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 21, 2013


“Naka-three years na rin kayo ng jowa mo?”

His question was matter-of-fact, almost like a lazy statement of truth. Silence lingered for a split-second in the air. Then he spoke again, his tone one of incredulous amusement.

“Aba, akalain mo noh. Ikaw pa! Ahahaha!”

And I laughed along with my officemate, a ka-beki who doesn’t hesitate to call me Ate when we bump into each other on the corridor. He’s known me since 2000, back when we were officemates in another network. In the 6 years we were there, he knew me as the single one who’d party hard every weekend in Malate.

Back then he had asked me if I planned on having a boyfriend. I had retorted: “Plan?! You can never plan those things, because you can’t control the other person’s intentions, motivations, and plans. You can only prepare yourself, that’s all.”

But behind my platitude of an answer was the dwindling hope that I’d be with someone. Sure, I went to bars, bathhouses, and (with the Internet boom) gay sites, but none of the guys I met panned out. I was way past forty years old. I had began to convince myself that I’d be single for life, and was actually on my way to make peace with that thought.

Also, with a string of unrequited loves, missed opportunities, and he’s-just-not-that-into-you’s, I’ve revised my opinion on Cupid as much times as Madonna reinvented herself. I’ve been a hopeless romantic, a cynic, a cautious optimist, and a stubborn pessimist. I’ve gone around the block and back again. I’m used to having the other shoe drop. I know my place in the hierarchy of desirability—not high, not low, just somewhere hovering around “just ordinary” and “has a sense of humor.”

My chance encounter with D took both of us by surprise. It was unplanned, and I was unprepared. All I knew at the start was that he was interesting. But after our initial chat, first on Facebook then continued in Starbucks, I knew there was a connection between us.

Cut to today, still together three years later. Who knew, right?

If you ask me why we’re still together, I can only hazard a guess as to the reasons. What works for D and I may not work for others. It all depends on the individuals and their dynamics when they’re together.

We joke to ourselves that our relationship is really work. In a way it’s true—we work on it every day. Some days we need to exert more effort. Other days, the work seems effortless. If it doesn’t sound romantic, it’s only because I described it from my viewpoint. Someone else in my shoes may actually portray our relationship in more glowing, romantic terms. Whatever. Poe-tay-toe, poh-tah-tow. What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would wither and die.

Meanwhile, what fuels our relationship is a combination of the following:
1. Laughter – We make each other laugh, and we like to surround ourselves with people who are fun to be around.
2. Communication – Whether a simple chit-chat or a serious heart-to-heart, open communication is important. Non-verbal communication also helps, but just to make sure there’s no miscommunication, a clear back-and-forth is essential.
3. Respect – We will never be equal in all aspects. But we try our best to accept and respect each other’s similarities and differences. Or at the very least, we do our best to understand the other.
4. Honesty – It doesn’t mean that one can’t have secrets. But in matters that affect the relationship, there should be disclosure. I don’t really need to know if D has cute officemates or none. (Though he tells me anyway.) But I’d really appreciate it if D tells me that he’ll be hooking up with his hot and hunky officemate. (I’ll remind him to play safe, hahaha!) However, every couple needs to determine their own comfort levels when it comes to secrecy.
5. Compromise – Give-and-take is essential. And if you give in, it’s best that you leave it at that. Avoid raising it in a future argument, saying, “Remember the time when…?” Giving in is, in a way, your gift to your partner. And a gift, once given, is never yours to re-use anymore.

Three years and one month into our relationship, I still feel that we are in for more surprises, changes, and discoveries. They say the ones who survive are those who keep moving forward. And so we gaily move onwards.


Dabo said...

Congrats McVie!

I'll keep tthe tips in my mind and in action.


Mamon said...

How does one prepare for a boyfriend?

Kane said...

What about tons of hot steamy sex, McVie? *grins*

Three years, it's something to celebrate. Truth is, I really am happy for you.

I think it's interesting how we write about our relationships at different points in time. I remember the few times you wrote about D before and I suppose, we could say it reflects the changing seasons of love.

As always, I wish you you and D the best =)


joelmcvie said...

@DABO: Remember that every couple is a unique entity. Thus, keep in mind too that you may need to make your own tips. :)

@MAMON: I really am not sure how one can be prepared for a relationship. But I think the moment you can live without one, the more likely you'll be able to handle having one.

@KANE: There's a reason why "hot, steamy sex" wasn't listed, and I know you know why. ;-)

artistmonk said...

Congrats! All the best!

FiftyShadesOfQueer said...

Congrats! Looks like I and my partner should pratice those points. Medyo kinulang lang in one or two of those. thanks!

96b25c64-3a3e-11e0-934e-000bcdcb5194 said...

Have heard Bonnie Raitt's song Nick Of Time? One of my faves.

Von_Draye said...

Hhmm... this gets me thinking...

bloggers = lovelife