the sweet & endearing contempt of familiarity


when you've been married long enough, friends drop in and walk through the door...

when you’ve been married long enough, friends drop in and walk through the door…

JUST THE other night before bedtime I sprung a good one on Mahal (pardon me for all these anecdotes about esposa hermosa, I haven’t got too much of a social life outside work and these infernal FB games).

Half-seriously I popped my head in the bedroom door and asked, Mahal, iyo ba ang green na sipilyo, knowing her answer.

She nearly gagged on her green tea and said oo bakeeeet? 

Dalawang linggo ko nang ginagamet yun I admitted in a very small voice, knowing that she was all ears.

OMG tutoo????  She then rattled off a string of unmentionables not allowed in this general patronage blog before I could calm her down and tell her I was only pulling her leg.  Needless to say, she made me regret my little joke for the next 24 hours.

The funny thing about this was (although not so funny to Mahal) I really could’ve used her toothbrush (non-Tagalog speakers, please request translation assistance from a helpful kayumanggi brother or sister nearby) once or twice since she replaced our dental implements, there are after all only two in the rack and to be honest, I’ve never really paid that much attention.  Familiarity, indeed, breeds common toiletries.

Among other things.  Gag and wrinkle your nose up all you want, but through force of habit, routine and acceptance of all the imperfections of your mate-for-life, we put up with a lot of things that come with living with a partner, spouse or intimate better half.  The Divine Creator provided us with bodies that function as autonomous animate beings, but what is the purpose of life if you don’t live it with someone by your side?

And because the only topic I’m an expert on is myself, I deduce all the realities of a shared life from my own.  Before my second ride on the marriage-go-round, I was blessedly single for almost a decade and was quite happy on my own.  But the primal urge to share my fantasies, failures, hopes and dreams with a fellow wanderer in life, coupled by the relentless pull of culture and tradition brought my feet to the inevitable path of searching for, and successfully finding a mate to spend life with :

couldn't resist not using the pic... :)

couldn’t resist not using the pic… 🙂

Conditions.  I know that almost every week, Mahal reacts to certain allergens in the vicinity of work or home, so she will sneeze and sniffle during said time.  Nothing less than a box of Kleenex and Clarityne will suffice, and the least I can do is grant her time off from whatever she usually does.  On the other hand, she has learned the hard way that I am an industrial strength, world-class snorer with an audio magnitude that extends to the next room.  God bless her, she has learned to live (sleep) with this though I don’t know how, she pushes me to my side when it gets too noisy, or just places a pillow strategically over my head.  Bottom line is with the passage of time, we become intimately aware of, and adjust to, each other’s quirks and conditions that make life harder, but also more interesting.

Dino No-Dinero.  Because of the phenomenon of finite resources and infinite wants, wifey and I know exactly what goes into the pay envelope, what will immediately go to bills outstanding, and what, hopefully, will go to piggy bank for a rainy day.  We regularly make plans for how to scrimp and save so that we can enjoy whatever little it is that gets left over every week (we both draw weekly wages).  But usually I just give up, defer to her superior budgeting skills and surrender my ATM card the majority of the week.  This is called being a good Pinoy husband.  Seriously, we know each other well enough to accurately guess how either of us will spend the precious coins in the event of an unexpected windfall.  So we keep each other in check, and try to be strong for each other during the big, massive sales that seem to be on almost every other week now.  Kaya mo yan, Mahal! 🙂

sharing until it hurts.  And like we said above, one of the consequences of conjugal living is that you share everything, and by share I use the word quite liberally.  I have acquired the habit of using Mahal’s shampoo, conditioner, facial cleanser, skin cleanser and other goodies such that frankly, I’m surprised I never thought to use in my previous life.  Women  pay such marvelous attention to themselves that by now it’s no longer amazing to me that the average lady can take away as much as 10 years from her appearance (as long as she exercises and eats sensibly) by just using quality beauty substances sold commercially.  The upside is I’m more confident going out the door now, even if I know people will be usually looking at Mahal instead of me.  The downside unfortunately is Mahal has to replenish her dresser ammunition more often, because naturally her pampaganda now just lasts half as long.

Morning rituals.  Just a few more lines that I almost forgot.  After being married a while, you probably won’t be surprised that I know exactly how Mahal looks in the morning, and vice versa.  Because she’ll kill me if I describe her, I’ll just tell you how she might describe me.  Wolverine-like hair (except that it’s definitely less cool-looking), eyes chock full of muta, dragon breath all around, and pillow/blanket marks on the face and rest of the body.  Not a pretty sight, but when we’re both getting ready for work, it’s no biggie.  She looks approximately the same, and hates it when I so much as look at her for more than a few secs.  Expectedly, by the time she’s fixed her face, she looks (as usual) picture-perfect, always like she stumbled out of a supermodel shoot, and expects me to say so, something like omygosh Mahal, bakit superganda ka ngayon???  Just follow the script Noel, and your day starts just fine.

***              ***               ***               ***               ***

I wonder if other couples, especially Pinoy couples learn to live together and make the same discoveries we do?  It sounds self-conscious, but whatever Pinoyness in the way couples live life together is no doubt pronounced when we do so away from the Philippines, when we cherish having each other in unfamiliar surroundings although, luckily for us right now, we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Thanks for reading and don’t forget to kiss your mahal good night (whether or not you share a toothbrush)! 🙂

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6 thoughts on “the sweet & endearing contempt of familiarity

    • don’t worry Apple, it comes when you least expect it. 🙂 I know it sounds like a cliche but as mentioned in the blog, I no longer expected to fall in love again, but I consider myself very lucky. Never say never, and thanks for liking the blog!

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