No (yes)

Not red, I said
Blushing crimson
Not so fast, I add
My pulse racing on
I won’t go round,
I pronounce
As my thoughts swirl
In a dizzying circle

They ask,  I answer
In my loudest voice, never
But there is more power
In the persistent whisper
That I would never
Consider
Letting out, setting free,
A dreaded honesty

On dreams that come
unwelcome,
On Meg’s soliloquy
Revived miserably
My happiness caged
Like nothing has changed
A confession unconfessed
Even to myself #

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From the Basketball Court to my Bible Notes I: A Post-game Analysis of my “Ideal Guy”

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

10:53 pm

 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.

 

hashtag puso

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

How to Really Un-crush you Crush: A Method Tried and Tested (once)

This is a follow-up to the post where the narrator described a method she never got to try. This new method has been tried and tested once.Again, a disclaimer:
The author is definitely NOT a love/relationship expert .  She’s naive and innocent and that’s great because you get to read her notes without any pressure. She expects nobody to follow her tips but feel free to prove her expectations wrong. If you do that, please let her know how effective her method is by leaving a comment. 🙂 

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So you’ve been crushing on this guy for so long it has broken records. Kim Chiu has finished two soap operas and you’re still mooning about him. The night you first got introduced to him, Hunger Games was still shooting. The people in Hollywood are wrapping up Mockingjay and still you’re hung up with him. You have kept your crush for him alive for so long by constantly thinking of him. You have kept him in your mind, alongside dreams of moving back through time and getting a letter from Hogwarts,  waking up to find yourself training to be a ninja in Konoha  alongside your childhood idols, and sliding down a rainbow and finding a unicorn waiting for you. He was the man of your fantasies and to your fantasies he belonged. In your mind, the two of you have rekindled your acquaintance, built a friendship, fallen in love (maybe, even got married).

And, yes, all this fantasizing has gotten old. And absolutely pathetic. And did I mention PATHETIC?  You decide for the nth time that you just want the crush to be over, despite him being  your best crush ever. What do you do?

Here’s what:

  1.  Perform classic crusher moves. For 25 months, develop affections for him. Devote two and a twelfth of a year to scavenging facts about him and store them in the hard drive incorruptible by virus, your heart. Think about him non-stop and feel guilty afterwards. Summon to mind the pathetically paltry times you had an encounter with him and relive them again and again, in alternate universes, through your thoughts. Pray that you’d dream of him at night and then daydream about him in your waking hours. Like any typical crusher, you stalk him. Use up a lot of bandwidth getting to know his Facebook profile. Google alert his name. Spend countless hours poring over his notes, tweets and statuses.
  1. Watch him fall in love with another girl. You’ve felt it for months. The twitch in your heart  that came with every cheesy status he posted. The doomed hope you had that it was somehow, some impossible how, meant for you. You’ve imagined that the notes he wrote were about you and the hints he dropped were for you. You wondered about his social media hiatus and now, you feel strangely betrayed when the next thing he posts is a picture of the girl and a declaration of his feelings for her. Is that stupid or what? [Your (over)reaction, not his emotions.]
  1. Refuse to feel jealous. Because you can’t! You’ve got no right to feel jealous, negative claims to being affected, absolute zero reason to feel hurt. You forbid yourself to shed tears over news that makes everyone else happy, him and the worthy girl deliriously so. (Yup, you have stalked her wall, too, because at this point, you have neither self-respect nor self-control to stop yourself.) You promptly feel your eyes water. But you stop there. Accept that the two of them will be the couple of the year.  That adorable kilig-inducing pair who will cause everyone around to go “awshucksing“. That model romance who will inspire singles to wait patiently for their love stories- something you should have done from the first. Admit that they make a stunning couple in every way.
  1. Feel embarrassed. Over everything. Every wayward thought, every fantasy, every verbal wedding invitation you jokingly gave away. Let the embarrassment overtake the hurt. Gather your self-respect again. Muster what little control you have over your emotions and direct them to feeling shame instead of pity, and then finally feeling relief. Laugh at yourself twice for every tear you shed. Delete your browser’s history, remove that bookmark and wish him and his soon-to-be-girlfriend well. The embarrassment is little penance for fuelling your crush for him, and it will pass soon. What follows will be self-deprecating humor. Embrace it.
  1. Write the tale. Writing about him is nothing new. For the past 25 months, he has appeared in practically all your diary entries and starred in half. Over and over again, you would spent hours daydreaming about him. And then you’d feel guilty. You would try saying goodbye. You prayed that God would take away every ounce of emotion you’re harbouring for him. You would vow that the entry you had just written would be the last to contain him. You would make promises to let go repeatedly, only to break them all. You failed as many times as you tried. The next entry would inevitably contain something about him. He would haunt your thoughts and the next thing you know, another entry is bearing testament to the madness that is that crush on him.   But the entry you write after watching her picture on his wall rack up likes and comments composed mainly of <3’s will truly be the last. Pray while writing it, begging God to take the edge off the pain and humiliation. You will live up to the words you wrote. It will be the entry that will truly purge you of all the admiration you feel for him.

And then you will feel freer. You admit that it was actually tiring and stressful to be crushing on a guy you so rarely see, and one whose FB profile you know better than him. You will feel better. There will no longer be the euphoria that a crush brings. But you will decide that you actually want this better- this feeling of freedom and anticipation for the one who will make you forget all past crushes, including him. You will say goodbye, and then good riddance.

Good riddance.