illusions, passions

of pseudofriendships, buffalo wings, and beer


by Grich,

for rache, and the most meaningful “independence day” ever =)

A dear friend taught me a valuable lesson last night.

We were there, drinking and smoking and nibbling on buffalo wings; she on her third bottle of red-horse, and I, on my second super dry. It was a perfect scene right out of a chick-flick, two girls laughing and talking at the same time, looking all grown up, though the candid charm and youthful smiles remained. It has been what? Five years? The last time we talked we were practically itchy to graduate from college and get a job. Now five years has come and gone, and looking at her from across the table. I’d say life has been kind to both of us.

The night was young, and dinner was slow and easy. We didn’t need an ice-breaker to rekindle friendship though; all it took was meeting each other’s gaze and right there and then, we burst out laughing. Strange really, but this is what’s miraculous about true friendships, the connection doesn’t die at all. The person may come in and get out of your life, but the years, which kept you apart, will not matter anymore. You are the same persons, altered by time, distance and experience, but nevertheless, you are the same persons who copied each other’s school notes, who giggled and gossiped about the campus heartthrob, and who went through identity crisis and a confusing college life together.

My friend has grown into a beautiful, self-assured woman and I am very proud of that. She had her share of mistakes and miscalculated steps yes, but those are the same things, which toughened her up. And polished her to a bright sheen, if I may add. Love, however, remained elusive for both of us. We had meaningful relationships with good men; men who were generous and devoted and faithful. But we also had our share of princes who turned into green slimy frogs; those who don’t deserve second thoughts or second chances. But good men or green slimy frogs they may be, one thing remained: we were not able to make it work out.

That fact alone deeply disheartens me. First of all, I can’t afford to bump into another slimy frog once again, I am already 25 years old for godsake, and I have no time to play silly games. I do not have the luxury of lengthy courtship, for my life already revolves around structured priorities. As much as I want to experience the giddy, sunshine-on-my-face, ice-cream-on-my-lips kind of young romance, I don’t think it would happen to me anymore. I have grown too cynical for that; and I have grown accustomed to disappointment.

My friend, on the other hand, saw things differently. Despite the tragedies love hurled violently at her, she remained a bright ray of hope, waiting for her time to shine. I asked her how she managed to keep hoping in that childlike abandon, how she remained steadfast in her faith and optimism that someday, the right man will come, sweep her off her feet and they will live happily ever after. She just looked at me, smiled and told me a story so sad but so inspiring that it would probably stay in my memory for years to come.

“You see, once when I thought there was nothing left here on earth to live for, I asked God every night not to wake me up in the morning. I told HIM that I’d be much happier if I just die in my sleep, than to continue living a dreary life which has long lost its meaning. But every morning I find myself waking up in bed, all in one piece, breathing and living. And I wanted to cry, because I am too much of a coward to kill myself, and yet I wanted to die. I waited and waited, every night of my life for God to end it all. But I was deeply disappointed. I kept on waking up.”

I looked at my friend, with her flushed cheeks and bright eyes. She was radiant and happy and it’s hard for me to imagine that the same girl has ever contemplated death in such a sad way. She was too promising, and everyone knew how bright her future could become.

“And so what happened”? I asked, not able to hide the curiosity in my voice.

“So I made a different deal with God.” She smiled sheepishly, like a small child who has finally unraveled a secret.

“I told Him that since I don’t think He would kill me anytime soon, it has to mean something; that I still wake up every morning because there is something grand coming my way, something more beautiful and happier than anything else that has happened in my life”.

And she sat there smiling, looking serene and at ease with herself. Right there and then, I felt a twinge of envy.

Life is a choice, and happiness is a frame of mind. My friend has surpassed the dark cloud in her life just by holding His hand and believing that He has another plan for her. Her faith and courage sustained her when there is nothing left to hold on to, and nothing more to live for. I realized that for every fall, for every tragedy, and for every ounce of pain that we experience in our lives, God is and will always be there to hold our hands.

My friend and I went home way past midnight, still giggling in excitement but sad to see each other go. I couldn’t help smiling though, for somewhere deep inside me, I walked out of that glitzy bar-resto, tipsy with anticipation for another life’s adventure ahead. It felt good walking with a lighter heart once again.


I never had second thoughts about you being profound, but still, you left me speechless for a long moment, in awe of how beautifully you glorified my sharpest rollercoaster rides. Just this morning, I walked around the bleak corridors, nauseated by the thought of pseudofriendships i have cultivated: with gurlfriends who judged, ex-colleagues who harbored old school mindsets about smart girls losing out on matters of the heart, and ex-boyfriends’ third parties.

Beyond disappointed, I sat before this trusty screen ruthlessly plotting revenge which we both know I will not deliver. It is just the sheer evil of the daydream that leaves me with so much gusto. That was just 3 nights ago, (I remember correctly, because the taste of buffalo wings and beer is still playing on my tongue) when you helped me admit that revenge is indeed sweet. Bad as it seems, it is still too good a feeling to just simply miss. Without your wanting to, you’d be faced with that opportunity to gloat your “goddessliness.” You’d be surprised to find out that some moments best associated with telenovelas do happen in real life.

And I have to reaffirm that this is indeed real life, where our “green slimy frogs” thrive, where cynicism is almost customary. But this is also not too real that we should skimp on “sunshine-on-my-face, ice-cream-on-my-lips” moments.

I have redefined my “frog.” It alludes to any fake or illusory presence. It transcends gender and my relation to the frog. For all we know, even people on our Friendster could be “frogging” on us.

But then I can always make another pact with God, or the Goddess. Or I can always share another bottle of beer with you.

Yes, that was indeed “the most meaningful Independence Day” I’ve celebrated. But NO, I do not want to be swept off my feet, and I do not believe it is possible to live happily ever after. I’m not that childlike after all. Like you (quoting your comment on ukay-ukay shopping and kissing frogs), “i don’t want to find my man in that senseless heap. I want him to be too special to even end up in that heap. I mean, i want him to be the old blue shirt his owner doesn’t want to give away just because its very comfortable.”


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