From Zig to Zag: A Valentine’s Special

“Love is a piano dropped from a fourth storey window, and you were in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

– The Little Girls, Ani Difranco

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         I’m going to say it straight out. Yes, I’m single!  With a very few exceptional moments of feeling depressed and lonely, usually after watching an awfully sappy movie or after reading a Nora Roberts book, I’m quite happy being single. I’m single, single as in not married, no attachments, and certainly not exclusively dating someone. Before you label me spinster and NBSB, I have to tell you that once upon a time I did go down that road. It wasn’t all pretty, fluffy and buttery feelings but I can never say it was that boring.

 I’ve always wanted to live in a bizzaro world, at least once and it would touch my love life, but my existence often borders on sighs and ”ugh, kill me” moments. Just once I wanted to have the “Oh my God! This is so surreal” moment and my love life got the ”You have got to be kidding me!” instead.  As I go back to my stone aged years, I realized at least one bizarre factor from all the guys that one way or another have been linked to me. Linked! *inserts laugh here* What a funny word. I just made myself a celebrity. Anyway, back to pressing matters at hand. As I said, bizzaro came and made my love life a unicorn with extra tail.

Now let us go back in time to when I was a tiny girl with full straight bangs and a gap in my teeth. I really had those and I have the pictures to prove it and I’m not going to show it. And yes, we are going that far back because I was an early bloomer. I think I was five when I first noticed how my window was extra large with the potential of becoming the most beautiful picture frame and television in the world. The credit would go to my gorgeous neighbour who was ten or twelve years older than I. My said window was perfect. It faced his room which had a balcony and I could openly spy on him while he stretched and lazed around. I was brazen enough to say hi to him when he would see me and my pride would sunk to the bottom when he would respond with a smile and a look that clearly say “little girl”. It also didn’t help that he was my parents’ student because being a teacher’s child comes with “Don’t you dare come near me!” sign. But it helped because I was the Little Shy Miss and I would let the earth swallow me before I allow him to find out that this little girl was crushing on him big time. He found out and it was not the most pleasant experience. I have this friend who’s more of a big sister to me and she had a big mouth. We were talking, he passed by and she suddenly called him and said out loud to me “Here’s your crush!” It was so loud that I bet aliens from Saturn heard that. He laughed out loud. HE LAUGHED AT ME. And that’s when I also found out he was entering the seminary. HE WAS GOING TO BE A PRIEST. Only the best for the Lord. Years passed on, I became an adult and he was one step to his ordination as a priest and the big boom came. He left the seminary and ran away with his high school sweetheart. I shrugged. I really did shrug and thanked heavens it wasn’t me.

I’m a sucker for neighbours. Same house. Different room. Different guy. I believe I was ten when I first saw him. They just moved in to the same house with my seminarian guy and lived downstairs. This, I admit, I spied on. There was a crack on my wooden window and I could clearly see him every day. He was just a boy, around my age. He was skinny, small stature, 90s barber’s cut hair with a toothy grin. He was super cute and that’s from the point of view of a ten year old girl and now…he’s well… I can say puberty hit me better. Needless to say, most of the neighbour girls had a crush on him. One summer evening, my best friend, who visited us from Manila, and I decided to sleep on our porch on that very warm night. My best friend was beautiful. She still is and now she’s happily married. She was so beautiful and charming that no one was immune including my toothy neighbour which I found out that one painful night. He, by all coincidences… it must be, also decided to sleep on the porch which faced ours. It was late at night and we were having our girl talk when we noticed a light shining towards us. It was a beam of the flashlight of our toothy neighbour and he was trying to get our attention. We watched as he draped a blanket up high and made it into a makeshift screen for his shadow message. The light flashed on the blanket and he made several animal figure shadows on it. Then the light blinked and the letter “I” flashed and followed by a heart shape. By golly, you’d think we wouldn’t be dense by now. My heart pounded like crazy and my best friend grinned at me. She knew how I felt. The last shadow was that of a fruit. It was the fruit that my best friend was named after. My smile remained while I tried to hold back my tears. Good God! The pains I had to through as a ten year old kid. She asked me if I was okay, I just nodded, smiled and said it was no big deal. My generous heart was never angry at her, mostly because she didn’t like him…at all. Years passed again and now… he’s getting to ready to be ordained…AS A PRIEST. Fate is funny I tell you.

The same year I met toothy neighbour, an elementary classmate of mine started ”pursuing” me. It would also follow that because of toothy neighbour I had not one bit of feelings for him. However, I am quite thankful that he took care of my garden in school and I had high remarks for Home Economics class because of that. I gave him not one indication of hope. I believed he accepted that but just won’t give up. This is the sad part of my story. This boy broke down and was put on medication due to mental problems. I think he’s still on medication now. No, it wasn’t me. It was in his genes. I hope he would recover though most people say, the switch on his brain would forever be there. I pray the best for him.

Fast forward a year later, I had a classmate who was quite taken with me. I bet a million, he would kill me now if I say this but it was what it was. He’s a pretty smart boy. In fact, he was my biggest competitor that year for the first honour and that it irked me more than anything. I never hid my disdain and from the first moment he told me he liked me, he knew how much I disliked him. I must admit, I used the word hate at that time. Hey! I was a kid! He’s the most persistent to date. He courted me for several years. From when I was eleven till I was eighteen. Do you know anybody that persistent? I appreciated that more than anything. He never gave up on me for a long time. I had to break the bad news to him several times before he did gave up and I never saw him again for several years ’till the wonders of Facebook and voila! He wasn’t the least bit interested in me, or my kind… I think. You know the kind…the female kind. Oh yeah baby, he changed alright. He looked happier to me than when he thought he was in love with me. So whatever he is now, I’m glad he found his rhythm.

Here comes high school. Ah, it’s either the worst days or the best days of your life. Mine was kind of both in the middle. I am forever indecisive about this. I met my first boyfriend here. WOHOO!!! A BOYFRIEND! It didn’t last that long though. I broke up with him and it made me feel like shit for some time. He was very clear about what he felt and waited for three years before I gave the resounding ”Yes! Me too!” And because I was too nut shelled thinking “What do I need a guy for? Besides, I’m still too young.” It’s quite true. I was only fifteen and after two months of dating, I broke up with him. I didn’t really need anybody at that time. He was devastated…or so, that’s what his friends made me think. Shortly after that, he faced a family tragedy. I became the guilty monster and the guilt piled up when on the last day I saw him, he found out that I was *clears throat* ”in love” with another person all along and it just had to be someone very close to him. He wrote me quite an angry letter and I don’t want to repeat the words here. I wasn’t one bit angry and forgave his harsh, rude actually, words but I have no idea what he felt afterwards. I think it was a couple or three years later that a friend dropped the bomb. Here’s another guy who couldn’t really be interested in me because I am what I am… A WOMAN. Another male I lost to… well, males.

Now let’s do a turn table from this. I have a gay friend when I was eighteen. We were close and shared interest in music and… Men. He was openly gay and to my knowledge, he was gay since he was a fetus. Having a gay friend was extremely, extremely fun and the oddest and craziest but best things could happen. It was also beneficial for pretending situations without having any guilt but that’s another story. We shared secrets and solved problems together. I was so comfortable with him like I was with my own sister. One night, we were talking on the phone about topics I shouldn’t put here. I was laughing so hard when he suddenly said “I think you’re beautiful and I think I like you.” I laughed harder. Are you kidding me? It was the funniest thing I ever heard and he had to shout to sober me. Then he said it again, “I like you and I’m confused.” Ah, hell! I was confused too. I told him to sleep on it and he was just probably drunk. We talked again few days later and I could just slice the awkwardness in the air. I didn’t want to lose my friend. We talked again and he told me he was just feeling lonely. We both breathe a sigh of relief. Sorry gals, this isn’t like the movies. He’s really, really, really gay. I almost did it but I didn’t. It would probably take longer and slimmer legs.

Remember that “another person”? It turned out he had a thing for me too and professed it two years later. I was in college this time but I lived in a different city. So did he. You can roll your eyes now. Yes, it was a long distance relationship which lasted for almost ten months. I knew him for a long time before we became an item and I thought it was going to last forever. I really did, swear to God! Just when I thought I needed a man, communications ceased. I sent messages, called, begged and begged him to call me. I was clingy, whiny and needy. I was one step to becoming the Nagging Nazi Girlfriend before thinking “Wait just a damn minute!” I gave him one last message which sounded like “At least tell me if you’re alive. If you’re tired of talking to me, tell me and we’ll end this thing now.” Months and months I waited for him to talk to me, to reply with my silly, lovey dovey messages and finally he did with my last message. He simply replied with ”If that’s what you want.” I was stunned beyond words and I was heartbroken but I had my pride. I replied back with “Fine. We’ll stop now.” And that’s it. We simply… died. Years and years passed, I saw him plumper and older. He looked just like an old friend but looking back at my history and finding out that he was single, I was holding back one question on my mind ”Are you gay?” Can you blame me?

Stalker. Yes Sir! I had that one too. Let’s cut this story short shall we? He followed me everywhere, gave me flowers, gave me chocolates, gave me letters and pestered for my number. I turned him down countless times, threatened him and ”hired” a friend to pose as a boyfriend. He finally gave up after a year and a year later I saw him WEARING MAKE UP and in tight jeans. Good God! How is he slimmer than me? He was gay and proud! Please imagine me grinning from ear to ear now and shaking my head. This is the part of my life where it’s too good to be made into a movie.

I had one serious relationship in this lifetime. To define ”serious” meant we lasted for years, almost three actually, met the family and had a bit of… permanent plans. Then his job required him to travel every month by ship. Ah, a ship! Now why didn’t I saw that one coming? It was still good really. That’s what I thought but boy oh boy! I was so wrong. I went on a vacation with my family for Christmas and New Year celebration and he stayed with his family. On the last of the year, just before the new year broke, he delivered the news of his good tidings. He was going to be a father. Tada! Why am I not feeling any bump?Because… surprise! Surprise! I wasn’t the mother after all. Another lovely lady took the prize and guess what? They were getting married… soon! Yeah, yeah I bawled out loud like a baby and persnickety about chopping all the garlic and onions in the house. Needless to day, I almost stole the limelight from Mr. Stooge. I spaced out quite a lot. We met two or three days later and I was a complete mess. I gathered everything that belonged to him or anything that he might have stained and gave it back to him. I told him never to see me again and few seconds later, I asked if he was really going to marry her and another second later, I told him to never contact me again and showed him out the door. Just a day later, JUST A DAY, I had the misfortune of checking my social network and there they were…married. I saw him again months, or probably a year, later with a baby in tow and I just smiled at him and didn’t look back. It was the most liberating feeling in the world. Should I tell you that it has been several years later already and just days ago, he contacted me and tried to make me his mistress? It gave me one of my darndest big smile ever. Just what the hell was he thinking? I politely declined him and blocked his ID.

My sweet, sweet love life just tumbles in the most surprising manners sometimes. So I really couldn’t say it wasn’t a circus. It’s not the Big Bang either but it could be some good bedtime story. Sometimes, I think my heart is cursed. I do advise men to keep a distance from me. I could turn them into priest, gay or married… but not to me. Ah, my huge grin’s coming back to me again. Now, I’ve resorted to giving my heart to celebrities. I could love with all my heart without turning them… or myself, into different persons. I’m neither a bitter person nor a man hater. I am happy person and I do smile a lot. And I love men. Gosh! I do love men. The sweaty, musky, sweet, annoying male species still gives me the shivers. I am very appreciative of those goofy grins and those fabulous muscles. I just happened to be single and happy being one. If one guy with qualities of being charming and less annoying comes, I’d still probably go for it. What’s a life without a circus eh?

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