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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.

Optimistically Disenchanted | TNB