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"Buy Me Napkins!"

I had a choice whether or not to throw a bitch-fit over a really bad case of PMS.

And I chose not to.

So I ended up dragging the poor thing my boyfriend all the way to a drugstore-slash-department store with me before having our dinner. I needed my ibuprofen fast before all hell broke lose.

Pushing my way hurriedly and impatiently through the entrance doors, the light-bulb above my head suddenly lit up. I glanced at his unsuspecting face, and told him the three words men just hate to hear...

“Buy me napkins!”

A look of confusion fell upon his face, and he immediately stopped in his tracks. He gave me this puppy dog look, which always felt like a punch in the stomach – so consequently, both my feet remained glued to the floor. My stupid pain receptors could wait.

“Uh… Could you at least…” he began to mutter, gesturing with his hands. “Like, what—?"

“Anything with wings!”

(** Having been together for six months somehow made it easier for us to understand each other through non-verbal cues. Like when I start texting away furiously mid-coffee date, he knows I just need attention. Or when he doesn’t engage in banter, I just know he needs to be stuffed with a double cheeseburger within the next thirty minutes...)

I gave him an assuring smile, “Surprise me!”, before running off to buy my medicine.

I fell in line in front of the pharmacy counter. After telling the attendant my choice of brand, I looked behind me to see where he had gone.

Three seconds later, I saw his familiar head from behind the aisles of toiletries. From the way his head slowly moved, I could tell his eyes were panning across the frightening wall of all the feminine hygiene products neatly stacked before him.

I felt my heart skip a beat.

You see, he's such an Alpha Male. I could never imagine him walking a poodle, carrying my handbag for more than an hour… let alone, choosing which menstrual pad would be right for me. So seeing him truly making an effort to read each and every pack and box – being stripped completely of all masculinity and consciously choosing to violate an article or two under The Bro Code – I was had. Completely.

He eventually made his way to the cashier, motioning for me to wait for him outside.

I made my way out, and watched him through the glass panel. It must’ve been the hundredth time that I felt the way I did: smiling to myself and falling in-love with the poor thing my man all over again.

"For it is told: He who shalt not deprive the woman of her napkins
shalt forever be like gold in her eyes!" 
- The Book of Elly

Mom's Cellphone

I used to love playing with my mother’s cellphone for two reasons:

     1.       She always bought herself top-of-the-line Nokia units, and
     2.       She never really knew how to use them. (And didn’t really care.)

Secretly lamenting over the fact that I couldn’t spend cheese on myself that time, I always found myself borrowing her cellphone and tinkering away on the gadget like it was mine. This happened almost everyday when we went to visit the parentals in Chile, and couldn’t watch anything understandable on cable TV. Even watching the muy guapito Enrique Iglesias clone take out the trash every other day got boring.

Anyway, back to mom’s cellphone. I was most proud of filling her phone gallery with pictures of hot, half- naked Asian men in jest –  if only to hear her giggling in the other room four days later and squealing “Ang laki naman!” (“It’s so big!”).

Next thing I knew, this was her wallpaper:

So proud of her... *tear*

Ofcourse this was all supposed to be one of those little inside jokes between the two of us. I didn’t really anticipate occasions where my 5’1” sweet-looking  old mother would bring her cellphone to the nearest mall, in need of assistance when she didn’t know how to insert her new sim-card.

Accompanying her to a cellular shop, I kept a steady eye on the Spanish attendant as my mom handed the phone over to him. Having waited impatiently for his reaction, I burst into laughter when I finally saw it. It was priceless. His serious veneer suddenly relaxed to belt out a big cackle. He immediately tapped his colleague on the shoulder and showed him my mom’s wallpaper. Mr. Colleague laughed as well, exposing the gap between his front two teeth which made me laugh even more.

(Shut up. As if you’re so nice.)

Then my mother teasingly said, “Mi novio es guapo, noh?" (“Isn’t my boyfriend handsome?”)


So you see, I loved borrowing my mother’s phone. And here's my third and final reason:

     3. She always had the most vibrant and playful spirit.

Romantic Movies: My Noted Scene

For a while, I’ve succumbed to letting the best of love stories educate me through cheesy movies. And I suppose this was because learning from real life experiences was always a disappointment before.

I always thought that happy endings only happened through running tapes of film. The influence of 2-hour motion pictures kept me believing in this high called "Love" that seemingly promised everlasting happiness. Somehow, they made me want to believe it was all possible.

And so on Thursday nights, when everyone else was asleep, I’d curl up on the couch with the DVD remote glued to my hand, ready to watch chick-flicks, mouthing lines and crying when the virginal lead tragically declares she has leukemia halfway through the story.

So invite me to your slumber party, gals! *Annoying, high-pitched, girly squeal*

Now I strongly believe in the fact that everyone has their own favorite scene – that which tugs the heartstrings, makes you press the pause and rewind button, and provokes meaningful thoughts about love in general. It can be about remembering a happy experience, a trip down tragic memory lane, or a tap into a deep wanting ready to be satiated when “the right person” comes along... ...or even a reminder to a great sexual encounter, thanks to movies like Original Sin and Unfaithful. *Beavis & Butthead laugh*

And all this is because  “Love is universal” / “To love is to live” / “Love hurts” / “Love is a mansion after divorce” / “Love is bullshit!” / “Love makes the world go round” / and well, for Filipinos: “Lab is Blind.”

So here is one of my favorite scenes of all time. It's from The Notebook  (...and exit's thru the Back button those who can't take the cheese anymore. K-tnx-bye.) with the scene where Noah and Allie get into a heated argument a little towards the end of the film...

Noah: You’re bored. You’re bored and you know it! You wouldn’t be here if there wasn’t something missing!

Allie: You arrogant son-of-a-bitch!

Noah: Could you just stay with me?

Allie: Stay with you?! What for?! Look at us, we’re already fighting!

Noah: Well that’s what we do! We fight! You tell me when I’m being an arrogant son of a bitch, and I tell you when you’re being a pain-in-the-ass! Which you are! 99% of the time! I’m not afraid to hurt your feelings. You have like a 2-second rebound rate, then you’re back to doing the same pain-in-the-ass thing.

Allie: So what?

Noah: So it’s not gunna’ be easy, it’s gunna’ be really hard. And we’re going to have to work this out everyday, but I want to do that because I want you. I want all of you, forever! You and me, everyday!

Allie: *Tear-Sob-Tear*

I’ll be honest and say I’m not sure why that particular scene struck me. All I know is that it did a few years back… and still does up to now whenever I watch it. It could  be the realistic dialogue (slash in-your-face insults and cussing) used in real-life quarrels, the superbly intense acting of the two, or the striking message that relationships will always be how they’ve always  been in my life: Imperfect.

But what then justifies an imperfect relationship? When everything hurts? When fights happen? When tears start falling?

As this scene has showed me, it’s knowing that the person you are with makes you happy... And it's in also having a clear and deliberate wanting to stay with that very person, despite all the odds.


I guess it could be just that.


I’ve always feared ghosts.

Having been the hyper snail collector as a little girl, my yaya always had the difficult task of putting me to bed every night. Her solution was this: Bed-time stories of children-eating poltergeists that roamed around the apartment complex. So after a round of annoying sobs and blood-curdling squeals later, I would immediately seek refuge under my floral blanket and curl in fetal position – hoping my snails and I would survive the night unharmed.

I lost the snails in my teenage years, but I was still sleeping with the lights on; especially when after watching scary movies like The Ring. I would remember shutting my eyes tight, furiously blocking away any mental image of the dead girl eerily crawling her way towards me from the television set. At any minute, I was ready to wake the entire neighborhood up with a high-pitched Psycho scream.

I got older, and I finally managed to turn the lights off. I would toss and turn in my sleep, with my eyes snapping open to the faded sounds of footsteps by the door. As if on cue, my heart would start thudding against my chest – steadily at first, then faster by my third or fourth breath. It was with all this that I knew the ghosts finally came around to haunt me again…

But they were all different this time.

They came in forms of painful memoriesrelentless worries… and inescapable fears

One by one, they would slowly crawl their way towards me in the darkness… their faint whispers seeping into my head, their tight grasps reaching through me to grip my heart, and their disturbing presence soaking up all traces of emotional strength left lingering in me.

Fear and sadness would grip me in an instant, almost as if to paralyze me. I wouldn’t be surprised, yes, but disheartened, very much… Unlike before though, the once annoying sobs have now turned to deep sighs and the once blood-curdling squeals have now turned to silent cries of help.

And just like that little girl again, I would seek refuge under my floral blanket and curl in fetal position – hoping that maybe after a tear or two, the ghosts would finally disappear; and that my heart and I would survive another long, haunted night together…

From "Me" to "We"

Getting into a very serious relationship again has been a pretty new experience for me, just as much as it has been a very special one. I’m not sure about what that has to say about me as a person, but one thing is for sure: I’ve been "single-minded" for tad too long.

See, I’ve always embraced my single-hood back then, and I found many ways to celebrate it on a daily basis. I sneered at couples who lost their individual identities through the invention of couple shirts, and estimated relationship “life spans” for fun – simply by observing random couple behavior. The only constant three words in my life over movie marathons, breakfasts in bed and long walks on the beach were: “MASARAP MAGING SINGLE!” ("I LOVE BEING SINGLE!")

*insert Tagalog cuss word for more emphasis*

I didn’t mind coming home alone to spend quality time with chick flicks. Likewise, I didn’t mind going to the mall by myself – shopping alone, having coffee alone, doing the groceries alone, laughing out loud alone... I didn’t mind having friends who’d fix me up with the male species. I didn’t mind the absence of guilt when I ogled at the cute barista at Seattle’s Best. I didn’t mind going stag to special occasions. I didn’t mind slothing around the house in tattered clothes when I didn’t feel like going out. I didn’t mind the freedom from distraction when I needed to study. And most importantly, I didn’t mind not needing to shave my… um… …legs

Um... Yeah.

I loved the freedom. I was afraid I would lose all this glorious freedom once I let someone enter the picture. I feared commitment like it would wring my neck and suck all the life out of me...

But I suppose when the right person comes along, the transition from being “just me” to “we” becomes… well, surprisingly… easy. Sure, I needed to compromise a few things. Independent girls… *raises right hand* …will need to get used to giving up more personal “Me” time, taking rain checks on some girl friends’ get-togethers, straying away from the oh-so-intense party life, and considering their partners’ opinions and feelings first before making any big decisions. And that’s just to name a few things...

In exchange for all that, however, is the assurance of a stronger bond guaranteed to cultivate the relationship – which... well, is a pretty wonderful thing for anyone. It paves way for better trust and communication. I personally, appreciate my boyfriend meeting me half-way on everything. He knows where I come from, recognizes all the mad experiences I’ve been through, and amazingly understands the workings of my twisted mind. He’s shed light on my rather jaded perspective of relationships, and my trust issues with men have gone from car-wreck to pimped-out. He is a great partner and a great friend – in both the big and simple things. And I really couldn’t ask for anything more.
I found someone who I can trust like a blind-folded child. I found someone I can have amazing chemistry with. I found someone with whom I can still be my old, single, crazy, happy self...

If anything, being ‘alone’ for a while made me know what to settle for in relationships...

And it’s nothing less than being part of a "We" that makes me a better "Me" every single day…

Facebook vs. Relationships

Turns out Facebook has been creating more drama for people in relationships, and I can’t help but wonder why.

Weeks ago, I was talking to someone whose boyfriend put “insensitive to the relationship” comments on another chick’s page. Shortly after, I was talking to another friend who couldn’t get his girlfriend to change her status from “Single” to being “In a Relationship.” The next one pointed out to me that the “Poke” button should automatically disappear once it is noted that a person is in a commitment. The most recent one was with my friend throwing a bitch-fit over some random chick clicking “Like This” on her man’s every single status update...

I know… It’s easy to be that third person – out of the box, pointing and saying how stupid and petty it is to let some social network tamper so much with one’s personal life. But in speaking with all these people who’ve had something to say about how Facebook has complicated their love lives, I noticed that they all had two common denominators: 1. Suddenly feeling less important, and 2. Worrying about what other people would have to think and say.

Friend 1: “His primary photo was our picture together! Then he starts commenting on how he hates that his ex in a relationship with someone else now. What are people gunna’ say? He’s no longer happy with me?!”

Friend 2: “We’re perfectly sweet all the time. But why can’t she put that we’re in a relationship? Is she secretly embarrassed to be with me?”

Friend 3: “What is the poke button for anyway?! Making grinding behind some chick at a crowded club easier?”

Friend 4: “Damn bitch’s on Auto-Like! Sometimes I feel like I have to beat her to it!”

Friend 5: “Now it's Mafia Wars over sex!” (Sorry, just had to include this.)

We’re all pretty admitting of the fact that Facebook is the number one social networking site on the internet. It’s now either a habit or an addiction. Now it’s all about status updates before homework, making sure an FB window’s on minimize at the office, and downloading Facebook mobile for those times we’re on-the-go.

The site is proving to be as good for broadcasting marital and relationship discord as it is for sharing vacation photos. With just an hour of clicking here and there, you become a witness to people’s lives and keeping in touch with them has never become easier. It enables the most introverted of people to let you know how their day went, and the most extroverted of people to confirm every single psycho adding them up. And since even grandma has an account, your list of contacts become so diverse – from your nun of a high school teacher to your sex-crazed college buddy.

Must these facts, however, justify couples’ fretting over FB boo-boos? Is logging in to Facebook a bona-fide equivalent to “going out in public” – where everything posted will be subject to public scrutiny and judgment? And if so, do people then have every right to get upset over their partners’ online slip-ups?

I would think, to a certain extent, that couples do have a right to address online bothersome behavior – depending on the gravity of the offense and depending on how big of a deal Facebook really is to them.

But at the end of the day, relationships should work only because two people have decided to make them work on a larger scale. Facebook, as powerful and influential as it is, should only be of minimum concern to couples. Sure, the profile may be an extension of a person; but it’s not just about commenting/liking this/writing on walls/tagging/giving virtual pets (?) to make the other person feel special; nor is it defining the relationship over what other people have to say. It’s about real communication – talking, identifying problems, working them out, and literally seeing eye-to-eye… and… well… putting sex before Mafia Wars.

A relationship is made up of two people. Not two people with 506 other friends.

The Second Fall

Against all the demands of norm, she flung her true self out to the world with carefree delight. She knew who she was and embraced her every scar, her every inadequacy, her every flaw… She knew that her soul’s colors, though stained, were indeed still vibrant. Her experiences, like tapestry, were woven so intricately – creating a picture of the vivacious life she had already been living.

Not too far in the distance, he noticed her again.

She never dimmed this growing flare inside for anyone. She was tired of those who placed expectations and imposed limitations on her as a person. And so with all the passion, eccentricity and valor that would have made Shakespeare and Van Gogh proud; she ran out into the field of life, oblivious to any ditch that could have been waiting anywhere ahead. Happiness was never too far with this freedom in her heart.

He then followed her like a steady cloud.

She knew he was there, and she stopped leisurely to let him enter her life again. Keeping a watchful eye, however, she kept her emotional distance from him with the caution of an untrusting feline.

Friendship blossomed steadily as he quietly strode beside her for the rest of the days that followed. He had let her run further into her field of vivid thoughts and dreams – watching, listening and somewhat even guiding, when her paths came to sudden turns and dead-ends.

He saw the true her, and still reached for her hand – knowing very well not to let go.

Inundated with the worries of a heart slowly unbolting to emotion, she became fearful of the sudden ease she began to feel with his lingering presence. There was the simplicity she had long sought with him before. He had suddenly singled himself out from the other men that had entered her life before him -- with his simple gestures of affection and quiet understanding of the world she lived in.

Then like an anchor dropping in the currents of her life, the happy days came to a sudden halt when she stumbled and fell off a cliff not too far from where she had been running.

Seconds before plummeting to the ground below, it was he who flashed in her mind; and her hopes that he would be there to break her fall. On the steady descent down to her greatest failure, two arms locked around her…

And there he was…

Catching her when she needed him most.


She was now back in the very same golden field. More days had passed, and from her guarded heart grew a more vulnerable and trusting one. The field was her haven, and she was slowly beginning to let him become part of the happiness it brought her. It was as sure as gravity that her thoughts and care began to evolve around him.

With the distance closing more and more between them, she finally saw him too.

And finally, let herself fall...

(June 4, 2010)

A Little Kiwi's Dream

Because she too, wants to make the impossible possible...

My Walking Checklist

Off the top of my head, my Perfect Guy would have the following traits:

*cue cheesy Classical music*

1. He loves dogs.

Shit... Literally.

2. He does not mind me studying for my classes on date night.

So... um... this place is nice... right? *cricket! cricket!*

3. He puts the toilet seat up.


4. He sees past my acne and gaining weight before PMS days.


5. He is an awesome dancer. 

'Cause you know what they say about dancers. *smirk*

6. He takes care of me when I get drunk.

Baby, ever think about cutting back on rice?

7. He automatically orders Coke Original for me when we eat out.

*Buuuurp!* Your turn!

8. He holds my hand in front of his friends and proudly calls me his.
So... who was the other chick yesterday, man?

9. He lets my girl friends interrogate him just for shits and giggles.

Cheat on her and we'll castrate you. Understood?

10. He would hug me if I fail in school and tell me it’s the school’s loss.


11. He has his own life-slash-job.

Now off to fry patties!

12. He doesn't get unreasonably jealous.

He said "I love you" 'cause he's my DAD!

13. He doesn't mind seeing me in jeans every time we go out.


14. He sings at the top of his lungs with me to songs on the radio.

"She wears short skirts! I wear T-shirts!
She's cheer-captain and I'm on the bleachers!"

15. He is incredibly smart and funny. In a witty, sexy kind of way.

"Get it? The chicken crossed the road
‘cause she wanted to LAY IT ON THE LINE! Too funny!”

16. He texts me at least once, even if it was Boys Night Out.

Just having coffee with the boys, baby. XOXO

17. He doesn't mind listening to my weird spiels and randomness attacks.

"So I was thinking... Why don't we come up with cotton candy-flavored potato chips?"

18. He is presentable… … *cough!* good-looking! *cough*

"Yes, I'm Marc Nelson... and where have you been all my life, Elly?
Besides staring at my half-naked poster in your bedroom for the past six years?"

19. He is loyal to only me.

"Baby, I'm so loyal to you I no longer look at other girls' moms."

20. He is my best-est friend in the entire world and knows me from the tip of my hair strand to the deepest part of my soul.

"Honey... you sooo farted, didn't you?"


*Stop cheesy music*

This is reality, and I can never have that one perfect guy. Four words: He does not exist. Actively dating has shown me that with every average male person I meet; only 6-10 of all traits can be checked on my list. (Not that I keep track... *guilty laugh*)

Seriously, who would want a girlfriend studying on date-and-hopefully-mind-bl
owing-sex-later night? What guy would sit through a grilling session with his girlfriend’s posse? What guy wouldn’t want to see his girlfriend sport a mini-skirt? And what guy would want to text his girlfriend while Candy Candice shook her surgically-altered D-cupped boobs in his face?

(And by the way, that’s bullshit if you don’t have a checklist!) It may not be as concrete and specific as the one provided above but somehow, all of us have drawn our own standards for considering potential partners. Like my friend Jom who just needs a girl with two tits and soft lips… *wink*

And no wonder why many people have been single for too long.

Checklists should only be a guide for choosing partners. It’s unrealistic to have to base our choices on qualifications, especially if they’re too specific. Sometimes, all you have to settle for is someone who makes you happy – regardless of where he came from, what he does for a living, or what his plans are in the future. There will be so much more meaning and depth to come across someone so imperfect, yet all of a sudden so faultless because of how awesome he makes you feel.

He’s atheist, but he makes you laugh like no one else can. He hates pets, but he fireman carries you and takes you home when you get pissed-drunk. He doesn’t know what to do with his life, but he makes an effort to get along with your parents. He’s 20 pounds too heavy, but he makes the meanest smoked barbeque ribs. He’s an ex-convict who got arrested for burglary, but he showers you with the most expensive jewelry. (Who would've thought, right? LOL. C’mon.)

So before the opportunity of finding Mr. Right slips away, take Mr. Perfect out of the damn way and give your number to the next ridiculously imperfect guy that passes by…

** (Jejemons are the exceptions to the rule, by the way. It’s perfectly okay to stay away from those.)

Optimistically Disenchanted | TNB