Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine’s Day

To many people Valentine’s Day is the day to express their love to another person; an opportunity for them to vocalize what they keep hidden deep in their hearts for 364 days.

Is it an embarrassment—a shame-- to like or love another person that we have to keep our feelings hidden? I find it mind-boggling that we, Malaysians (Asians?) can so freely express the opposite even when we’re aware of the negative repercussions our ill feeling could bring. Yet, we become tongue-tied when it comes to expressions of endearment. Expressing love and ‘like’ makes us uncomfortable!

Maybe we also assume that the other person knows and it’s not important to express our feelings. We assume the other guy can read our mind and so neglect to say the words which perhaps he/she longs to hear.

We are, after all, Asians and we don on our poker faces and avoid saying things that might backfire later. There’s nothing to stop the recipients of our declaration of ‘love’ to fling our words right back into our faces. Maybe this is partly what holds us back. We are unwilling to put ourselves into a vulnerable spot where we are not ‘in control’. We don’t want to risk being snubbed and so ‘lose face’.

I know how it feels this ‘losing face’ and I’m certainly not ever going through that again. Let’s just say I was kind of fishing for a compliment from Mr. Hubby a long, long time ago. I knew that cows would fly and butterflies hop if he bought and gave me some flowers. Anyway, I still had the urge to ask why he never gave me flowers. I’ll remember his response until… well, until forever!

He said: “We (meaning his family) give flowers only when people die.”

OMG! It was several minutes before I could pick my jaw off the floor. With a few choice words I had been put in my place. But don’t you cry for me. It wasn’t the flowers that mattered. What was important was to be assured that I mattered.

My dear reader, all we really want is validation... that we matter. Flowers and other stuff are just tokens or symbols.

Expressions of love and appreciation needn’t come with flowers and chocolates, okay? Nor should they be confined to one day in the year.

Some people don't think of expressing their love and appreciation until it is too late. Why procrastinate for twenty-four long years… or until Alice goes away… or until that special someone sleeps forever?

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Pictures from Google Images


  1. commenting on flowers,
    my dad started buying my mum flowers for mother's day (since 2007, when he was stationed in SK Kundasang, where most of his teachers and pupils bought flowers for mother's day). peer pressure works magic!

  2. I myself dropped my jaw when I read your Mr Hubby's answer. True flowers are part of funeral necessities...but what for give flowers to the dead when the person is not there to enjoy it's beauty. Having said this, my Mr. Hubby is not a flower guy either and I'm yet to find his reason(s). Perhaps I will drop my jaw again when I found out.
    BTW, really enjoyed reading your blog and book.

  3. Kukuanga, Kundasang is the best place for flowers! Lucky for your mum your dad yielded to peer pressure!

    MUM, my exact sentiment.. why give flowers only to the dead? Isn't is more meaningful to make a living person enjoy the flowers? Keeping my fingers crossed for you!
    BTW, I'm glad you liked the book.. and the blog.