By Benjamin Joseph D. Collado III
Published on Page C1 of the July 26, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer
IT’S ABOUT WAKING UP IN THE morning with a bad hangover and being hit by a very familiar feeling that you went overboard again last night. It’s about a one-night stand with a girl you met at a party, sneaking out of her room before she wakes, checking your things if something was missing, looking for her phone and purposely deleting your number from her phonebook.
It’s about meeting a girl at a bar and offering her a ride home. It’s about asking her if she wanted to go someplace private so you can talk—when both of you are aware that you have a different “talk” in mind. It’s about meeting your ex again after quite some time and noting how much better she looks now than she did before. It’s about pushing the right buttons for her to give in. And finding yourself in bed with her without strings attached, all the while being grateful to your friend who told you it’s good not to burn your bridges with your exes.
It’s about seeing a girl and finding ways for you to meet her. With pickup lines being overused, you have a better chance of getting her number by having a friend go over and ask her politely if he can have his friend over there introduced to her. It’s about texting with her the whole day, getting to know her, showing that you have a genuine interest in her, sharing sweet nothings on the phone and forwarding her cheesy quotes that work almost all the time.
It’s about having your friend, your partner-in-crime, the Robin to your Batman—or whatever you want to call him—validate to her all your pledges of devotion and loyalty.
It’s about perfecting the art of lying. Telling your girlfriend it was just you and the boys last night—go ask Robin. And not bothering to tell Robin what to say because he already knows the routine. It’s about keeping your girlfriend happy. Giving her gifts and surprises so she won’t suspect your wayward ways.
It’s about not caring if your girlfriend broke up with you because she caught you cheating. There are other fish in the sea, you say. You’re better off a free man, free to do anything you pleased without worrying about getting caught.
It’s about asking the girl you just met out for a date. Convincing her that you’re for real. Making her forget about the warnings her friends gave about you. It’s about doing anything so you can bring her home tonight. And if everything else fails, it’s always a good idea to have a plan B.
It’s about saying the L word without breaking eye contact. Making her believe that you really mean it and that you’re starting to fall for her. That’s plan B.
It’s about thinking of ways to break up with her if she starts to get clingy. Thinking of the standard breakup lines and wondering if she’ll buy it. It’s about rushing to your friend’s girlfriend with a shoulder to cry on. Telling her that everything’s gonna work out fine. Comforting her one minute, making out the next.
It’s about going out with your friends and partying all night. Drinking till dawn and playing around with girls.
It’s about waking up in the morning with a bad case of hangover and a very familiar feeling that you went overboard again last night.
It really is an ugly cycle. After years of a life like this, you begin to ask yourself if there is more to life than drinking all night and finding someone tohook up with. And in the morning when you wake up, no matter how much you soap yourself, you still have this uneasy feeling that you’re still dirty.
Your friend has found a girl that he’s serious about. When you go out with your friends, you find him taking a raincheck because he has to spend time with his girl. You and your friends wonder what has gotten into him. You even wonder if he’s lost his mind. How can he even think about trading this kind of life? There’s nothing better than a bachelor’s life.
It’s all fun and games the first few years. But after a while, you look at yourself in the mirror and find the traces of abuse you did to yourself. And if you don’t change your ways, you fear that maybe someday you’ll find yourself alone and lonely.
And after all the years of booze and girls, you can finally sum up your life in one word—empty. Maybe it’s not good to spend your life that way. Maybe your friend hasn’t lost his mind, after all.
What you need is to find someone who can make you look forward to another day. Someone who, when you think about her, never fails to put a smile on your face. Someone who makes you want to be a better man—to steal a line from pareng Jack Nicholson.
Someone who fills that emptiness in you, making you complete.
Before, when you to wake up in the morning and find somebody in your arms, your first thought was how you could get rid of her without hurting her feelings. But now, what you need is a girl who makes you want to think of reasons and ways to let her stay in your arms.
Because when she’s right there beside you, it is as if everything’s okay. That nothing else matters but you and her.
You need somebody who makes you miss her so much that you buy a bottle of her perfume and spray it on your pillows so, when you go to bed at night, you can hug the pillow with her scent on it and wish that it was really her you were hugging.
You need somebody who makes your heart skip a beat when she smiles at you. Who makes you feel so comfortable and safe that you pour out your heart to her, unburdening secrets that you’ve kept for a long time. And having her tell you that it’s okay, you have a new slate now, that you can leave everything where it belongs, in the past, and concentrate on what lies ahead of you.
You need someone who makes you listen more to love songs on the radio. Someone whom you pray for at night before you sleep. Someone you wish you’d dream about, for even while you sleep, you still want to be with her.
Someone whom you can finally look in the eye, without all the guilt and deceit, and tell her you love her. And you get this mushy feeling inside that tells you it’s true. You want to shout over the rooftops, you love her, and she loves you! There’s no better feeling in the world.
I have found my someone. I have found my all. I’ve been wanting to ask this for a long time now. And I think there’s no better timing than now. So here I am, down on one knee, asking you, my someone. Will you marry me?
If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?