[ NOte from NOel : Just sharing something sent to the anakis a little more than a week ago, thus the Feb theme. Newswise and electronically we stand no closer to them than other compatriots back home, but in spirit we are kapitbisig with the fallen OFW heroes of the 22nd February Christchurch earthquake, you will not be forgotten. Thanks for the kind feedback to fondly remembered kabatch Cathy Gruba-Tanso and Fidel Esteban, which we forgot to acknowledge earlier, and belated happy birthday to kabayan Didith Tayawa -Figuracion, many happy returns! ]
Dear Ganda and Bunso :
So sorry for the late emails, your FB profile pics are proof that you are growing into young adults at a frightening light-speed pace; by the time we meet, you will be full-grown already. Please try to tuck a little of your babyhood away so I can still cuddle you next time I come home, if only for a while longer.
I know it’s late, but in some time zones the Love Month is barely done, so I’d like to give you golden nuggets of advice about love and relationships. Odds are, you are thinking that I’m probably not the best person to dispense pearls of wisdom when it comes to this area, but this STILL being Feb (albeit nearly the end) and me being in a nugget-and-pearl dispensing mood, please indulge your old man :
[ by the way, I didn’t include Kuya in the salutation, no cause for worry as (1) he can read this anyway; (2) either he doesn’t need this anymore; or (3) he is too far gone to benefit from this 🙂 ]
Males overwhelmingly warm up to romance and relationships to appease their physical nature, and I say this not only for you Ganda ( for heightened wariness ) but also for Bunso ( for heightened self-awareness ). It’s famously said that Men think not with their brains but with a more notorious part of their bodies. It is in our DNA, so ingrained in us that we do it instinctively without seeing the social consequences of such myopia. Where girls go out for an innocent jog, their male companions see an opportunity to see legs and low cut tank tops. An occasion for socializing for girls is a chance for their male counterparts to investigate how far they can go or “get lucky.” It’s not so much a criticism of guys as a realistic view of hormones gone haywire for y- chromosomers.
When they say they’re in Love, half the time it’s just their hormones talking, nothing personal Bunso, you know whereof I speak. It’s just how we are wired, in a way it’s in our hardware. The important thing is that you are aware of these realities, and don’t fall so easily for the sweet romantic talk that has been the downfall of so many before you.
That out of the millions and millions of people in this world, there is only one for you and vice-versa. This is also known as the soulmate theory, so eloquently enunciated by David Pomeranz in Born for You. I understand that your idea of a perfect someone is one just waiting for you out there, but it’s like eliminating everyone else as incompatible with you ! It’s quite similar to the equally unlikely proposition that in God’s Universe of billions and billions of planets, stars and galaxies, only our Earth can support intelligent life. Romantic, but how naive does that sound?
Stated another way, assuming that there is someone who is uniquely compatible with you, what are the chances that, among gazillions of other individuals in the tambiolo, the two of you will meet in a chance encounter and gel? Call me a cynic, but the odds just aren’t feasible.
Lastly, I’m not an anti-romantic but the pragmatist in me ( not to mention the realist ) insists that if you figure out that your Chosen One starts to look iffy or is emerging as a “none of the above” selection in multiple choice, there is no shame in considering other potential mates.
Avoid getting married for all the right reasons, but get married for only one reason. You’ve probably learned this gradually, in twists and in turns, until it sounds like a redundancy, but I had to say it for the record. Career, pahinog ( maturation ), opportunity are all very good and are certainly worthy reasons to put off a lifetime commitment. Self-denial and postponement of gratification are effective tools towards the attainment of happiness but ultimately, they’re just that, TOOLS. In themselves you won’t be happy. On the other hand, marry for one reason, and for one reason only. Not that he has a shiny new SUV, or that she has a perfect body. Devote your life to him/her because he/she makes you laugh, makes you happy, will think 10 times before doing anything that might hurt you, will put you first before anyone else, and will NEVER hold back one ounce of love for you. Now, is that so hard? 🙂
No matter how many times you fall, the first time you fall in love is always the sweetest, and so savor it while it lasts. Of all the myths about love, this is probably the one that holds the seed of truth in it. It’s like the first time you learn to swim, ride a bike, and drive a car. You never forget the first experience, only with falling in love the feel-good memories last a lifetime, till your dying day. Colors seem brighter, every emotion is magnified ( the positive and the negative, unfortunately ), highs are meteoric, and lows are abysmal. And I say this not without a note of caution, precisely because unless you have the luck of the ages, you will never end up with your first love. Something will inevitably go wrong, your beloved will nearly always fall short of expectations, and even when everything goes well, the odds of enjoying a long-term relationship are roughly equal to that of Two and A Half Men returning for a 10th season.
Trust me, I know.
Still, there’s no harm in hoping, as long as it’s about love. Not coincidentally, they’re the pair of things we absolutely can’t live without.
I love you and miss you always, kaawaan kayo lagi ng Diyos.