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)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

That Four-Lettered Word

I was talking to my friend Dan about another friend of ours whose romantic relationship recently had gone kaput. I was trying to describe to Dan how our friend, who is straight by the way, was taking the break-up. “I think he’s still waiting for her to give him another chance,” I said. “That’s why he refuses to date other women.”

Dan, who’s also straight, is a veteran of the dating scene. He’s had his share of looking for Miss Right, and so far she’s proven to be very elusive. Like me, Dan is single since birth, proof that SSB-ism isn’t a gay phenomenon. He still goes out on dates, but more and more he’s becoming frustrated and puzzled, wondering where else can he go in search of a life partner. It doesn’t help that he’s also just a year younger than me.

“Hay naku,” was all he could say.

I raised an eyebrow at him. “Well, he still has hope kasi.”

“Hope?! What’s that?!” Dan exclaimed. And we both laughed out loud.

Ah yes, that four-lettered word. Nope, not “love” folks.


Funny that it is also the name of a cigarette brand. You light up hope and take it in—and it kills you.

That’s why I also have this favorite quote; I don’t remember now where I first heard it, but it just stuck in my head. It goes: “A little hope is a dangerous thing.” Especially with matters of the heart; I used to be romantic, but too much of my hopes dashed on the ground can change one’s views dramatically.

Like the time when I met this guy online. I liked him from the start. He started calling me Papa Bear. We agreed to meet for coffee. Since it was just a short chat, I asked if we could go out on a date. He agreed, but asked to wait until his schedule eased up. I waited. And waited. Then I found out from his tweets that he had met someone else and was head-over-heels with that guy.

A little hope is a dangerous thing.

Or this guy who, when I first met him, we hit it off well. He was easy to talk to, and could immediately get what I was driving at. He also shared a love for discussing things. But as I was getting more and more interested in him, he turned out to be interested with other guys, not me. He ended up another one in a long line of my could-have-beens that never were.

A little hope is a dangerous thing.

For instance I met this guy. Cute, intelligent, and can hold his own in a conversation with me. And we hit it off immediately. But on our second meeting, he told me that he still had issues with his ex, and that they might patch things up.

A little hope is a dangerous thing.

Of course I’m not saying we should all be hope-less when it comes to love. I still think there’s room for hope in this world, otherwise living will be insufferably bleak. (I can’t believe I’m actually saying this, jeez.) Sometimes we do need to flirt with Danger once in a while; sometimes it’s Danger that comes calling us. Hey, we do need our kicks every now and then, right? If love is a drug, we’re really all junkies.

But like an addict seeking to reform, I’ve learned to be a realist with matters of the heart. I always try to be ready for that other shoe to drop. If you’re going to hope, might as well get used to disappointment too.

I was asked before: “You mean you’re not romantic?” I remember answering flippantly, “No, I’m a realist.” But the truth is I still have my notions of romance, but I prefer to ground it in reality.

I’m not a hopeless romantic; maybe I’m just a romantic with less hope.


Ming Meows said...

kantahan na lang kita ng "may bukas pa"

Anonymous said...

Luv the last line... :D

and the quote... Hope?! What's That?!

WV: tratedl

Anonimus said...

There are a million and one things I want say about love and hope. But they’re all difficult to put into words so I’ll say one na lang.

We’re just about the same age, and I’ve long given up the thought of ever getting married. LOL. Call me a pessimist. I need that certainty of never ever finding “the” one so I don’t spend my days looking for him.

I’ve had lots of one-halfs, three-fourths, five-sevenths over the years (sometimes sabay-sabay) and I’m fine with that. I recognize that all they’ll ever be are fraqctions of "the" one but I don’t drop them because, like you always say, if you love someone you love them warts included.

I don’t have a long list of must-haves anymore. The only criterion I have is that I still get a hard-on after ten times (magkaibang araw naman).

Car, career, condo, cara (face), and such? I’m not after a trophy boyfriend. But character matters a lot to me. A whole lot.

Theo Martin said...

carrie bradshaw is that choo?

ang daming quotable coats! pagamit natin kay James Yap...

James Yap: Im not a hopeless romantic, I'm just a romantic with less hope.

Krissy: syou're still meeting Hope pa ba? Is that what you meant by less hope and no hope at all? How dare you!

Theo, pag gusto mo pumanch-line, wag mageffort. OKEY?

joelmcvie said...

@ANONIMUS: I agree. You can never find an ideal mate.

@THEO: In fairness, natawa ako sa effort mo. Kris and James? I never would have thought of that. (Ang showbiz mo pala! Hahahaha!)

lands said...

Love this line...

“No, I’m a realist.” But the truth is I still have my notions of romance, but I prefer to ground it in reality.

I would also like to stay in the boundaries of reality when it comes to relationships and love, but still have that glimmer of romantic hopefullness every now and then...

Angelo said...

Joel, I love this post, esp. the last three paragraphs.

Way to go.


Looking For The Source said...

i love this post.


Ben R. said...

I believe the quote you're referring to is from "Shawshank Redemption" and it goes "Hope is a dangerous thing. Hope can drive a man insane."

cb :: 林偉文 said...

i agree. call me jaded but hope is very dangerous. the same thing that brings people together keeps other people apart.