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 #

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 Un-Crush your Crush: Moving on Made Easy

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. 🙂

So, you’ve been crushing on this guy for a long time and it’s going nowhere. You’re tired of stalking his facebook wall, announcing your crush to your friends and daydreaming of a future with him.  You’re not friends- not even in facebook. He knows you enough to smile his greeting when you meet him in the hallway but not enough to remember your name. No, you’re not planning to ask him out. You know you’re too young to commit and it’s way too early to be thinking of dating.* If life had a “get over” key, you’d press it right now. But it hadn’t. What do you do instead? The following is a guide to getting over your crush.

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  1. Crush on him. Of course you have to have a crush to un-crush first. You meet him somewhere- in a class, in an org event, in a prayer meeting, etc. In that brief meeting, you develop a crush on him. You find his leadership admirable, his smile attractive, his conversation interesting, and his jokes non-stop-LOL-funny.
  2. Know him. You ask your common friends about his interests and surprise, surprise: they match yours! You like the same singer and the same books.  You hear anecdotes about him and they only intensify your feelings. One of your common friends try to disillusion you by talking about his flaws but you think they give him character, make him a bit more reachable. You stalk his wall and get blown away by how expressively he writes, or how well he plays the guitar, or how beautifully he paints, or maybe how he does all of the mentioned. You stalk his wall some more  and discover his feelings for another girl.
  3. Crush on him hard. Crush on him hard enough it hurts. It hurts when you see a  romantic tweet obviously meant for another girl. It hurts even when you see him because chances are, you’re seeing him for the last time. You get suspicious of every girl who posts on his wall. You cry because the realistic you believes you’ll never get to see him again.  You dream about him day and night. You imagine scenarios involving the two of you. You cook up unrealistic schemes of how to get to know him to notice you. You build him up on your mind so much the line between reality and fantasy blurs.  You crush on him hard enough to call him your ideal guy.
  4. Know more about him. Somehow or another, you find a way to do so. You consequently know him well enough to see his flaws. You acknowledge inwardly all his deviations from your imagined version of him. You recognize that he was never your ideal guy. You realize that daydreaming about him was a stupid pastime. He’s a great guy, but he’s just another guy and half the world are guys who are just like him. He may belong to the top 1% of the planet’s male population, but ultimately, he’s not all that awesome. This becomes a blinding flash of obvious to you. You repeatedly come to terms with the fact that he’s no one special until one day- pop! You have un-crushed him. Congratulations! 🙂

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I’ve been dying to try out my methodology but I got stuck at #3. All I want is the chance to prove my theory right (or wrong), so why do I never see him lately? 😦

*Lest anyone think that the author is being too old-fashioned or anti-feminist or whatever, it should be made clear that in the Philippines, dating is usually only done during courtship. Casual dating is not the norm among university students. And yes, here, strict parents do not belong to an endangered species.