otherwise engaged.

a random mental scrapbook for things rescued from the detritus of everyday, maintained
by an impossibly romantic, oftentimes obsessive compulsive, but always incredibly
unfrazzled and beautiful (or so she'd like to think), bride-to-be.
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A woman who writes feels too much,those trances and portents!
As if cycles and children and islands weren't enough;
as if mourners and gossips and vegetables were never enough.
She thinks she can warn the stars. A writer is essentially
a spy. Dear love,
I am that girl. --from THE BLACK ART by Anne Sexton

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Happy birthday to me!

Yesterday was my birthday.

Alcuin took me to dinner in an expensive Indian resto (where
orange juice was Php 180. Indian, kasi mahilig ako sa Indian
food). Masarap yung food but I was uncomfortable with the
crowd. Masyadong sosi. Kami limited lang ang inorder--ni iced
tea ko ayaw ko dumoble ng order kasi ayaw ko mapamahal
yung bill namin (Php 110 yung iced tea)--e, imagine indian food
yung nilatak namin! While everyone around us were so
nonchalantly wrapped up in their conversations, and --as I took
furtive glances at the other tables--I saw they weren't even drinking
iced tea or juice with their dinners--they were having wine!

I was a bit disappointed that not much planning went into my birthday
dinner. It turned out it was his first time to eat there, too. And he'd only
heard about it from a friend. Worse, he didn't even bring me flowers,
nor a gift. I just tried not to think about it, because it would seem I
didn't appreciate the dinner. It was an effort for him--he had gone out
of his comfort zone--his idea of eating out is Mister Kebab--to take me
to a posh resto, at the Fort, yet! But I couldn't help it, and I didn't realize
how disappointed I was till the ride home in the car. We were still
supposed to have coffee at UCC in the Fort and eat our Gonuts
(his favorite), but I said I was low batt na (which was true, I wasn't
thinking so much of the disappointment as I was just so eager to
turn in na for the night because it had been such a long day for me
so far). But in the car it got awkward, because I couldn't think of
anything to say.

So he noticed I was quiet and he asked why, and I told him
about the thoughts that were running through my head at that
moment--that i appreciated the expensive dinner (but that it was
too expensive for me to enjoy), that I would have loved to have gotten
kahit just one rose for my birthday, that I would have loved instead
to eat in a less fancy restaurant (like when he took me to
Dome and our favorite Noel Cabangon was performing. Our
bill then could not have been more than Php 500). So as we drove
to my place, he suddenly made a left turn toward Anonas. I thought
he was angry. He said he was not, but he wanted to salvage the night
because he didn't want to see me sad on my birthday. It was Noel's
night at the Bistro 70s, he said, and we just might catch him yet. So I
was happy na. We both had a beer each (I drink so much faster than
him! For a guy he doesn't really like to drink) as we listened to our
favorite guy. Noel Cabangon saved the day--this guy has no idea of
the wonders he's done for our lovelife.

We didn't stay for the second set. it was already 12 am by
then, and we both had work the following day. So he took me
home. At my condo, when I stepped out of the bathroom, he
suddenly produced a box wrapped in white and silver
(pang-wedding) and tied up with a sheer light blue ribbon.
Omigosh, I thought. But I thought it was too big for a ring (just
that Sunday, he was telling me that he might not be able to give
me an engagement ring because he couldn't afford it.) Before
I realized what was happening, he got down on one knee and
was beginning a speech that began "May, I may not be perfect..."
which was totally wasted on me because i started crying already
and apologizing for not trusting he cared to make my birthday
special. I opened the gift and he had to help me because I had
a hard time because my eyes were all blurry. It was a watch,
"So that everytime you look at the time, you will remember that i
love you," he said, or something to that effect.

Grabe i hugged him tight, I'm so sure he couldn't breathe. I don't
know, I couldn't recall na how the rest of the speech went, till he got
to the part that he asked, "May, will you marry me?". And I said "Yes,
yes, but it's okay with you that I could be quite a little bitch sometimes?
I think I was awful to you tonight." He said it's alright, that i was just
being a girl. I don't know for how long we hugged and kissed. He
was on my armchair and I sat on his lap. And that's where
I'm going to end this story. Ganun.