Thursday, May 31, 2001

Donald caught Penny staring at women last night.

This time at the swimsuit catalogue I left in the sofa.

So boys really do develop earlier when it comes to sexuality. And Donald, well according to him, at age six he already has his own version of Playboy, in the form of underwear catalogues borrowed from Mom ;)

Over the memorial holiday weekend, I was with family and friends in St. Augustine, Fa. The boy did not mind me much, moreover my swimsuit, until at the restaurant when he saw that I just wore jeans and left my top as is. He asked, “Mom, what are you wearing?” Now I even have to answer to a little child.

Wednesday, May 16, 2001

There are some things that never change. When he sees that there are curlers inside the bag, all that he does is smile and tell me, “Wow curlers!” I know it can be too much, in fact, I’m also embarrassed about this as I slid quietly the curlers inside the bag. But what can I do? It’s just tricky, you know, when you’re dating the one you’re already married to. That is, that we dress up using the same dressing room. That he knows ahead what I’m going to wear, and that he knows my secret. Yeah, the curlers inside the bag!

If I rewind few years back, that’s exactly how he reacts to, not the curlers, but the big make-up bag that I bring with me. He said, “sweet, I think you brought more make up than clothes.” Only for him to retract, “you wouldn’t need much of it anyway,” he referring to the clothes. That seems like yesterday, celebrating our first year anniversary in New Cathay Hotel in the street of Causeway Bay. I can still remember what I wear then for dinner. A see through black chiffon blouse with long sleeves, paired with a black brassiere underneath. Uh! Sexy, elegant number. I wore casual jeans for contrast and a matching black shoes. With my long curly hair hanging down… you know.

Can I help the curlers and the make-up bag? Maybe not. But wait! There’s more if you happen to see my change of clothes, and my change of shoes. But what do I do? Shoes, clothes, and colors should match. It’s just my own drama, much like the candle light dinner, the scented room, the tete-a-tete, the champagne, and the sweet nothings. Everything goes together.

If you think about everything going together, it’s understandable that I want things how I want it. In years, he more than learns how to live with me and my good intentions of getting the better room, the better table, the better view, otherwise known to other people as being bitchy but to Donald, it’s just being me. No, he’s not moved one bit when I say. “Maybe love there's a better lake view, go and tell the front desk, we’re switching rooms.”

In years too, I learn to live with him taking forever to decide where to eat. That night, yes that same night I almost starve, nudging him to decide already where to eat. A good 40 minutes we spend lounging around Hong Kong deciding which restaurants. Only to decide again after dinner which bar to go to. I have to tell him this time. The hotel room will be a perfect place to drink, picking liquor along the way.

I will not forget how that night I sit in the dresser across from him. I ask him between sips what is that I can do that will make him stop loving me the way he does. He said, “I can’t think of any.” Of course you know that we’re being dramatic, but for posterity sake it’s just that everything goes together. So let me continue telling you how he respond to the different scenarios I throw.

If…I neglect the boy.
His answer no.

If…I squander money.
No.

If…I…I get into affair.
No.

I in all honesty get frustrated, how come? At some point between these questions he clarify whether the whole exercise is a test, of course my answer to that is also… No. He sitting on the bed, with his face illuminated by the light relating to the supposed affair replied to my disbelief:

In that case, I shall be the one to ask you if you still want me. You’re the one who changed not I.

Wow! With that I shut up. Good answer, good answer. To think he always amazes me with his great answers. Ever since! (Kaya nga nabola ko). I cannot help but close the distance between me in the dresser and him sitted across after. I will never forget that night, our first anniversary.

Fast forward and it’s now our 7th, celebrating here in Renaissance, in Lake Lanier. Just the same, I still bring all my gears. The make-up, the change of clothes, the change of shoes (I brought 3), and quietly this time the curlers. Only to realize later that my dinner dress goes better with my hair tied, agh. But Donald, well it does not take him long deciding where to eat this time. After all, with the years gone by, he realizes that there is wisdom in the word reservation.


It’s a wonder how 7 years can go, not skip a beat, yet feel the same. I know change is always in the equation. However, that’s what I wager for, the simple premise that some things never change.

Friday, May 11, 2001

Everything has its price. It may not be in dollar sign, but still out there is a consequence. Remember how Lauryn Hill repeats line after line in Lost Ones: You might win some but you just lost one. Exactly, that’s how it is with marriage. You might win some but you just lost one.

It’s always equitable like the natural law. How much you gain is how much you lose. In marriage so-to-speak, you gain a family to leave one behind. You gain a new identity to lose the old one. You gain a partner yet in the process lose the individual. And for women, see this, when you get married you gain a man losing the other “men” in the equation. The concept of being “taken.” Oh men! When I got “taken” I become more of a magnet to men.? Why is that? Either because being married gives me more interest, or that I bloom…

I’ll be ahead of myself if I tell you that Donald is Pisces and being a Scorpion makes us the perfect match. Or that we share the same Kua number. Or that our doshas complement each other. That’s all correct in new age parlance. But what would it mean to me 7 years ago? And to know it would be worth it?

All I know is that there is a rhythm and truth to everything. There are right ones, and there are inexplicably wrong ones. In all our daily life, and daily choices. Why we would rather have latte, instead of cappuccino, why we would choose certain brand of apparel, why we frequent the same bar, and restaurants over and over, why we prefer certain cities over the other. Because there are things that just feels right. And when you’re there, when you have it, it feels home. You belong.

That’s how I feel about Donald. Right, home, belong. That marriage is but a consequence. And if I can guess… dear, it is that I bloom.

Tuesday, May 08, 2001

I have seen this movie about 4 times. The last of which is last Friday, in a rerun of HBO. There’s something about the film, the quietness, the acting and its authenticity, the moment captured, that I watch it the 4th time.

As I was watching, I run back and forth to the television and the office where Donald was checking the computer. I was going back and forth to gush to Donald how good Meryll Streep was, how great the exchange of dialogues were… and well to kiss, kiss, kiss him. I was glad that there he was in front of the computer, making reservations for our 7th year anniversary!

When Clint Eastwood in the movie said, “Everything in my life, has led me to you…”
Well… but I sure can relate to that.

And when Clint added, “This kind of certainty only comes once in a lifetime.”
Wow! That’s when I run, run up again to Donald.

Some people never find it. And for me to find and be able to keep it!

To our best years ahead,
DJ, Happy Anniversary!

Wednesday, May 02, 2001

“Can you do me a favor?” I asked him.
“If you see him in the gym, just kill him for me okay?”

Then he said, “Sure. Maybe it will be better to confront him in the parking lot. He’s huge you know…” Hehe.

That’s Donald and me talking about my trainer. You bet, I never plan to have a trainer. I’m not a masochist for one. But really, I think I am pretty knowledgeable about the science of physical fitness that I can manage. But when the winter hibernation takes it toll on my usual 5’2” 100 lbs. frame, by the time spring comes I have an extra 3 to 5 lbs. to lose. Ahh, what the fuss? I’m fat! Though I don’t look fat, shh…I’d still pretty much pass the sexy mark. It’s my fat percentage I’m worried about. You know how you lose muscle mass in time... That’s why I’m weight-training, to build muscle mass.

Beyond the time factor, there’s a certain irony on what causes me to pack extra pounds. First of all, I’m not food crazy. Never have been until I met Donald, whose love for food er sort of rub on me. Second, I blame it to Atlanta for getting my butt glued in the car. This is not the best place to walk that I am left with not much choice but to pay. Pay to get the workout that I honestly get for free in the sweltering streets of Ayala, and Paseo.

Now here I am with everything from butt up sore.

I am pretty much in shape to start with. So when my trainer ask me to do 4x25 sit ups, it’s nothing to me. The next time I already do 4x25 on the floor and another 4x25 in ab crunch. Well, that's 200 sit ups. Plus all the other muscle group work. Yet I’m fine, nothing sore. I can still go to the gym the next day. Chicken.

Perhaps seeing my capacity, my trainer just up-the ante a little bit. Listen to this, not only did I do sit ups, I did it on the exercise ball and it was HARD! I don't know that this exercise ball is wicked, but it is! It’s hard to keep balance that my effort to prop my upper body doubled. The worse part is that he has me alternate the sit ups with push-ups. That and the rest of the work doing cross trainer, lat pulldown, lower back extension, bicep curl, blah blah blah. I think I lost somewhere in this routine my chicken comment.

---

A great workout site. Glad to know Rich that you're at it.

Tuesday, May 01, 2001

Is Public or Private School Better?

Let me see. From where I come from, being in a public school is a social faux pas to the point of embarrassment. You know what I mean, like the more expensive the school the better. Anything public or inexpensive for that matter is hush hush. I have this friend who married into wealth who can barely say the word herself that she graduated from University of the East. Highlighting instead her summa cum laude honors, and just nodding to her friends after their wild guess that she is a La Sallite. Talk about the stigma and social status that school has. To my observation, majority of Filipinos has hang-up on this. I don’t know if you notice, how we immediately inquire, “which school?” upon meeting other Filipinos.

Filipinos have this social branding based on school one graduated from. Ever so popularized by the jokes we hear and read left and right. I know its funny, haha Jae it’s funny. But not at all that funny if you think that there’s a rub somewhere there. That there is discrimination somewhere there, that there is malice somewhere there. And that listen to this, there is an ill effect to those at the butt of the joke somewhere there. No wonder, my friend in spite of her wealthy Ortigas condo appointment, polished by a Land Cruiser ride, a weekly hot oil treatment and facial, racks of clothes that requires dry cleaning (rather freeing up the time of her well-oiled maids), still manages to be insecure about her undergraduate school. What the… Search somewhere in the vastness of your mind and you’ll find that there’s no need for any insecurity. And towards your school? But this is what social branding do.

Another example is this self-made man. The founder of one of the biggest computer school in the Philippines whose tone is defensive as he conducts his usual rhetoric of how he’s not from any of the big schools and yet where is he now, and where are the others. Hmm… But this is what social branding do.

So when I reach the U.S., sure I have this private-school-is-better hang-up that I have to do my part to decode what the hoopla is about. Only to come up to the conclusion that it really is a great debate. The public vs. private school because it really depends. There are so-so private schools, and there are excellent public schools. It just depends on how much you can afford. For private schools, because the better ones command top dollars. For public schools, because the better ones are in affluent community. Meaning, you have to live in that community. Think of Beverly Hills 90210. In Georgia, the number one school, it is public, is somewhere in Peachtree Corners where houses run to million(s).

At least here in the U.S., there is an option. The gall… at least they can debate about public vs. private school. Whereas for us in the Philippines, what debate? Go the private school route, the more prestigious the better. That’s it, or suffer the bitter prospect of recurring insecurity and some unfortunate consequences of being the butt of someone else’s joke.