Sunday, November 23, 2008

Return of the EX-men

One of the many down sides of having dated a string of guys and ending up being friends with only one of them is you're bound to run into one (or if you're unlucky two) of those that you're not friends with. In short---->the guys/jerks you're hoping you'll never have to see again for the rest of your life-ever!

As I was waiting for a parking space last Friday I saw in my rear view mirror a familiar figure lurking behind my car. The day I have been dreading finally came. You see, I was at this mall where we used to always go to on our dates. A month ago he told me (via YM) that he saw my car parked at that mall so I knew that I was bound to see him there one of these days.

I decided to pretend that I did not see him. My heart was racing. I felt a ton of mixed emotions. I was nervous, panicking and part of me wanted to get out of my car and kick his sorry ass! Yes, I hate the dude. You would understand if you knew what he did to me but that's a whole other blog and my one year on-off relationship with him is not really worth writing about.

I was hoping and praying that he would just magically disappear. But when I turned my head to see if he's gone I saw his eyes staring straight at mine. I had no choice but to at least acknowledge his existence. Plus, I was in a hurry and I badly needed a parking space.

I rolled down my window and asked, "Are you leaving? Can I park at your spot?"

"Yeah, I was just leaving. I'm parked over there".

He started walking toward his car ever so slowly. A turtle can crawl faster than him! Then I saw a vacant spot right across his car. Naturally, that's where I immediately parked my car. As I was getting off, he drove past me... Did not even stop or roll down his window.

Yup! I should've just pretended that I didn't know him. I never should've rolled down my window even if I was in The Amazing Race and he was my only chance of winning!

The next day, I saw another guy from my better-forgotten past. He was the photographer at my mom's wedding. I made a deal with my mom that I would only allow him to be the photographer at her wedding if he's the last person on earth who knows how to take pictures or if he'll offer his services for free.

And he did. Much to my surprise and dismay. I never really expected he would do it for free! I haven't seen or talked to him in months. Our relationship didn't end well. He started dating a girl he just met a day after we broke up. He never introduced me to his family or to anyone as his girlfriend, I was just "Michelle". When we're around my friends or family he would be all over me but when we were around his own family and friends he would let go of my hand like I have something contagious.

He told my mom that he's doing it for free for me. Seriously?!

Kids, I think the lesson here is this: if you're afraid to run into guys you never wanna see again-ever! then stop jumping from one guy to another. Having a long list of guys you've dated doesn't make you any hotter. It also doesn't make you a relationship expert. It makes you a failed-relationships expert.

And it only makes you wish that you listened to the wise counsel of your parents, pastor or youth leader when they told you to wait patiently for the person God has preapred for you. Don't ruin God's elaborate plan of giving you someone amazing by giving guys who don't even deserve you a chance. Save your heart for that one person, he'll be worth the wait.

Take it from the failed-relationships expert.

I wish I didn't date around too much. I wish I waited.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Kids Say The Darnest Things

Promise: Why are you sad Auntie Mich?
Mich: Because my boyfriend left already and went back to his country.
Promise: Don't worry Auntie Mich, he'll come back for you.

This conversation happened a year ago when Promise, my adorable niece, was only 3 years old. Imagine a kid saying this to me! I mean, what does she know about love and relationships, right? But there I was thinking that he's never coming back (he never did come back, by the way! hehe) while this kid was so full of hope and promise. No wonder her mom named her Promise!

Mich: (talking to my cousin, Promise's dad) Kuya John, did you hear what she just said? Isn't she the sweetest, most adorable kid in the world?
John: You're not actually gonna believe a three-year old?!

Well, Promise didn't cheer me up by what she said but by reminding me that it's all about perspective. That's how kids see things--always optimistic, always looking on the bright side, always hopeful. Sometimes it doesn't hurt to look at things the way kids do. Kids never suffer from hyperstension only adults do!

Then a couple of months ago, after Promise turned four, we had another "conversation".

Promise: Auntie Mich, do you have a husband?
Mich: Noooo. (Imagine my shock because she asked this out of nowhere!)
Promise: How come you don't have a husband?
Mich: Because I don't have a boyfriend yet. I need to have a boyfriend first so that someone will ask me to marry him.
Promise: Okay. I'll ask Jesus to give you a husband.
Mich: (talking to Promise's mom) Ate Oonee!!! Why is she asking me this??? Seriously!
Oonee: Maybe because most of the adults she knows are married, like me, Lola Amie (my mom), Auntie Res. She must've assumed that all women have husbands.

Hahaha! I couldn't stop laughing! I swear this kid is too smart for her age!

But wait! There's more! Promise isn't the only kid "pressuring" me into getting married. My college friend's five-year old kid, Choco, who happens to be my god daughter started asking me questions like that early this year and every time she sees me or talks to me she would ask the same questions.

(I visited Choco early this year with a guy that I was dating that time)
Choco: Ninang Mich, is he your husband?
Mich: Noooo.
(I can feel my cheeks turning red with embarassment! I couldn't bear to look at him! We've only gone out on a couple of dates!)
Choco: When are you getting married? I want to be your flower girl.
Mich: Hey! Let's play with the doll I gave you!

I just had to change the subject! What was I supposed to say?! I wasn't even sure if I liked the guy! I was only dating him to get over this guy I dated before him! He was just the rebound guy so marriage was definitely out of the question!

Until this day, everytime she hears her mom and I talk about some guy I'm dating she would ask me if she can be the flower girl on my wedding. Even these kids are pressuring me into marrying soon! Have they been talking to my mom?!

Apparently, Choco always assumes that whenever a girl has a boyfriend she's supposed to marry that guy. I used to think that way when I was still an idealistic, wide-eyed 14-year old. But, after 12 years, 2 serious boyfriends and 8 pseudo boyfriends/jerks I have learned that life doesn't happen that way.

Kids, sorry to burst your bubble, but 99% of the time your first boyfriend would not be the same man you will spend the rest of your life with. Most of us will have to suffer through bad dates, go out with a few jerks, suffer more bad break ups and heartaches, cry our eyes out at night and kiss a couple more frogs before we meet our prince.

Some of us will even have to wait a long time. As Charlotte said in Sex and the City, "I've been dating since I was 14! Where is HE???!" But, remember that good things come to those who wait. We may have to go through all these unpleasant things to make us stronger, to build our character (to teach me patience) and to teach us lifelong lessons that we will need along the way.

And no, he will not rescue you like some knight in shining armor. He's not like the perfect prince of a Disney Princess. He's not even like Ken, Barbie's boyfriend. And no, he's not even like Patrick Dempsey or Justin Timberlake (I wish!). He's just an ordinary man, with flaws and imperfections just like everyone else outside the fairytales and Hollywood movies. But he is someone made especially just for you. You will love him just as he is and he will love you just as you are.

So, to answer your question girls, don't worry about Auntie/Ninang Mich. If it is God's will for me to marry, MY prince will find me one day. Promise, if you keep praying then maybe Jesus will answer your prayer and He will give me a husband. And Choco, when that day comes I hope to God that you're still young enough to be my flower girl!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Amazing Wedding Race

"Ikakasal na si Jen, yung anak ni Espie... naunahan ka pa".
(Espie's daughter is getting married... she beat you to it.)

Two mornings ago, I woke up to my mom's nagging voice telling me that her friend's daughter is getting married and she's only 22 years old. Until this day I don't get why my mom likes talking to people who are still asleep, particularly my sister and I. Maybe because she just wants to talk and talk uninterrupted or that's her way of waking us up--- pretending that we're already awake!

I tried to ignore her and pretended that I was still totally asleep. But, the truth is when I heard the words "naunahan ka pa" (she beat you to it) my eyes popped open under my pillow. SHE BEAT YOU TO IT????!!!! Is that what she really said? I was screaming in my head "Ma! Helloooo! I'm only 26! It's not like I'm 46!" I was contemplating if I should comment on what she said or forever hold my peace. Since half of my brain is still asleep I could lose this "So What If I'm Still Single" debate. But, my mom kept yapping on and on about how Jen had an SM (or what Filipinos call "secret marriage") and how she always wondered why the boyfriend's car is always parked outside Jen's house whenever she would pass by on her way to work every morning.

"Maaaa!!! You didn't tell me that getting married is a race?! You should've told me earlier 'cause I would have started running faster a long time ago if I knew it was a race!"

As soon as those words came out of my mouth I started laughing! I imagined thousands of women in their wedding gowns and stiletto heels running down the streets chasing "Mr. Right" like that scene in the movie "The Bachelor".

To all the single ladies out there please don't ever think that snagging a husband is the greatest achievement in life. A man doesn't define who you are. The state of your happiness or success is not based on whether you're married or not. It's okay to be single and to not have a boyfriend and to not have a date every Saturday night. It doesn't make you any less beautiful than you already are.

And I am also very aware of the fact that unfortunately women have their biological clocks ticking ang it's ticking twice as faster as soon as you reach 25. But, getting married doesn't have a timeline or a deadline. It may happen early for some people, it may happen later in life for others and for some it could never happen at all. So, whenever that time is and if it's ever going to happen is all up to God. He knows what is best for us. He has a plan. He has His own timeline. Don't ever meddle with God's timeline and try to speed up the process just because the world (or your mom) is pressuring you to get married at a certain age.

It is true that God has designed man not to be alone but to be with a partner but I believe that it is important to find out first what God has planned for YOUR life, as a person, as an individual, as you! Use this time of your life as a chance to seek God's will and discover if marriage is for you.

Getting inspiration from Hip Hop Ab's Sean T. "It's not a race to the moon, [singlehood] is a fun movement of purpose!"

As I told my mom that morning...

So what if I'm still single?!

So, when are you getting married?

I still can't believe that...
my mom's getting married again
---for the second time
---before my sister
---before me (I don't even have a boyfriend!)
---before everyone else! (my still single cousins and friends)

And that my sister's engaged to be married next year!

And the fact that they're both in a long distance relationship which they manage to be successful in, i mean it actually works for them! They're marrying guys they met while on vacation in some foreign country (Damn! I should've gone with them on that trip!) And to top it all off they received their marriage proposals on the first date! I never believed in love at first sight but I guess it does happen---for some people!
Meanwhile, I didn't even last a month in my first (and only attempt) on a long distance relationship... or any functional relationship for that matter...

I started hearing the question "So, when are you getting married?" when I turned 22. I used to just dismiss the question with a I'm-still-too-young-to-get-married reply. As the years added on more people started bugging me with the same question but it never bothered me and I didn't really care because getting married was so far down in my To-Do List.

However, when I turned 25 last year that's when I started feeling the pressure from that one person who will remind you of your "single status" everytime someone else gets married or have a baby---my mom! (and I know that all single women would agree with me on this one) She kept talking about how she doesn't want to be too old when she becomes a grandma and that at this age I should at least be married or have a kid--- like my friends or the daughters of her friends!

And now that they're both getting married soon, more and more people are asking me the million-dollar question! I mean, seriously! Just because my mom and sister are tying the knot am I also expected to do the same? It's like society expects me to follow a certain fad. Like, the skinny jeans for example--- that's practically the only type of jeans they sell in stores these days! But, what about those people whose legs aren't skinny enough? You can't make them fit into skinny jeans just because that's what everybody is wearing. Much like, you can't expect everyone to be married in their 20's just because that's what everyone is doing!

Anyway, they're both marrying Australian citizens so that means they're moving down under very soon... So where does that leave me? Of course my mom wants me to go with them.


I wanna travel the world-- live for a year in Greece, then Brazil, maybe another year in Japan or Morocco, then backpack thru Europe...

My mom isn't so happy about my plans of not getting married anytime soon or prolly never or of me not wanting to have kids... she says "i'm being selfish" meaning I'm depriving her of the joys of being a grandma. She just couldn't understand that marriage is not the end all and be all of life and that marriage could possibly be just NOT for me...

I'm not saying that I'm never getting married, ever! But, I just don't want to rush things. I want to take my time. I still have so many things I want to do with my life and places I want to see. I'm also not yet ready, emotionally, physically and financially for a lifetime commitment. I've seen so many failed marriages from my own family and friends that i don't want to settle for "Mr. Right Now". I'd rather be single forever than be stuck in a miserable marriage for the rest of my life.

I've been praying where the Lord wants me to go, if it's Australia then my visa application will get approved and everything will just fall into place but if not...then maybe...

I'll just join the Amazing Race Asia and finally use my passport! I'm sick of flying domestic!

So for now my only plan is to wait...I don't really know what's in store for me--- relationship-wise... career-wise...or geography-wise...