Dashed Hopes

BY: Sandra
I can’t believe the much-awaited Valentine’s Day celebrations have come and gone
I can’t believe the much-awaited Valentine’s Day celebrations have come and gone

I can’t believe the much-awaited Valentine’s Day celebrations have come and gone. It hasn’t just gone; it’s left so much agony in the hearts of people whose expectations from their lovers weren’t met.

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Mine weren’t met either, but can I fault an unromantic Ga man who never seems to remember any anniversaries?  Not that I was really expecting anything from him, anyway. Even his own birthday, he can’t seem to remember.

I almost always do the reminding. If you ask him for the exact dates of birth of Naa Atswei and Nii Friday, am sure he’ll daringly give you estimated periods. 

Why at all don’t some people regard celebrations/anniversaries the way I do?  I can’t just imagine missing any close friend or relative’s birthday, wedding anniversary or any important milestones in their lives. I simply can’t.


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That’s how come I earned the nickname “Computer Woman” among a certain circle of friends.

Like a computer, I could, and still can churn out so many anniversary dates and assist whoever’s turn it was, in observing them to do so.

As for Obodai my darling Ga man, I don’t know what to do with him in that strain any longer. I actually have printed out the significant anniversary dates of our relatives of friends, and for his sake, pasted the list behind our bedroom door. 

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He’s missed three out of the three anniversaries that have taken place between January and now. His own father’s birthday was 2nd February. He forgot to wish him a happy birthday.

I’m not pursuing that romantic attempt to mold him into becoming like me. No. I won’t even try anymore. How can I forget that painful morning of our first wedding anniversary? And this was what happened. 

Knowing what his problem with anniversaries and memorable dates was, I kept sending him messages on his phone to remind him of our impending day.

You see, way back when we were courting, he would forget my birthday. If that one celebration could be forgotten, how much more an additional one?

I wanted to commemorate the day with an outing, so I kept reminding him two weeks before time.

Three days to the date, he informed me of an official meeting he had been assigned to attend that anniversary evening.  I had to find a way to nurse my disenchantment.

I cried and cried as a healing means to my pain.  Somehow, each time I remembered the statement he said after breaking that news, I somewhat would become calm.  He had said to me, “Ablah, I shall make it up to you. I promise.” Hmmm.

So came our first anniversary morning.  He didn’t wish me a happy anniversary, nor did he do anything to imply he remembered the day.  Before we left home for the office, he said he had something to give me.

Entering our clothes cupboard, he brought out a wrapped present in a polythene bag and handed it over to me. “I got this for you. Happy anniversary”, he said, feeling proud of his achievement.

Grateful, I hugged him before I could take possession of the parcel whose size looked like a large St. Louis Sugar box. I went ahead to take unwrap my present. But almost immediately, my countenance fell.  I burst into tears as soon as I set my eyes on the wrapper. Agh, it was a Christmas wrapping paper. For an anniversary present? How? 

I still remember how I held the parcel in my hand for about a minute, examining the writings and santa images strewn all over it.  “Oh Obodai”, I said with tears, “so you couldn’t even bother to buy an anniversary wrapper…. or… or… a plain wrapper for this present,” I stammered as the tears run down my cheeks. I burst into tears, placing the parcel gently on the bed.

Wondering why I hadn’t shown appreciation for his effort, he walked away without uttering a word, picked the car key, and walked out to wait for me in the car.

Looking back, I regret responding the way I did. Were that same incident to have happened now, I would have reacted differently. 

I am grown now; or rather, more matured. But seriously, how can anyone think of using a Christmas wrapping paper to cloak a wedding anniversary present? How?  

Meanwhile, I had gotten his well-wrapped presents ready a whole month before that day. By the nature of it, I was only waiting to give it to him that night when he returned from his official assignment. Hm, Obodai.

A whole lot of drama occurred as we drove to work that morning. I lack space else I would have told you about all that.

Days later when the dust had settled, Obodai explained to me the effort he had put in to find me that present: he had gone round the previous day, from shop to shop, searching for an appropriate present to impress me with.

When he had finally gotten a perfume he knew I would love, he rushed home to hide it in the wardrobe – he wanted to surprise me big time.

He had later remembered the present needed wrapping. He didn’t want to use a newspaper in doing that. So he found an old wrapper I had tucked away in our kitchen cabinet, and used it for the purpose.

I really felt sorry reacting that way. At least, he had made an effort in getting me “something” to mark the day. That was the last time he gave me an anniversary or a birthday present.

Don’t get me wrong, he buys me gifts. Just that he doesn’t tie them to any particular occasion.

Hmm, like I already said, I have given up trying to make Obodai a romantic person.  But who knows, you may have an antidote to his realist nature, and would like to share. Please waste no time.