the way I am according to them

It’s been raining all week. How I love the rainy season with its mild cold weather.

Since I’ve become fond of Tumbler, jotting down writer quotes has been fun and I’ve kept a few which I fancy describe the person that I am. Perhaps. 🙂


I have punished myself by telling everyone about my life.

Vaslav Nijinsky, The Diary of Vaslav Nijinsky.

The head is too wise. The heart is all fire.

Maggie Stiefvater, The Raven King

I don’t profess to be different from my kind. I’m consumed by the same wants and the same longings.

Edith Wharton, The Age of Innocence

There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves; it is not my nature. My attachments are always excessively strong.

Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

I have no talent. I write poems for myself, to think things through, that’s all.

Anna Kamieńska, A Nest of Quiet

Thank God for books and music and things I can think about.

Daniel Keyes, Flowers For Algernon

I do not think I have it in me anymore to struggle and fight and suffer; I want to be quiet and happy.

Martha Gellhorn,  Selected Letters

She liked to disappear, even when she was in the same room as other people. It was a talent, as it was a curse.

Alice Hoffman, The Red Garden

I approach most things in life with a dangerous level of confidence to balance my generally low self-esteem.

Roxane Gay, Bad Feminist 

I love like a leaky faucet or I love like a dam breaking. There is nothing in between.

Shinji Moon

I was shy, withdrawn, and read obsessionally. But I never wanted to be anyone else other than me.

Anaïs Nin, from The Diary of Anais Nin

That’s my problem: I think too much, and I feel too deeply. What a dangerous combination.

— Tumbler (via dryyoureyes-startbelieving)


I was a romantic and sentimental creature, with a tendency towards solitude.

Isabel Allende, The House of the Spirits

Have you ever fallen into yourself and gotten lost? I’m so far from people, yet at times I wish for them. I wish I could understand them and deal with them without all the pain and bitterness that comes with contact.

Henry Rollins, ‘Black Coffee Blues’

I’m almost never serious, and I’m always too serious. Too deep, too shallow. Too sensitive, too cold hearted. I’m like a collection of paradoxes.

Ferdinand de Saussure

I am still so naïve; I know pretty much what I like and dislike; but please, don’t ask me who I am. A passionate, fragmentary woman, maybe?

Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

I will never be a morning person, for the moon and I, are too much in love.

Testy McTesterson

You have so many layers, that you can peel away a few, and everyone’s so shocked or impressed that you’re baring your soul, while to you it’s nothing, because you know you’ve twenty more layers to go.

Craig Thompson, Carnet de Voyage
love the photo. I forgot where I got it, sorry. 🙂

Money Style of Mine

I don’t have heaps of it. You’re reading the blog of a practically poor female blogger, to be frank with you. Still I can talk about the topic above because money is a necessary evil in people’s lives (including mine). Besides, I used to be an accountant. Yes money can buy some comfort but definitely not (my) happiness (I’d always choose love over bucks although there’s invariably room to change my mind 🙂 ). Don’t you think I like not having it in spite of the fact I’m more of a saver than a spender.

A credit card isn’t something I want to get used to carrying around. Many years in the past, some plastic money occupied a space in my wallet until it got discarded by me as I figured I could get by without one. The continuous slight temptation to purchase inessential items must be done away with.

The other day, though, I applied for a credit card again. Because I plan to indulge in occasional journeys and have been anticipating a situation when I might need it in case of an emergency far away from home. The last time I gallivanted to a few sites in Central Europe, my sister who was my travel companion, used her rectangular cards for the two of us. I simply reimbursed her in cash. It would be foolish, however, of me to depend on her like that repeatedly. Plus, maybe solo traveling will be included in my agenda someday soon.

I’ve never bought anything on the internet. You need a credit card for that, right? Accordingly, I don’t know the procedure on how peeps do business online. Yeah, you must be thinking I just stepped down here from the remotest mountains… A few of my former blog pals, in addition, weren’t happy with the Luddite in me who couldn’t buy the books they’d promote on their blogs.

No assets whatsoever are attached to my name or considered my possession; I’ve got none. I have no liabilities either and detest borrowing and loaning dough to anyone (Such transactions damage all kinds of relationships). The (almost rent-free) roof over my head has been attributable to my sister’s generosity. Our father bequeathed the family house to her and simply handed my younger brother and me some money a couple of decades ago. Real estate market boomed and property prices skyrocketed; while the value of peso dramatically plummeted. Hence, my brother and I got much poorer; our elder sister got so much richer.

Not being chained to both substantial and trivial belongings has been liberating anyway. I used to have a car yet I gave it away (to my sister) and never missed maintaining that (problematic) vehicle made in Korea (ugh). There’ll come a time in one’s life when proprietary rights to material stuff veers to become an encumbrance. Or perhaps that’s just the free spirit or the staunch bohemian in me speaking.

Another thing: Weeks ago, when I was suffering from the unexpected activation of my stomach acidity due to my irregular sleep patterns (and milk tea, Coke, spicy and sour edibles, etc.), it dawned on me there’s such a thing as fatal ulcer(?) and I might suddenly die from it(?). All I could think of was “I should have at least enjoyed the li’l money I saved from teaching English to moronic ‘Ks’.” I’ve always felt insecure financially and have tried to perpetually beat the corrupt economic system by being thrifty and a wise spender – and all for what?

But I had also splurged on particular instances. Like when I flew business class to London, or when I bought three small computers (why the hell did I do that!?) within a year, or when I ate at a costly buffet restaurant (even though I’m not a big eater) every weekend for two straight months. Basically, I get nervous at the thought of losing everything, every penny, and go starving, ending up begging for coins along the streets to feed myself in the future. In contrast, sometimes I wish I weren’t as disciplined and prudent regarding monetary matters.

There’s a growing hunch in me I’m gonna die totally penniless… and, to be perfectly honest, it doesn’t sound so bad.

By the way, this September, I am going to Norway. Yehey!


Autumn in Bergen, Norway.  Photography by cittyhopper2, Tumbler

Mildly Unconventional Highschooler

Never an early morning person, I’d force myself to wake up at 4:30 in order to prepare and be on my way to hear mass by 5:30 – the liturgical ritual, nevertheless, gradually ended up as ancillary to the celestial pleasure of listening to the angelic voices of the nuns singing beautiful hymns inside the small elevated church of our school convent.

At 6:00 I’d go down, drop my bag inside the classroom, and proceed to get some fresh morning air around the quiet grounds of Sienna College, before my schoolmates start packing the area for the flag ceremony at 7:00 a.m.

Spending four years of highschool in an all-girl school wasn’t absolutely fun because in elementary, I had a blast running or biking with the boys; catching dragonflies, climbing trees, and just plain hanging out with them. Although grouping and bonding with some funny queer girls in my secondary years were interesting, too.

Because of the torturous three-hour Chem or Physics laboratory periods not to mention our countless bible studies with the nuns, I decided on learning the “fine art” of cutting classes sporadically.

The air-conditioned library was one location I sometimes escaped to. Colorful, hard bound books on geography with breathtaking photos of the sky and natural scenery engrossed me. Women’s magazines that had been bookbinded also consumed my reading time. Unfortunately, there was lack of pocketbooks – as one day it dawned on me I’d already read the entire collection on the shelf so I ‘d no other alternative but to read them again. And there were instances when the librarian would tap me on the shoulder to remind me I had to go and not stay during class hours.

I began considering another escape destination —> Oh yes, the huge Glori Supermart which was a mere three-minute walk from the school.

But I would first have to trick my way past the security guard of our main gate. I thought of a simple one which often turned out successful: I’d tell him I was hungry and would request to be allowed a few minutes to buy banana-cue from a nearby sidewalk vendor. As soon as he let me out, I’d wait for him to get distracted by other matters and ensuingly sprint away from his sight.

My more effective tactic, however, was this: “My Dad is in there waiting for me,” while pointing to one of the many distant cars within our view. “He has to give me my pocket allowance for today.” Without miss, my (budding) talent for acting would triumph.

How would I be able to get inside the school again later? By entering the other gate which was situated in the front. Easy.

Miraculously, I somehow avoided getting reprimanded by the nuns. Or maybe they simply let my tiny misdemeanors slip by as they kept eye more on the noisy notorious girls who were suspected of secretly instigating forbidden meet-ups with the boys from our brother school. After all, I was basically low-key, looked wholesome, and passed all my academic subjects.

One day I bumped into a classmate along the corridors while on my way back to our classroom. “Where have you been?” she asked. I saw no need not to be honest so I replied, “Just outside.”

You’re such a ‘now you see her, now you don’t’ kind of rebel” was her concluding remark which made me wonder if it was a casual one or not.




Foremost Goal

Filing my income tax return consumed my time and attention for the past two weeks. Although our Bureau of Internal Revenue made it more arduous for me because of an unexpected glitch on my tax identification number. In spite of the complication, I went ahead and completed the task with crossed fingers that it has been settled, more or less (sshhh…). A crucial necessity more than ever as it’s a prerequisite to my goal of traveling I intend to do by the end of this year.

Last night, I was busy scanning the tour packages being offered by various travel agencies. My sister who’s going to New York in November earlier asked me if I wanted to tag along. “Well, okay…” was my reply. But as I mentioned before, U.S.A. doesn’t excite me so much knowing its urban areas abound with Asians and Latinos. We’ve got a lot of them here, too. Besides, its tall buildings and malls and infrastructure aren’t dissimilar to what we have here. Not to mention the chances of someone like me being granted a U.S. visa for travel purposes are quite nil. My sis has obtained 10-year approval from the embassy. Of course, she’s a consistent member of the jet set club. What about me, you ask? I’ll be forever part of the jet sam squad. (Stop asking)

My point is, if I have to choose between the U.S. and Europe, I’d still go for the continent which has also become a most favorite destination of the Syrian immigrants. So far, I’ve been setting my sights on going back to Switzerland and visiting Italy for the first time.

In 2014, while we were in Interlaken, I skipped having latte with my sister in a posh coffee shop to go outside and proceed to a lovely wide park where I could watch more than a dozen paragliders up high embellishing the beautiful afternoon sky. I wished I had participated – but our time there was very limited. So maybe, maybe next time…

The professional paragliders after landing smoothly were packing up ready to call it a day.


Whereas last night too, I chanced upon a travel agency that offers a trip to see the Northern Lights of Iceland. I went “Wow!” and started considering changing my original plan. Iceland. Cooool… There’s glacier there — it’s cold cold cold for sure. I remember the temperature at top of the Swiss Alps made me freezing stiff and numb I thought I’d die. No kidding. Iceland no doubt will instantly turn me into an ice cube.


Boy, was I glad to have taken this photo of a man and his dog strolling along the station while we were on our way up to the icy mountain.


Is there anything as uninteresting as working on your tax return? I nearly procrastinated for eternity and alternately kept on going out for walks and daydreaming about future posts to write, at the same time turning to YouTube searching for my favorite tunes from the past. This original version is still a highly favorite love song of mine.

The Teacher That I Was – 2

Upon my acceptance as an instructor for a certain Asian nation, my interest in the English language both as a teacher and a learner had germinated. It also helped me in gaining fortitude not to mention the discipline to get up early and show up for work regularly, in spite of my being a lifelong night owl.

Although not a remarkable English student in school, I was a heavy short-novel reader in my juvenile and early adult years. But never had I bothered with familiarization of standard grammatical terms. Having no previous training in teaching and purely armed with average English fluency, I started polishing my skills.

Below were my exact sentiments before I began my preparations as an ESL instructor:

Gerund, Infinitives, Participial phrase– What are they?

Present Perfect tense – Excuse me?

Past Perfect – Oh no no.

Future Perfect Progressive – Now I’m gonna go insane.

As I make headway at my profession, my initial question to every new student on the first day of class would be “Do you like reading?” If the answer was yes, I’d presume there would be not much of a problem. If the answer was no, well…

I pushed more for the comprehension of the reading materials and didn’t impose memorization of vocabulary. Homework was something I expected to be done. By that, I gained the reputation inside the academy (among students) of being strict, quite competent 😉 , smart, “kind but hard.”

The small number of industrious and attentive students sparked my diligence as a teacher thereby inspiring me to toil harder for the refinement of their English proficiency. With the right students, my occupation could provide worth and gratification. With the the lazy ones, it was a mere waste of time. In most cases, I had to endure (the torment of) “free talking” especially during man-to-man sessions even though I had little concern for their mundane lives and no enthusiasm to get chummy with them.

Money became secondary motivation what with the minimum pay I received throughout the years with zero job perks to boot.

On the whole, I’ll be honest in saying that I secretly don’t hold those kind of people in good regard. Why? They come from a nation where it’s perfectly normal to eat dogs; they look down on us Filipinos for belonging to a poorer country; and a big majority of the attendees in our academy for so long had been indolent, insolent, bratty, and cold. But I’ll be honest as well here in saying I stayed because I needed the job despite such assertions of disgruntlement.

I was determined to make it my finishing role as an employee. Procuring employment after the age of 35 is nearly impossible in our state, except for high-level positions. My teaching job stretched to a decade, and the end was due to incremental changes in the academy and the numerous inconveniences they brought. It was ten long years of my precious life, nevertheless.


I feel relieved and happier these days. Into a new phase in my life I am slowly moving.

A measure of guilt, however, trickles in whenever I find myself getting down to a chosen pursuit that would swallow up my entire day. That it’s no longer equivalent to monetary gain like before is an enormous adjustment. But the alternative of going back to my former occupation has turned into a painful thought. It’s become incomprehensible how I was able to survive my last year in the academy handling either my bosses’ children or the slothful students who couldn’t be motivated toward self-improvement.

To be frank, yes, I functioned largely in virtue of the extra money I’d be earning – although working side by side with the English language was a pleasure I had hung on, too.

A feeling of descent into a spiral of paralyzing, fruitless time consumption may hit me soon. But I’m past my 20s and 30s now – way past the periods of multitasking and ending up as some version of Wonderwoman.

The idea of being able to refine my mind through reading, studying, writing is enthusing as compared to spending my time with people at work whose irremediable cases I no longer give a hoot about.

I also look forward to trivial goals such as losing the 3 pounds I might have put on during my buffet restaurant dine-outs on weekends late last year. Cooking has never occupied a soft spot in me yet I have been doing it lately to be able to save and eat healthily. 

Ample times ahead will provide me the opportunity to read the dozens of books I bought through the years. And the moon…with the evening sky is something I hope to espy as often as not.

Taking my time. Free and easy; peace, rest and sleep. Write and read. Life is sweet.





Another Favorite Love Song of Mine from Way Back

Mommy, Run!

It happened a few years ago when I decided to take time off from work so I could spend some special traveling period with my son, visiting a few places around here; an opportunity that would serve in strengthening our bond as parent and child as well.

Baguio City, from the Pearl of the Orient: a tourist spot in our country known for its much elevated land and cooler climate. I had never been there; I put it on top of our target list in spite of the 16-hour excruciating bus ride (for me) back and forth.

The day after we arrived and settled at a reasonably-priced hotel, my son and I, with our backpacks, strolled along the popular metropolis’s green parks. Much of the pretty scenery available for free, we tried to explore on foot.

On our way to a specific destination one day, a house with a spacious open green yard enticed me to get closer so I could have a better look at its surroundings. “The view looks lovelier over there. Let’s go!” I prodded my son.

But as soon as we got nearer, we caught sight of a dog sitting in the porch — which, upon seeing us, started woofing furiously. It looked large when it threateningly stood up. Then we heard another dog barking from somewhere. Trouble was no doubt flashing on the horizon. Before we were able to pull back, the first dog we saw started heading toward our way – at the same time that another equally scary one turned up to chase us.

Both my son and I got shaken by the sight of the approaching danger. And it was him who made the decision there and then what to do next as I heard him cry out, “Mommy, run!”

Lacking of a chance to think more clearly, we bolted and found ourselves fleeing from the scene as fast as we could. We were running for our lives. The hapless circumstance of the grassy terrain slanting upward plus the back pack I was carrying ended up becoming obstacles to a speedier escape. Taller and younger, my boy was instantly able to advance ahead by three yards.

In my struggle to catch up, something caught the front edge of my foot and down I fell hard. I couldn’t get up.

My heart might have stopped beating at that moment: I knew the dogs would be all over me in a matter of seconds.

The loud barks soon sounded considerably nearer; I froze in terror. . .

To my amazement, no physical attack was happening . . . I turned my head to look at the dogs behind me. They were just standing there, fiercely barking, a couple of feet away from where I was lying. It seemed as if a fine glass was fencing them off from me. The barks continued piercing like hell, yet they weren’t charging any further. Someone from inside the house began yelling to make the burly animals come back. Still stunned, I managed to rise to my feet and trudged in the direction where my son — who had been standing far away and probably stupefied by it all — was waiting. The dogs persisted on barking wildly while I took more steps for distance. They were, however, letting me go.

That very night at our hotel, I checked my lower legs for any bites or scratches. There were none, of course, because no mauling had taken place. I just couldn’t believe my luck.

I’ve thought about that incident many times. I have since held to the quixotic notion all the pets I had loved and cared for – all of whom had long gone to dog heaven – were looking after me. They saved me that day. How I owe them dearly – every one of my beloved pets that came and went.

All of whom will remain as among the greatest loves of my life.

Pool_of_Pines2, Baguio City
Pool of Pines, a charming area in one of the several attractions of Baguio City

The Trouble With Me, I Guess

I’ve written before of how some people were able to hammer down the walls I had built. Show me a little kindness; show me a little consideration – and you can keep my heart for as long as you want.

So instances of broken trusts, or cruel words, or repeated disregard for my feelings can grow thorns onto a rose — for my mind has come to hold you in reverence. I’m aware as well it’s just a matter of time before the coldest fog between us sets in. The glass walls, which this time are unbreakable, eventually slide up around me and there will be no words left, other than a look that says you can’t hurt me now.

Yes, I have been called cold-hearted more than once.

Loyalty and dedication are virtues that don’t serve merely as superficial words for me. I flinch thinking of the moments I had used the word “friend” to regard a few people I held dear in my past. It could take some time to disentangle myself due to the degree of my attachment, I confess. The connection might renew at a distant future – although things cannot be the same as they were before.

Accuse me of being sentimental, of being a fool, of being someone with a flair for drama, whatever. Just don’t make me surrender to something that cannot be part of my nature. We are from different worlds, it seems.

And do not speak of a faithfulness that you’ve professed to have been carrying – unless you can surpass mine.


Been hanging around You Tube this weekend listening to my favorite songs from way back. Was I glad to have found this gospel-like rendition of George Benson’s “Unchained Melody.” I fell for it the first time I heard it in my late teens. I can’t believe it took me this long – almost 25 years – to search for the song and listen to it again. It remains as the best version ever.

I plan to include in every post my favorite songs from now on since they play a major role in my happiness.

Happy Birthday, Dearest One

I came from a dysfunctional family. Never in my whole life did I see my parents hold hands or hug each other. Never in my whole life did I feel an atmosphere of love between them. If there’s any word that described my father and my mother’s relationship, it’s animosity.

My father’s long-standing contempt for my mother evaded my full understanding. But then, he’s a complicated man. If he had only chosen to reverse things, my mother would have welcomed the change. For sure. And we wouldn’t have been all so broken.

Our family became divided. My sister and my brother secretly allied themselves with our mother. Since I had adored my father from the start, my devotion could only belong to him. I also grew up in the undercurrent of favoritism in our house. My father gave my sister, the eldest, total authority over me and my younger brother — which at her young age at the time she misused. My father was old school who wouldn’t accept any form of defiance or reasoning justifying sibling squabbles. He insisted that the underlings always bow to the elder ones–unconditionally. Having my own mind engendered me to break that dictum and I was, as a consequence, dealt with harshly. A practice that went beyond my discernment throughout my young and adult life. The most sensible explanation I could draw from it: My sister was just fortunate to have it all.

And so resentments toward each other took shape and dragged on for years and years. So did my feelings of isolation and lack of self-esteem. In spite of my deep love for my father, I ended up with laid-out reasons for keeping my distance, especially in later years. I thought: Well, I was never his favorite. The best I could ever get was become third best to him, maybe second — on a rare lucky day. It’s always been my sister and, subsequently, his favorite granddaughter. Oh wow, I guess no one can expect anything from me now.

I was bitter.

And so foolish.

In his 80s, the drinking started. My father got himself a tiny glass he would ask to be filled with some alcohol — which he would gulp down every five minutes. I asked him to stop. My brother and sister told me to let our father have it his way in his remaining years. There was more to it than that, I realized. My father who had been so mighty and disciplined all his life had totally given up.

Thus began the most crushing period of my existence. To escape from reality, I began clinging to anything or anyone who could temporarily pull me away from my pain. For unexplainable reasons, I also lost interest in developing or preserving meaningful friendships, or in relying on people around me. Work and more work occupied me; so did malling, recreation, and later, hanging around in my newfound Eden – where it’s easy to forget one’s actual realm – the blogworld.

I guess I wanted to be happy, too, even for a few brief spells. My circumstances kept lingering on my mind; it was just too heartbreaking to lend them anything more than my physical presence.  Yet in the face of losing a dearest one, nobody and nothing could prepare you to what lies ahead.


The evening of December 31, 2012, my mother called to persuade me to spend New Year’s Eve at her house. I declined. I chose to spend my most favorite moment of the year with my father. For the last time.

The midnight of December 31 2012, my father was taking his very last breaths — and I didn’t even know. I was already in the hospital, with my son, but at the time was watching the dazzling fireworks through the many windows along the corridors of the ICUs.

5:30 a.m: I was outside his room on a bench, trying to get a little sleep, when the nurse alarmingly informed me my father had just stopped breathing. No, No, No…

I went totally beside myself.

Walking home that morning after his remains were taken away, everything inside of me seemed to be slipping into another state. I couldn’t tell what or where; it was indescribable. There was this hollowness, numbness… and a sense of being more than half dead inside. The feeling stayed with me for a long while. I went about my daily business in mechanical mode. I still do, most of the time.

Whatever. It doesn’t matter much anymore.


January 1 has always been my most favorite time of the year. Watching the spectacular fireworks in the sky on New Year’s Eve is a personal tradition I’ve cherished since childhood. The question that has stayed with me: Why did my father have to go at that time of the year?

January 1, 2014 was the first anniversary of his death. I sat on the grass, at midday, where my father had been buried. He had chosen this beautiful memorial park for his final resting place. I sat all afternoon and stayed until the sun set. Until dim shadows completely expanded across the heavens. I still couldn’t bring myself to leave.

Suddenly, a display of fireworks, coming from some places inside the park, began lighting up the sky. Colors danced and exploded, presenting quite an awesome sight. It didn’t occur to me park visitors celebrate in such manner on the first night of New Year. Perhaps father chose to die on that special day, so it wouldn’t be so sad a day for me spending time with him at his gravesite.

The pyrotechnics ceased an hour later; I stood up and started my way home. It was already 8:30 p.m…. I thought, “This will be an annual observance from now on–for the rest of my life.”

Because the only person who has ever loved me is now six feet under the ground.


Perhaps his heart had my sister consistently occupying the prime spot — prior to the falling out that put a serious dent between them. In the last periods of his life, my father did let me know his appreciation for the little things I had done for him. He told me I was his best child. And in his last months, he even told me I was the one he loved the most.

In the throes of my father’s death, he and I found each other once more.

My sister and I had a talk earlier this year. I expressed my wish that when I die, part of my ashes — some part will be given to my son to be scattered at any sea of his choice — will be buried right beside where my father lays peacefully. I want to be with him in the end. It gives me a certain peace that, somehow, my father and I will be together again.


Happy Birthday, dearest one. I love you so much. 

An Unexpected and Amusing Incident

Lack of chaos. Serenity. Words that fit in painting the actual sphere where I currently move and engage my senses. A slave to unnecessary emotions no more – that’s something that took a long time to come about. It’s been peaceful, indeed. I’ve shied away from men here who wanted to get closer, and I’ve doubted anything out there could be worth giving up the current comfort I’m savoring, owing to the absence of romantic dramas around me in recent times. Sometimes I question what could ensue in the face of an unexpected occurrence that holds a potential to rustle my calm or bend my will (Hold it – this isn’t another of my meditative posts). Surprisingly, an incident last weekend might have given me the answer to that.

My favorite time of the week, Saturday, commenced with my trip to National Bookstore where I ended up puchasing a – uhrm – Virginia Woolf classic (Hey, don’t think I didn’t hear you. So I’m an ambitious reader, huh? 🙂 ). Watching “Guardians of the Galaxy” had already been incorporated in my agenda so I proceeded to Gateway Mall to check out the cinema schedules. I was looking up at the lighted box, trying to decide on a screening time when somebody stepped and stood in front of me. It took me around four seconds to recognize the guy. Oh, it was my son’s Music teacher from way back. Let’s just call him (by the pronoun) He. I noticed He looks a bit…rounder now. Especially down the belly section.

After the Hello and Good-to-see-you exchange. He asked me to sit somewhere with him at one of the tables in the fastfood area so we could talk and catch up on the people we both knew. He also said he doesn’t teach in Claret anymore. He has gone back to pursuing his Law studies which is being supported by his parents and sisters. He is still with his long-time girlfriend.

Let me narrate first to you my history with this dude: It was more than five years ago. I was a single mom who conjectured a real relationship wasn’t what I really needed. I’d grown weary of the highs and lows caused by actual amorous alliances that anything less complicated became more appealing to me. Perhaps something more casual and nonbinding would suit me better. But it couldn’t be with just anybody. The right buddy or special acquaintance would be ideal. My son’s grade school Music teacher, who had been a chum, suddenly fell into my lap. Great timing – as he seemed to be the one who could fit my needs (Er – he’s 10 years younger; there’s no single man my age anymore). Good-looking, tall, smart. Another bonus: we both love music. We entered into some kind of arrangement; the kind in which emotions couldn’t come between us. He had always played around anyway even though he already had a girlfriend (Ah, musicians). That specific reality about him was no longer my problem, I inferred (Yeah yeah, not good of me – and a huge mistake, I know. Believe me, I’ve repented).

Well, you might have guessed what followed. I started having some “feelings” when I shouldn’t. The Danger sign blinked sharply: Time to pull out. Good thing we were both busy. We were soon able to let each other drift apart. I fell into another real relationship. For years we’ve lost touch.

Last weekend, though, He was confident that we could easily slip back to the way things used to be.

He: We can go back to the way we once were.

The idea caused sudden repulsion in me I flinched. He asked why.

Me: I’d rather have you as a friend.
He: We can be friends again, too.

I knew what he meant, and I knew it’s time to be more forthright. We used to be merry comrades who were comfortable being candid with each other anyway.

Me: You have no job. You look 16 pounds heavier now. You are living with your girlfriend. And you’re suggesting this. (I snapped my fingers for clearer impact) As if it were a piece of cake. You’re incredible.

He: I’ll be crooning you with your favorite songs anew everytime we’re together.

Something from my gut blurted “Ick!” As if he looked and could belt like music dreamboat Harry Connick, Jr. Exasperated by our chat, I told him, “Let’s go” and rose to my feet (What I meant was it’s time for us to go our separate ways). When he stood up, his smug aura projected he completely misunderstood what I just said and didn’t get my point. I sat down again.

Me: I mean I’m going home. You should go home, too.

He sat down as well and started using another of his former tactics – pleading. The deduction that going home early to his waiting partner had become a monotonous pattern for him blared transparently. While he yammered on attempting to convince me hooking up again would be a very good idea, I looked at him and wondered how I could have even developed affection for this guy in the past.

I decided to make things easier for both of us. Bolting from my seat, I said “bye” and matched my steps with a laid-back smile plus a wave of my hand. He looked surprised. Then he nodded. I walked straight off and didn’t look back. I was relieved, feeling glad to claim back the rest of the night for the activities I had originally planned. “Guardians of the Galaxy” proved entertaining, and it alerted me to a delightful talent in new hottie Chris Pratt. Have I mentioned he’s got perfect abs, too?

Indeed, how time changes things.

My amusing encounter with Mister Smug helped inform me of a fact or two about myself.

Somehow, it all made me feel better.


I simply liked this photo. That’s all. 🙂