Watch Me Entertain Myself!

Sacha Guitry once said, "You can pretend to be serious, but you can't pretend to be witty." Oh yes, I'm the great pretender.
(pilot episode: 20 January 2004)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

I Wanna Really, Really, Really, Wanna Zigazig Ah!

It was in a high school retreat that I heard one of the speakers, a Jesuit priest, say something about friendship that, little did I realize then, would have a profound impact on me years later. He said something like this: “It’s the friends you take for granted who stay with you the longest.”

He wasn’t telling us to take our friends for granted. Rather, he was singing praises to longtime friends, people who stay with you through thick and thin, whose bonds have been tried and tested. These are the people who know you and whom you know inside and out. Usually with these kinds of friends, you can “take each other for granted,” meaning, you don’t think about them 24/7, you may even go through stretches of time without being in contact with them. But the moment you guys get together, you immediately pick things up where you guys last left off; it’s like the days, weeks or months in between meetings were casually tossed aside. It’s a timeless bond that even Time cannot easily break.

And I realize that’s what I’ve been looking for all these time: friends whom I can “take for granted.” They are not high-maintenance ones, the clingy ones who seem to depend on you for their validation. They aren’t the demanding ones, the emotionally needy who siphon energy off you.

These are people who, regardless of age, I treat them as my equal. I appreciate who they have become. I trust their judgment. And though we don’t always agree on everything, I respect their thoughts, their opinions and the way they think. And in turn, they appreciate, trust and respect me too.

I have several circles of friends from different points in my life. The oldest ones are my high school friends—they’re the ones who are most taken for granted. I’m constantly in touch with two of them, but the rest are scattered all over the U.S. My college barkada is also non-existent anymore; most are already married and with children. But thanks to Facebook and TA, I still get to keep tabs with what’s happening to them.

And it’s also TA that I got to make new sets of friends from different generations—all of them younger than me. And even though they were students when I first met them, several of them are now more successful than I am. (The journey of our friendship is interesting. Before they “looked up to me” but I never really “looked down on them”; instead, I would meet them at their level and talk to them as their equal, because I know that the only thing I have that they don’t is age. But just give them time and experience, and they can even overtake me.)

Now thanks to the Internet I have my blogging set of friends, the most prominent one being the Fabcasters. We each have our own lives but we never fail to keep tabs with one another, and not just through our blogs and Fabcasts. In fact, it’s the off-the-mike and offline periods spent with them that are more special.

If there’s one common denominator among all my circle of friends, it’s humor. We never fail to make each other laugh. So aside from appreciating, trusting and respecting one another, we also delight in putting each other down. Hey, who else can knock you off your high horse except the ones who know you best, right?

I noticed that the level of “taken-for-grantedness” increases in direct proportion to the length of time you’ve been friends with. Thus, a long-time friend wouldn’t even bat an eyelash if his friend pushes him aside to spend time with a new boyfriend. It’s the newer friends who feel the impact of a new relationship the most because they were used to their friend’s availability. Which is also why it takes me a long time to call one a true friend, because only Time will tell.

“It’s the friends you take for granted who stay with you the longest.” There’s beautiful irony there. But if you find a partner who is also your friend and who becomes friends with your friends, then a different figure of speech is more appropriate: you’ve hit the jackpot.

(Hmmm. Didn’t the Spice Girls first hit the charts with a similar sentiment? Eep!)


JA said...

what's TA?

joelmcvie said...

@JA: Tanghalang Ateneo, the college theater group.

MisterHeuge said...

So true. It's a blessing to have those kinds of friends.

the barefoot baklesa said...

“It’s the friends you take for granted who stay with you the longest.”

-naku, i must save this with the other jesuit associated quote i have in my head at all times:

"a genuine loving relationship must be able to exist with other relationships"

-i had fun working with the alumnis when Tanghalang Ateneo went on tour. It was during Mirandolina -probably one of the longest tours we had- that I got to work with you guys. Being costume master was one tough job. and in the old scheme of things when the seniority of the alumni was the priority, we always had to make sure your needs were met. I remember one time, you almost got upset with a costume detail but I could see you restrain yourself from saying anything. i was on my toes!!! hahahaha!!!

but more than that, those were great times...the friends i have made there were truly the ones i say I would treasure...i must blog about this post of yours...

joelmcvie said...

@BAKLESA: Wow, you remembered that incident? Gosh, I guess I didn't view it as a big deal because I don't remember. But for you guys, I guess it WAS a big deal. Good thing I kept my peace. Besides, throwing a diva tantrum wouldn't achieve anything constructive anyway. =)

the barefoot baklesa said...


my mind is a repository of TA memories, trust me... i think it was a mix-up with the laundry tags on the shirts during the Lipa or Zambales tour.

Aber, paano naman hindi makalimot ang barefoot baklesa, nag-eenjoy rin namang bihisan si Rafael Rossel!!! Hahahaha!!!

but seriously, those were fun times being on the road...

~Carrie~ said...

Napangiti ako sa entry