu master to meet a partner. While they’d literally trade goats, sheep and cereals to treat their dates, all you have to do is just whip out your Co-op Visa Card to make her night memorable.
As you dine and wine with your significant other this Valentine’s Day, take the narrow road that avoids hard currency, and pay using your Co-op Visa Card. It’s better, safer and certainly adds more oomph to the night if you swipe at the Petrol Station, the mall and at the restaurant.
Have a lovely and captive Valentine’s Day!
March 28, 2020
March 25, 2020