2/14/2013
Forever no more

"So," Dinna asked, "have you ever mentioned her to me?"

"I haven't," I answered. "Not to many people. We've been hush-hush about it."

"I'd say you did a great job keeping it secret."

Not really. For one, by the time we made the announcement a week ago, a bunch of people already knew. I was just more quiet about it to my friends. The first person to know was Chesca, and only because she sensed something was up before either Rainy or I did. The second person to know was Elaine, and only completely by accident. We were going home from a date in Makati, and somewhere along the way she saw us. Or, technically, she saw me holding hands with someone.

"I think I saw you kanina," she texted later. "Sino yung ka-holding hands mo?"

Exactly what I slightly feared: someone seeing before I could drop the news myself.

For someone who's been alone for a little over twenty-four years, the prospect of finally being with someone was exciting. Very exciting. I blog. It's the sort of thing that gets announced at the soonest possible time. But we decided to keep hush-hush about it, only telling a few people at a time. So, say, by the time I was at the little block get-together before Lau returned to Sydney, I was trying my hardest to keep my mouth shut. The only person I told about was Veia.

"May singles retreat nga pala sa church namin," she told me while we waited, awkwardly, for more people to arrive. "Sama kayo!"

"But I'm not... exactly... single anymore," I answered.

"Basta hindi kasal, single pa rin," she said, beaming.

By the time the announcement was made, it was no longer much of a big deal for us, but rather, more of a formality. What I didn't expect - but should've expected - was being bludgeoned by congratulatory tweets from friends, or at least those friends who saw the announcement. They're relieved I already have someone. Or they're excited that I actually have someone. Or they're a bit saddened that they've lost another one to the ranks of the taken. Or they're happy that I conquered this. What, is Rainy a mission in a video game now? Capture the flag, that sort of thing? I don't know. I'm not a gamer like she is, or was, or something.

The bigger task was actually making the most of our situation. We always tell each other we have all the time in the world - ironically, we say this before we say our goodbyes - and yet we're seemingly in a rush to do the things that couples do. We're two excited people, forever alone no more. We've done movie dates and park cuddles and gift exchanges for the sake of gift exchanges, and today we'll do something we haven't done at all: a date on Valentine's day. Never mind that, with my work during the day and her training at a call center during the night, we can only have so much time together, which is perhaps good, because today every other couple in the world will be out and about, going to restaurants and, maybe, a hotel room.

"Wear something red," Allene said.

"Eat lots of clams," Neil said. "And wear lingerie."

"Eat marshmallows and then dance the Macarena... in stilts," Edsel said.

"Wear something tangerine tapos neon shoes," Huey said. I don't have neon shoes, I'm afraid.

I've seen some of my male friends pull off something grand and sweet and melt-worthy on the days surrounding today, and I can say without hesitation that I cannot do this at all, partly because it's logistically impossible nowadays, and mostly because I'm just not the guy who can do grand and sweet and melt-worthy. I mean, I'm awkward and stumbly and all that. If this is what you wanted, Rainy, then I'm sorry - but we have all the time in the world, right? Okay, I now really sound like a prick.

Valentine's day essentials. Flowers. I never really thought of it. The only plans we agreed to are dinner plans.  By now they'll really be expensive. And besides, I don't know how to pick flowers. I think too much. I'm pretty sure one rose means one thing and three roses mean another. Can't we just spend time together? Can't she just troll my belly and I poke hers back? Do we really have to spend money just to make lovey-dovey eyes at each other? Did I just write "lovey-dovey eyes"?

I mean, yeah, we've been going out for two months now, and heaven knows how much money we've already spent - meaning we've pretty much offset whatever we might spend on today, just in case you think I'm being cheap - but our relationship wasn't born because I courted her and she said yes like most do. I've always been a skeptic when it comes to the idea of me wooing someone just to make me happy. The thing about us is we literally found each other. I liked her, she liked me back, and that's that. I did not have to convince her to like me back, and that's what makes our thing surprisingly better than I always imagined it would be.

But then again, we still don't know what we really want. Maybe she does want flowers. Maybe I should get some. Do I have the time? Do they still have some in stock? What's the point of buying flowers the day before when they'll be dead the following day? We have all the time in the world. I have all the time to tell her, again and again, that she's beautiful and she's perfect and I'm lucky to have her. I have all the time to finally perfect the art of being cheesy. I have all the time to think about the logistics of getting her flowers - I will still be an overthinker, after all, and some things will never change.

And since I was alone, forever alone, for twenty-four years - forever no more - I know how it feels to be bitter about this whole thing, about how this thing's become commercialized and hackneyed and all that, so for the sake of everybody else who's in the same position I was last time - angry, annoyed, and possibly on the verge of suicide - I'll stop here.

And your responses...

Get her...something. It doesn't have to be expensive and not necessarily flowers. Parang remembrance lang of your first Valentine's together. :)

Blogger Aleigna Lin2/14/2013     

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