The quarterfinals for the Asian Games are over. We are already out of the running for a medal. Upon discovery that Gabe Norwood is a Christian, my sister has flooded the browser history with pictures of him in the iPad we share. And I still haven’t posted this. What follows is an entry I wrote earlier this month, upon the conclusion of the FIBA World Cup.
09 September 2014
Last week, the FIBA fever gripped our apartment. For several nights, basketball was all we talked about. My facebook wall has woken from a months-long status hiatus because my emotions were too intense not to be shared with my community. It is the first time in a long while, probably since graduation, that I was overwhelmed by that kind of tension and excitement. It is just so frustrating that we didn’t get into the round of 16 because I feel like Gilas Pilipinas deserved a place there. But even that doesn’t take away an iota of pride and admiration for my team. They finished with a single win against Senegal, for a record of 1-4, with those four losses amounting to an accummulated paltry 23 points. All their games, with the possible exception of Greece, were close fights, which really is quite a feat, in view of our considerable height disadvantage. I am proud of the boys and I’ll always root for them. They are joining the Asian Games in Korea in a couple of weeks and I’ll go on praying and cheering for them. Win or lose, Gilas Pilipinas is my team and I am a very proud fan. #PUSO
I struggled in writing that single paragraph because my sentiments over the Gilas’ performance in the FIBA games deserve one long dramatic love letter, maybe even a couple of them. And my opening paragraph is all of that in a capsule, because this entry isn’t supposed to be about that. This is about what I realized after the games.
In the aftermath of FIBA, and in the boredom that is reviewing for my board exam, I have taken to googling Marc Pingris, the Gilas’ power forward, who has caught my eye before in PBA games. I admit that Gabe Norwood is physically more my type, not to mention closer to my age, but Marc is a Christian, which makes him a hundred times more crushable for me. As he is married to Danica Sotto, a Filipina celebrity, google searches on him, I was sure, would yield more results. I was right. Google delivered, and I have, by now, wasted several hours immersed in youtube videos of Marc and Danica and in their twitter and instagram accounts. They have officially sealed their place as my celebrity couple idol.
I probably stop here, as I have more or less exhausted google. A week of fangirling has left me with an abnormal supply of trivia on them in my memory, an affirmation of my housewifely ambition, and a promise to be a better cook. Also, a realization that I am fickle-minded.
Just last month, after a 10-episode-long marathon of Emergency Couple (a Korean medical drama/romantic comedy), I thought I wanted to marry a doctor- a desire uncharacteristic of me because I used to harbor this view that doctors were generally too busy for their families. Before that, I thought I wanted a schoolteacher because schoolteachers might be the closest we have to experts on handling children.
Moreover, I used to have all these non-negotiable traits for my future partner- still do, in fact. (Did I mention I’m immature? ) Most of them were more or less based on personal stereotyping. An example: Must be a reader. I’m a reader myself and I don’t need to explain that to a fellow reader. Example no. 2: Must know his grammar. Because what kind of reader doesn’t? And I didn’t really need him to speak flawless English or write romantic sonnets. I just needed him to recognize the grammatical error in that sign on the highway and get my corny pun so we could share a laugh over them. I used to think that those things matter. Not in the way that a centavo matters but in that humungous deal-breaking way where I actually decided I couldn’t be with a guy who didn’t meet those criteria. I had them filed under non-negotiables, remember?
Cyberstalking my now-favorite celebrity couple has led me to this realization: that I’d actually make an exception for a man who would love and treat me the way Marc does Danica. I look at my own parents, happily and contentedly married for 30 years, and remember from their stories that my mother used to dislike my father immensely during the first few months of their courtship. I don’t doubt that if Mama was half as judgmental as I am (and I bet she wasn’t) there would have been several boxes left unchecked in her hypothetical list of non-negotiables when she fell in love with Papa and vowed to be with him forever. I realize that I have been using that category too liberally. Practically all my non-negotiables were actually mere preferences. I actually only have only a handful left.
In a few years, I am willing to bet that I’ll only have this couple left: that he be a Christian leader who loves God above all else (including me) and he’ll leave me with absolutely no doubt that marrying him and living with him would be God’s perfect plan for me. When that time comes, I won’t need my mental checklist nor my googling skills nor my friends’ opinions. I will only need my God’s guidance. And until then, I will go on waiting and praying (but hopefully, no longer chronically daydreaming), holding on to a certainty that God is already writing my lovestory. I am being shamelessly corny now. Because I already sound like a highschooler who gorged herself on romance novels, I will end with this: Be still, my heart. #PUSO