9/28/2010
Manhaterisms

"Except for a feminist classmate that I have who says men are the 'demons in a girl's life' and that men are 'suffocating', you're the only one who told me that outright," Katia said in an email four years ago. "Am I so bad for finding this uncommon? And a bit weird? Well, maybe just because I'm the exact opposite kaya I can't really see things the way you see it. What's weirder is you actually like somebody right now naman so I can't say that you're the male counterpart of manhaters."

I don't remember what exactly I told Katia that time. The first time I read the email I had this puzzled look in my face: when exactly did I tell her all those things? Reading the email again, I still can't remember what I said, but it's probably something about me making a certain person's life complicated because of all those guessing games. (I bet Kizia didn't bat an eyelash when I buckled under pressure back in first year.) But that's beside the point. Yes, I'm a guy, and I believe we are the inferior gender.

I'm not really sure how I reached this conclusion. All I know, from the two decades I spent professing love and trying to get some back, is that we guys live for love. So much, in fact, that the moment we don't get it, we pretty much slow down. So we resort to, uhh, temporary measures, and when that isn't enough, we reach a halt. And after all this, we're not supposed to buckle under pressure. Oh, we're strong, and we don't care if this and that dumps me. Plenty of fish in the sea! All while the ladies have slumber parties and talk about issues.

Simply said, guys are a pretty insecure bunch. You'd be hard-pressed to find a guy who managed to be successful while staying single. More often than not, they had that so-called inspiration, or worse, they managed to snag someone as a product of their success. A trophy, in other words. And once they get it, they get really protective of it - nothing wrong with being protective of your special someone, of course, but most of the time it ends up being just what Katia's feminist classmate said: suffocating.

Remember the story of my one-time classmate who unfollowed me on Twitter because her boyfriend "gets jealous"? I thought it couldn't get much worse, but it did.

I met Hazel during the ACB4 auditions - an ill-fated attempt, since I was three months away from graduation - but we only caught up with each other a few months later, when I found her online, along with a photo that I was oddly looking for. Over the next few months, we added each other up on Facebook, and eventually started talking on Twitter, exchanging trivialities about Scarlett Johannson and Heather Morris. And then one day I asked for her phone number - an indirect, and definitely, impersonal plea.

I got the number in an oddly impersonal manner.

The following morning, I sent her a text message. She replied with, simply, three question marks. I was honestly freaked out.

She sent another message anyway, and we ended up talking about a few things. Those conversations were short and considerably intermittent. One day I greeted her good morning in my usual manner - "mawning!" - and she replied the same thing. The following day, she sent a greeting, and I joked that it's spelled as "merning" on that instance, so she obliged. And yes, I did think there was something unusual with the text messages, because they were too straightforward, but what did I know?

Turns out I wasn't texting her all along.

I don't exactly remember how we reached that conclusion, but I remember asking her and totally misunderstanding her explanation. Something about her boy having access to her phone. Who the hell gives their household help access to their mobile phone? I thought. You mean this guy gets your phone when you're not around and texts me? It's too ridiculous an explanation, I figured, so when she asked me to delete her number - on Twitter this time - I decided not to.

This weekend, I got a text message from that number. "Sometimes it's easier to say that you're fine instead of having to explain all the reasons that you're not," it said. Suddenly this guy is sending me inspirational quotes, possibly still masquerading as Hazel. Even more surprisingly, the quote tied in perfectly with my recent anxiety.

"Explain it to me nga," I asked her. "What happened along the way?"

"I have no idea why he's texting you," she said. "Pasensya na, ha. Nagseselos yun dati eh. Ngayon, ewan ko kung bakit tinetext ka pa din. Sorry."

"Ano nga ulit nangyari? Hindi ko talaga maintindihan."

"Yung ex ko yun."

All along, I was texting Hazel's ex-boyfriend.

"Eh, he's got access dati sa Twitter and Facebook ko. Eh nagseselos na madalas kitang kausap dati via Twitter, so ayun. Pasensya talaga, Niko, ha."

Okay. First of all, why does he have access to her Twitter page? Sure, it's one thing couples do, but usually when they're married and all, when the term conjugal property comes into the picture. And sure, when you're crazy in love with someone - whether you're a guy or a girl - you tend to do silly thing that you'd regret when things go terribly wrong.

But that's something easily solved with a change of passwords. I'm sure that's an oversight - and something you can let slip compared to my second question: why did he have to masquerade as her ex-girlfriend to check out a guy she's talking to constantly? More so, why me, a guy who isn't exactly known for acting on feelings? I mean, my younger brother is this close to having a girlfriend - something is obviously wrong with me.

Now, I barely know Hazel, so I wouldn't really tackle anything particularly personal. I don't know what caused the split, and I don't care what did. But think about this. Guy and girl splits up. Guy can't take split-up. Guy sees girl with another guy. Heaven knows who that guy is, he thinks, so he does, well... this.

"What's with me and girls' boyfriends?" I tweeted earlier this morning.

"Whatever it is, I'm sure it's not your fault," she replied.

"It's this all over again," I said, telling her about the girl who unfollowed me because her boyfriend will get jealous.

"How familiar. It's not a crime to be friendly, di ba?"

"As far as I know. Why are guys, me included, so insecure? I'll really believe we're the inferior gender."

"There you have it. My manhaterism reason number one."

She's this self-described manhater, by the way. She pretty much believes we suck. I always thought it's the default position of girls who were treated badly by the men in their lives - and they do have a point, especially when we believe we can fool around and expect loyalty in return. The surprising thing is, I believe the very same thing - and yet I'm out looking for love, more or less.

"It all makes sense me to now. Manhaterism. Blog entry!"

"Hey! Credits, ha!"

"Why will I take credit for it anyway?"

"I coined the term manhaterism! I ought to be given proper credit for it!"

"I don't have a reason to say I coined the term."

But boy, I obviously wish I did. Yes, I'm a guy, and guys are this insecure pieces of meat that want to be somebody to someone solely for their happiness. I totally get it now. Oh, by the way, that was another conversation...

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