Showing posts with label Love & Marriage. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Love & Marriage. Show all posts

Saturday, February 18, 2023

7 reasons he’s pulling away just when things are getting serious

You’re thrilled at how things are going great with the guy you’re dating. He’s funny, thoughtful, and cute. Best of all, he seems really into you! But just when you think he might be “the one,” he becomes distant. Now you’re thinking if the reasons why he’s pulling away are your fault. (Note: Don't you ever blame yourself for his problems!)

Photo by Zhu Liang on Unsplash

Before you get worried about these reasons, take a deep breath. Maybe he’s just busy at work, tired from a trip, or spending time with family and friends. After all, he has a life, too. Remind yourself from this day and forever that people - family, friends, significant others - are allowed to have a life separate from your relationship. This is a good time for you to focus on your friends and interests. If it’s only been a few days of him acting distracted, then it’s probably nothing to worry about.

However, if he’s acting withdrawn for a week or so and he’s not telling you why or reassuring you, then you may be onto something. Here are 7 possible reasons why he’s pulling away:

1. He’s feeling rushed.

The good news is he’s realized he’s falling in love and he’s reeling from the intensity of his emotions for you. It’s all new and scary for him and he needs to slow down and take it all in. Be patient.

2. He’s scared of getting hurt.

Maybe he’s putting the brakes on because his heart’s been broken before. Be gentle and show him he can trust you.

3. He feels he doesn’t deserve you.

You’re everything he’s ever dreamed of… and he thinks someone as amazing as you might be better off with someone better than him. Okay, insecurity is a possible red flag, so reassure him of your admiration but watch out for constant low self-esteem. Believe me, you don't want to be with someone with low self-esteem.

4. He’s afraid of losing himself.

He could be wondering if he’s still the same person if he’s only doing things you like, wearing outfits you picked out, eating your favorite food, watching your favorite Koreanovela when he hates those shows, and so on. If you’re controlling everything you do together, give him space to be himself.

5. He needs a break.
 
You’re simply spending too much time together. His friends want to hang out with him, his family misses him, or he wants to play the videogame he bought months ago. Let him have fun without you!

6. He’s wary of commitment.

Your relationship started as just fun for him but now he’s thinking if this is serious enough to lead to marriage and kids. Maybe he’s not ready for that yet. If you’re willing to wait, assure him you’d like to take your time, too.

7. He’s losing interest.

Ouch! Don't waste your time. Just move on.

Everyone reaches a point where they take stock of their relationship. If he seems distant, don’t worry about it too much since all he needs is time to process how he feels for you. He needs to do this on his own so give him space.

Let him work through the reasons why he’s pulling away. If he breaks up with you, then it’s not meant to be. But if he comes back, then you know he’s serious about you. Now it's up to you to decide if he was worth the wait. 

* * * * * * *
P.S. I wrote this as a test article for a job I applied for last year (it didn't work out because stuff were piling up in my life). It's such a waste to not use it so I published it here but edited it so it sounds more like me and not like the website I wrote it for (they didn't publish it and I retain all rights to this article). Gosh. All the test articles I've written over the years! All the job search stories! Maybe I'll do a story on my job search. Let me know if you'd like that!

Friday, September 09, 2022

Gold digger

I have a little story I've been meaning to tell for years and years now. But I could never bring myself to share it because whenever I tried before, it left a bad taste in my mouth. But I guess enough time has passed that this time, I have the humor and grace to tell you all about it.

But first, two things: 

(1) People get surprised when I say I studied in public schools. They always assumed I grew up rich. I'm pretty sure it's not my face or my clothes that make me look wealthy. Maybe it's my vocabulary. Read enough and you get smart enough to make people believe you could afford the best education, I guess. 

(2) I've never said or pretended I was rich. In fact, I tell people all the time I was poor, so much so that my husband reminds me now and then not to romanticize it. So I'll keep that in mind while I write this blog post.




So now for my story. Or stories. I have four.

#1

When Vince and I started dating, almost everyone in his world welcomed me. I was so relieved because he was, well, he doesn't like the word "rich" and prefers the term "comfortable." So let's just say Vince was very comfortable. He went to private schools, lived in a gated community of mansions, drove his own car, and flew off to destinations to ski and dive and shop and whatever it is comfortable people do. 

I was nervous to meet his family because I didn't think I was good enough for him, but on our first date, Vince brought me to his house to meet his parents. His family treated me well from the very start. At that time, I thought it was evidence of their kindness. But looking back, I also think it was because Vince made it crystal clear that he was besotted with me. 

As for his friends... Well, they were lovely, too, until this one time when they were drinking. Vince had excused himself to go to the loo and one of them told me, "Hey, Vince always pays for your dates, which is strange because aren't you a feminist?" Before I could explain that I have no money for Vince's expensive taste in everything so we agreed he pays if he insists on chi-chi restaurants over Jollibee, his other friend laughed, "She's not a feminist, she's a gold digger." 

I usually have a comeback for everything but at that moment, I was so surprised that I couldn't think. And then Vince came back and everyone literally pretended nothing happened. I never mentioned it again but it was a little worm that fucked me up.

#2

Sometime later, a colleague who went to college with Vince stopped me in the corridor of our office. She said, "You know, I've always wondered: What do you and Vince talk about?" 

"What do you mean?" 

She tilted her head to one side and looked at my second-hand clothes I bought from eBay, "Well, you're obviously not part of our crowd."

A few months later, I accompanied my friend, Che, to a bridal fair at Shangri-la Hotel. While Che was chatting with suppliers, I wandered off to another booth where I bumped into my colleague. She looked at me, amused. "What are you doing here?"

"I'm with my friend. She's getting married."

"Oh! I thought you were thinking of getting married," she laughed.

I didn't like her laugh so I said, "Well, Vince and I have been together for a few years so I might as well look around."

And she smiled at me indulgently and sighed. "Oh, dear, do his parents know? I don't think they'll like...  Do you really think Vince will marry...?" and then she looked at me from head to toe with her infuriating gentle smile. And I knew her unspoken words were ...someone like you?

"Is she bothering you?" Che spat out.

"No, I was just chatting with Frances. Bye!" And colleague left.

Che looked at me in disgust. "How could you allow her to talk to you like that?"

I allowed it because I believed it. Why indeed would he be with someone like me?

Spoiler alert: He married me anyway!

#3 

Many years later, I was definitely in a much better place. I was successful in my career, I was somebody now, and best of all, I knew Vince loved me. 

But after our gorgeous wedding was splashed in the society pages of Inquirer and Wedding Essentials magazine, one of my father's friends said I did very well for myself. And then she got mad at Papa because she wasn't invited to my wedding and she told him, "Your daughter marries up and she's suddenly a snob." I wasn't a snob actually. I asked my parents for their guest list and she wasn't included in their list so it wasn't my fault.  

But while I wasn't insecure about this shit anymore, a deep resentment surfaced. I did not marry up. I did not do well for myself by landing a comfortable man. We married as equals and I resented that people will never see me as his equal.  

#4

I dragged Vince to the Esquire Ball as my date. At that time, Vince had been unemployed for a couple of years. I was making a lot of money so we decided that he can be the stay-at-home parent to our baby boys. At the party, he caught up with a few people. One of them asked, "So what are you doing now?"

Vince replied with no shame, just nonchalant confidence, "I'm a stay-at-home dad. I married a rich woman."

And all the guys at the table gaped at him in awe. 

I will confess: his masculinity not being threatened at all and him just owning being a kept man like a boss made me drool. 

What a man! 

Blurry photos from the Esquire Ball with editor-in-chief Erwin Romulo

I guess I wanted to tell these stories because I realize that some people will always think I'm a gold digger (to their credit and mine, his friends changed their minds about me). And maybe some people even admire me because I caught a catch.

Pfft. It should surprise them no end that in this marriage, it's my husband who thinks he's punching above his weight. He's always said he's the one who got lucky and that he's the one who married up. 

Thanks, babe.

What people refuse to see is it's possible that someone like me who's lived with so little for so long has learned to do without the trappings of life and actually enjoy it. I don't like poverty, okay, but I love the simple life. It doesn't take much to make me happy, and that is what people don't understand. No one will ever have enough to offer someone who doesn't need material possessions.

Am I defensive? No. I'm just happy. Okay, maybe I'm defending my happiness? Maybe. I'm so happy. I literally have Php 7000 in my personal bank account and I'm happy. I'll tell you why and I will concede that Vince gave me this. 

While Vince lived a much more comfortable life, it wasn't material wealth that made him so irresistible to me. I loved how intelligent he was and how he respected my brain. I loved how he was crazy about me because that is honestly such a huge confidence booster. I loved how he admired my sass but was quick to call out my bullshit. I loved how he urged me to have dreams and to go after them, pushing me all the time to dream bigger and do better. I loved how he made me believe I was worthy of all the world had to offer, and that he was not going to give them to me like some dashing prince rescuing the scullery maid. 

And this no one ever really understands because it's not the stuff of fairy tales: Vince never offered me the moon and the stars because he believed in me enough to know I could get them all on my own. And his vision for me and my future was so bright, it dazzled even me. 

Money is earned, money runs out, money can be stolen, but what I got from this relationship I will never lose. Vince may not have promised me material wealth, but he gave me something more precious: He gave me belief in myself. 

So let's go back to that term. It amuses me now because this is corny but true: All the gold was inside me and Vince just helped me dig it out of me so I can be the shining star I am now. 

Gold digger. Yeah. I'm redefining it and owning it. 

Sunday, September 04, 2022

Life update: school, sex, blood, and books

So I haven't been blogging. Nothing in June, two posts in July, one in August. Ya, I know. What's up, right? Lots and lots, that's what! Here's the gist:

1. Work

It got really busy for a while, to the point that I was up till 3am every night. Then everything died down last month, which was welcome because of...

2. School

I was so stressed out wrapping up the last school year. My three kids were homeschooled so I drowned in giving grades and making portfolios. Then when that was done, I got busy with enrolling the boys for this school year. Then it was the start of a new school for my eldest boy and all the stuff that goes with face-to-face classes again on top of homeschooling my two younger boys. 

3. Sex

I went on a pill break because I've been on the pill since I was 22. I have endometriosis and the pill is an effective treatment for me. I've only taken pill breaks when I was busy making babies in my 30s.

Anyway, I took a pill break a few months ago because my periods have been erratic (perimenopause!) and let me tell you, I was overcome by a resurrected sex drive. My husband is very happy. Me, too! It feels like we're on a honeymoon frenzy. I can't keep my hands off him! You get a little peek at how I've been feeling in this post: 7 kinds of kisses

So it's been wonderful but here's the thing that's put our sex life on hold...

4. Blood

(If you're squeamish, skip this part.) 

So much blood! Today is officially the 13th day of my period. And every day is soaked in blood. When you have endometriosis, periods are extremely bloody. That's one of the reasons the pill is amazing - it reduces bleeding. When I went off the pill, I was surprised that I didn't have my periods for 4 months. So we figured I'm really menopausal. 

However, this month, all those missed periods came back with a vengeance. So I've been dealing with menorrhagia (heavy menstrual bleeding) and that means many changes of blood-soaked napkins, taking care of bloodstains on clothes and sheets, and feeling a bit weak and lightheaded from the blood loss. I'm honestly feeling under the weather as I'm typing this. 

Anyway, I'm going to the doctor tomorrow to have this checked. I'm getting worried. Googling "menorrhagia" and the many conditions that may cause it is making me anxious. Hopefully, it's nothing and going back on the pill will solve it.

5. Books

Okay, back to happy news! I started writing a book! It's a teen romance that's also a werewolf romance. Yes, that's my new obsession! Werewolf romances! I discovered this strange genre last June and let me tell you, it's insane! Apparently, it's huge with women because it's truly romantic. I am so dazzled by it. I've pretty much read 30 novels in the last 2 months (that's a book every 2-3 days!).

All those novels pushed me to write my own! I love that my husband is a willing partner in the creation of my novel. I'm the one writing it, okay, but I ask him about certain plot points and when I need to check if a sex position works, he's only too happy to help try it out hahaha.

Anyway, I've been telling my followers about my little book project on my Insta and I'm really moved by the support and excitement you've been showing. I hope to finish the book in 6 months. Watch for it on Wattpad!!!



Of course, writing a book means I run out of words for the blog. That's why I haven't been blogging. I'm so sorry! I miss you all so much! Please wait for me. I'll try to update this blog every Sunday. Till then, please pray for me (because I'm seeing the doctor tomorrow) and wish me well on my writing adventure!

Have a great week, everyone! Love you all! 


Saturday, July 02, 2022

7 kinds of kisses

I love when he hugs me from the back, with his arms around my waist, and he twists my head to kiss him. So hot.

I love when he sniff-kisses my neck like a grandma and murmurs, "Mmm. You smell good." So sexy.

I love when his hands are in my hair. He rarely does this. He's a body hugger, not a head-grabber. But the few times he's done this, I was thrilled no end.

I love hugs, too. I'm a huge hugger! The bigger, the tighter, the better. I like being swallowed up in his arms. I feel safe and loved. And I like to feel his heartbeat on my cheek and his kiss in my hair. It feels like home.

I love ambush kisses while we're working, cooking, doing chores. He doesn't because he doesn't like getting distracted when he's focused. So I always attack him with hugs and kisses while our kids look at us, mortified and laughing at their yucky parents. So funny!

I love licks. He thinks we're about to kiss and then I quickly lick him and he yelps. He always protests. I like it when he protests and he says, "You're so kulit!" But I can see that no matter how kulit I get, he'll never get mad at me. It's my superpower. He never gets mad at me.

I love when we laugh while kissing. Even though teeth get involved. It's so fun. Laughing while kissing the one I love. Can anything be better?


I love kisses! 

Sunday, June 20, 2021

The man behind the scenes

I wasn't able to take a proper Father's Day photo of Vince and our boys today. That's because they got excited about the gift we got him (a Dungeons & Dragons Castle Ravenloft board game!). While there are no pictures, I'm glad to report that today was a very happy day for my husband.

So on Facebook and Instagram, everyone's posting their Father's Day appreciation essays and of course I had to join because I had to show proof my kids have a father hahahaha My husband is very private and so I only get to show him off maybe twice a year - Christmas and Father's Day. He doesn't forbid me, but I know the spotlight makes him uncomfortable. It's Father's Day today, though, and he had a wonderful day so maybe we can celebrate him today!

Since I didn't have new photos to post, I shared old photos of Vince being a dad. I didn't have many pictures, which says a lot about Vince. Here are the unspoken meanings behind the photos I shared:


#1 He's always the one behind the camera.

Vince is always taking pictures of the kids. I know I'm some sort of mommy blogger but I wouldn't have any pictures to share if it weren't for my husband. He's the one who's endlessly fascinated with our sons and making sure there's a record of how wonderful they are. 


#2 He's the kids' best teacher.

My kids learned tons of stuff from their Papa. From toilet training and cutting their own nails to reading and world history, it's Vince who is their Google, coach, and all-around go-to guy. I'm a pretty good source of information and skills, too, but I can't claim everything. And that's the coolest thing! That my kids are learning so many things from their father simply because he's always there for them, for me!


#3 He's the best in arts and crafts!

Vince never lost his ability to appreciate raw materials. Where I see trash, he sees something he can create with the kids. It's a child-like wonder with cardboard and boxes and sticks and old vacuum tubes and toilet paper rolls. And the boys adore their father because he's forever churning out stuff for them and for me. The kids' creativity is always piqued! 


#4 He's the best daddy stylist.

There's a reason why I'm not a mommy influencer who parades her kids in the latest fashions. I'm simply not stylish! If you see my kids dressed up, that wasn't my doing. I let the kids go out of the house and they'll look like they just rolled out of bed. My husband makes sure their shirts are pressed, their outfits coordinate, and their socks match. 


#5 He's the one who cares for everything we use at home.

All the advertisements say it's the mommy who's pihikan. She's the one who chooses what's best for her family. Not in my house. It's my husband who picks out the best products. He's so very picky! He's the one who tells me what brands to buy when I'm writing down the grocery list, especially when it comes to what his sons eat, drink, and bathe with!

Vince is all these and many more. I'm so glad he loves being a daddy. It makes being a mommy so much easier because he took on many of the things moms are supposed to do. I didn't toilet train my kids. I didn't teach them to read. I don't even give them baths. Supposedly mommy duties, right? I didn't have to. Vince took care of those and more, allowing me to be a more rested, more happy mommy.

Many times, we moms are just so exhausted because we're responsible for too many things. Too many. And we're not supposed to complain because we're moms. We're supposed to be superheroes. We're not. But when the responsibilities are shared - no "mommy duty" or "daddy duty", just "parental duty" - then parenting is so much easier and better. So much better!

Dear Vince, you are the most steady and stable influence in my life and in our boys' life. Because you're such a behind-the-scenes father, there's hardly any photographic proof of you and you're silent on social media, but oh how your presence and influence pervade every pore of our family's being. You have shown me and the boys how valuable it is to have integrity, to know oneself and to be at peace with who you are, and to make all of your decisions based on who you are and what you love. There is no inconsistency with you. There is no fear, no insecurity, no doubt because you are our rock. 

And this year, the past years even, and most probably the future may be hard and uncertain but I am not afraid. When we are together, I am most appreciative of my life. When we are together, I don't feel alone. But it's when we are together with our boys and I see how wonderful a Papa you are to them, that's when I feel most in love with you.

Happy Father's Day, Vince! 



Wednesday, June 09, 2021

Review (book): "No Perfect Marriage, Only a Perfect God" by Jeffrey and Jennifer Aspacio


Since June is traditionally the month associated with weddings (in the Philippines, however, most weddings happen from October to February), we'll tackle a book on marriage this week. I picked No Perfect Marriage, Only a Perfect God by Jeffrey and Jennifer Aspacio. Instead of a book review, I'll list down the 5 things I learned from the first book written by two of my childhood and church friends.


1. Woman was created by God to save man.

Haha! I'm half-joking. Actually, Jeff did mention in the book that Jen saved him from his foolish ways. So there's some truth there. God said it isn't good for anyone to be alone so He created a helper or a savior for each of us. No Perfect Marriage, Only a Perfect God reiterates that that doesn't mean we should swoop in and change our spouses. We should still love and accept them for who they are.

Anyway, my takeaway from this is this helper-savior thing applies not just to man-woman, but to everyone. We need friends. We need others. I like to think God doesn't just magically rescue us from ourselves. He uses family and friends, even strangers, to help us out and lift us up with love. That's our mandate: love each other.  


2. You must be whole before you get married.

"You complete me" is a famous romantic line. I never fell for it, though. In fact, that scares me a little. I don't want a man who is incomplete and needs me to make him whole. That's an impossible task for anyone. You get married because you have so much love to give. Love - and life! - is for giving, not taking. No Perfect Marriage, Only a Perfect God emphasizes that the wholeness of each distinct part of a marital union enhances the other. Marriage makes us better. When marriage makes us worse, that's because you were incomplete to begin with.

When I got married, it was after 8 years of dating. That's because I wanted to be sure of who I am. I was definitely sure Vince was The One for me, but I didn't want to saddle him with an insecure, frightened, whiny, immature, overcompensating girl. I waited until I was mature enough, confident enough, happy and completely in love with myself before I committed to loving him till death do us part. He was the same. In fact, he said he was glad we didn't get married when he first asked, a few weeks after we met. He said he was changing, too, and we're glad we did all those self-improvements and realizations while we were both unmarried. 

That's not to say you can't change and improve anymore when married, okay! As long as we're alive, change is inevitable. But it's easier to go through those changes together when you're both a whole person on your own. 

In my case, what really made me whole was my faith in God. His love for me was really the source of my confidence and peace. My marriage is not perfect (whose is???) but one thing that doesn't trouble us is insecurity. We know ourselves and each other so well that there is peace. Because we are both whole persons, there is no fear, no distrust, no doubt. And in any relationship, that is vital.


3. Husbands should also submit to their wives.

I loved that it was Jeff who wrote this section. It comes from a place of complete humility and - as mentioned - wholeness. He isn't afraid to say he, as the man, submits to his wife. For the world, that means she wears the pants but anyone in a happy marriage knows that a good marriage is one of equality. There is respect and admiration for each other, there is a willingness to serve each other.

"Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior." Ephesians 5:22-23. These verses have caused so much grief to millions of wives because people have interpreted it to mean unquestioning obedience. But as my husband always reminds me, we must always take Bible verses into context. Why did Paul the Apostle tell wives to submit to their husbands anyway? Actually, the first thing he said was in verse 21: "Submit to one another." The second was the admonition for wives to submit to their husbands which he follows up with the third command in verses 25-33: "Husbands. love your wives!!!" 

Yes, one verse telling us to submit to one another. Three verses telling wives to submit to their husbands, and a whopping NINE VERSES telling husbands to love their wives because she is the best thing that ever and will ever happen to him. Periodt! But seriously, it is more important for a man to value his wife because when he loves her completely, she will submit to him completely, too. No need to assert your dominance. Wives naturally respond to love. See, context. I am so happy No Perfect Marriage, Only a Perfect God reminds us all of the context! Partnership and mutual submission. That's marriage.   

Many women have asked me how I can be feminist and also be submissive to my husband. You know, people misunderstand feminism so much. To be feminist means to have a choice. Women shouldn't be forced or prevented from choosing what's best for them. Before I submitted to my husband, I chose him. Of all the men in the world, he was the only one I deemed to be worthy of my love and trust. Because I know he is a good man and he loves me, I can let him be my partner in life. I can let him lead our family. Important words: "I let him." He lives up to that trust. You should know that I support divorce. When a man abuses his wife and kids in any way, then he is no longer a good leader and I believe a wife should withdraw her choice. (Note: The Aspacios don't support divorce.) 

(UPDATE: Jen corrected me and said that divorce is Biblical. "Divorce sometimes is inevitable. Even the Lord allowed divorce, because of man's stubbornness. I still believe that nothing is impossible when it comes to working out a marriage, if both are up to it, but if it is bringing harm to the well-being of either husband, wife, even kids, and everything's [been] done, divorce is the way to go. Divorce protects the spouse and children, and it doesn't nullify the union. Alimony also takes care of the children's needs. Annulment is not very strong in this, if there is at all a clause similiar to alimony. I'm not familiar with our PH law on this. But I am for divorce.")  

In the same way, Vince also knows that he can depend on me for everything, he can tell me anything, he can be what he wants to be and I won't mock him or scold him or dismiss him. He is confident to serve me and our kids because I am the holder and guardian of his peace and security. I am keenly aware that this man trusts me and depends on me with his whole being. I should never do anything to betray him. If I do, I risk losing him - and he should leave a wife like that! (Note: Vince doesn't support divorce.) 


4. Wives are precious.

"Husbands, in the same way, be considerate as you live with your wives and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life so that nothing will hinder your prayers." I Peter 3:7. Another verse that has caused trouble to women everywhere because people claimed that the Bible said that women are weak.

I love the etymology of the term "weaker" that No Perfect Marriage, Only a Perfect God presents. It transforms a hurtful word into one that honors women.


5. To love your spouse is to love yourself.

Many people have a hard time with this. How can you put yourself first if you serve your spouse? How can you love your spouse if you love yourself? Ephesians 5:28-30 explains it: "In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church—for we are members of his body."

Again, it's a wholeness thing. You shouldn't depend on another person to make you happy. But the most marvelous thing happens when you love your spouse and make every effort for their happiness - your spouse will do the same! So you're both making each other happy and that's so much fun, so satisfactory! It's a mutual pleasure exercise!

Again, it's a wholeness thing! If only one of you is whole, then the other will just take and take. But you can never truly fill up an incomplete person. You can try. And many husbands and wives do. But it is exhausting and frustrating. That's no way to spend the rest of your life so choose well. 

That said, and even though I said I believe in divorce, I also believe in not giving up on your marriage. Marriage can be tough. Jen wrote that it "should not be a place of struggle" but many times it can be. My own marriage went through some hard times, too (Vince denies this hahaha and says I make up my own problems when we have always been strong). Love and commitment save a marriage. So love each other. And commit! 

These are the 5 things I learned from No Perfect Marriage, Only a Perfect God by Jeffrey and Jennifer Aspacio. Their book tackles many other topics, such as parenting and how to survive infidelity (from their personal experience bravely detailed in their book). You can definitely learn a lot more! Here are the many ways to get your copy:

For Kindle and international orders, buy from Amazon.

For Philippine readers, buy from Shopee.

To learn more about No Perfect Marriage, Only a Perfect God, follow their Facebook page.

*Visit the blog every Wednesday night this June for my reviews of books written by Filipino mommies! Support mommies! Support literature! Support local! 

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

My only ambition

I'm still on an anniversary high. And also feeling melancholy because of Prince Philip's death. He wasn't my favorite royal. My favorite is Diana, Princess of Wales. I'm very much like her - honest, truthful, rebellious, impetuous, and so open with my affections and opinions. Very unroyal haha


Royalty demands loyalty to duty. That's it. Even if that means suffering in silence. Like Diana, I don't believe in suffering or silence. Harry and Meghan are exactly like Diana. So am I! So you can tell who my new favorite royals are. I didn't really like Meghan before - she was so outspokenly feminist and then she joined the royal family and she became voiceless. Meh. So I like her now because she spoke out. I like it when women speak up. 

However, I also believe in how, when, and where we speak up. I don't think Diana's Panorama interview and H&M's Oprah interview were good ideas. But I'm not a public personality so who am I to say the proper when and where, right?

I know people like dignified silence. It's not for me. As a survivor of abuse, I know that silence is what allows abusers to continue doing what they do. Society has made silence a virtue because how else can evil be perpetuated if we all speak up? On a lesser scale, if not evil, then all the little things that make us unhappy in our job, our family, our marriage, our church, our society are forced on us. How then can life become better if we just accept everything that makes us unhappy?

So I like how Prince Philip did it. He wasn't quiet, mind you. Like I said, silence won't get you anywhere. And Philip did raise a fuss. He resented his "kept man" status, the humiliation of not being allowed to give his last name to his children, and the fact that he had to give up his naval career for his more important role as royal spouse. He may have complained but he and his wife (the Queen!) managed to navigate those bumps and create meaningful roles for him. So even though he didn't like certain things about his life, he was able to make changes so that he eventually liked it. I mean, just because you chose something doesn't mean it's perfect. So you speak out, talk it out, make compromises, and smooth out the rough parts until you find a life that you love and cherish.

Much like how Prince Philip wrote here:


In my middle age, that's also now my only ambition - combined existence and a profoundly joyful one, too. All I want is to have a happy family, a stable home, and to make sure my kids are fed and happy and one day be wonderful members of society. 

It's not a shallow ambition. As we all know, that's actually hard to achieve. I've been married 14 years and not all of those 5,110 days were happy (my husband will always say every day was happy - gosh, I love him). Vince and I had to do a lot of adjusting and fighting and talking and compromising and crying. There were days of silence, too, but that just made things worse. Always speak up! Maybe not all the time, and maybe learn to choose a good time. I know, for example, to never bring up anything bad when he's hungry and to back off and shut up when things get too volatile, because he'll just clam up and he won't talk to me anymore haha So we've learned to gauge each other's silences - not to keep silent, but to learn when it's time to talk. Because that's the only way we can fix things and move forward. 

See? A combined existence is not easy for anyone, not for ordinary people like me and Vince. Not even for power couples like Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip. Even the love and devotion they famously had for each other didn't mean everything was smooth sailing for them or for their family. Two people becoming one is not easy. Two people adding little people into the mix while those two people are still figuring each other out is a bit insane, too. So it's a lofty ambition and one that I am determined to see through.


Just like Prince Philip and his queen did. I want that more than anything in the world.

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Married! For 14 years!! Hooray!!!

I'm cleaning up my old laptop and found so many photos! Just in time for our 14th wedding anniversary TODAY!

And I just want to share them with you because you always cheered us on. For 14 years! And even before that. Thank you! 


Vince and I at my brother's wedding. We're 3 months' married here and we've just moved into our new home. Fun times!


Honeymoon in London! This was a year after we married. This was such a nice trip. I revisited the honeymoon blog posts and, goodness, I want to go back! I've loved the UK since I was a kid. Then my husband spent a few years of his childhood in London. Special place talaga.


I don't remember this haha. But it's right around the first season of Dexter, the serial killer with a moral code, because my nail polish was inspired by one of the victims. Morbid, I know. This must be in Giordano (I'm guessing based on the photo of the model behind us). Vince was shopping. My husband LOVES shopping!


This was me pregnant with Vito! So 2010. We were lunching here, at Italianni's if I remember right, either going to or just came from my OBG appointment at St. Luke's Global. Sigh. Such happy days of hope and anticipation!


I don't know where or when this is hahahaha That's the thing when you've been with one person for a long time. All the days flow into each other and yet it's never enough time. I want to be with this man forever!


Oh, this is Tagaytay! Wedding of my friends, Nikki and Bernard. That was such a fun weekend (more photos here)!


Still at Nikki's wedding, I remember being very moved when Vince and I were talking about marriage. We both love being married and we love attending weddings because it reminds us of our own vows. Till death do us part is nothing to sneeze at. It's a serious decision that should last a lifetime. 

That's what Vince and I promised each other, and 14 years down the road, we're still here, happily here. I hope God gives us many more years together. With this pandemic breathing down our necks, we never know. But that's all I ask really: to grow old with this man and to see all our children grow up and have families of their own, too. I truly do hope and pray God gives us that.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

That most famous engagement ring and a few stories about it


Forty years ago today! On February 24, 1981, Prince Charles presented his future bride to the press. They had just gotten engaged 21 days prior and Diana, all of 19 years old, and hidden away from the world in her aristocratic life, didn't realize what she was getting herself into. 

For their engagement announcement, the future Princess of Wales wore an inexpensive off-the-rack dress from Harrod's and one relatively affordable sapphire ring from the engagement rings collection of the Garrard holiday catalog. Yes, not a jewel from the royal collection because Charles couldn't even be bothered to commission a special ring just for her. That sapphire ring was just £47,000, or $60,000 today. Not even the Kardashians will wear that!

With Camilla, his then-mistress and now-wife, he thoughtfully customized a ring to reflect the Art Deco design he and Camilla like. He chose a special family heirloom diamond that belonged to the most special woman in his life, the Queen Mother.

Diana had a ring from a catalog. Oh, Diana. 


To be fair to Charles, he has always liked the huge sapphire brooch that belonged to the ladies in his family. A century and forty-one years before he proposed to Diana, another Prince gave his bride a sapphire. On the eve of their wedding day, Prince Albert presented to Queen Victoria a brooch that was a huge deep blue sapphire surrounded by diamonds. She loved it so much, she wore it on her bridal gown as her "something blue." 


In fact, Victoria loved it sooo much, she declared the brooch as a Crown Heirloom piece. That means only future Queens can wear it. So far, we haven't seen Camilla or Catherine wear it. Diana never got to wear that brooch either. That must mean it's an extra special piece for the Queen!

 
Anyway, back to Charles. So he liked that extra special brooch his mother loved. It's said Diana's extraordinarily blue eyes reminded him of that particular sapphire brooch so he thought the Garrard ring was perfect for her. So I guess that's romantic, too.

Diana's eyes look exactly like her famous ring.

It's so sad how that marriage went. So sad that sapphires symbolize faithfulness but, as Diana famously said, "There are three of us in this marriage so it's a bit crowded."

Nevertheless, I always wanted her exact ring for my own engagement ring. I told Vince about this but he replied that it was a bad luck ring. "Look at what happened to that marriage," he pointed out. So he gave me a diamond. And I bought myself the ring I wanted.  


I actually like it better, that I bought it myself. It's more meaningful because I bought it as a Diana fan haha There's no romantic love involved at all. Just like Charles and Diana's marriage haha huhu

No, no, that's not true. For a while, they were happy. Look at these photos I found on Diana fan accounts on Instagram:

Holding hands while whispering sweet nothings
Despite all their worries about the wedding, happy to meet at the altar
Honeymoon! Diana's pregnant here.
Touches, looks, and smiles
Charles said he's always loved Diana's humor. She always made him laugh.

I found more actually! Fellow royal fans love tagging me on Diana posts on IG! I'll share more soon. 

Sigh. I loved Diana and Charles together. I really wanted that fairy tale to end in happily ever after. And it could've, in a way, if fate hadn't intervened. After they divorced, they actually got along better. Charles would visit her for tea, for example. How strange. Maybe some people are better off as friends. It's always sad when marriages end. But if a friendship happens after, then that's also a beautiful thing. Too bad Diana died just one year after her divorce. Who knows? Maybe she and Charles could've gotten back together? At the very least, they could've been great at this co-parenting thing. Oh well. We'll never know.

Monday, January 18, 2021

Stop this unrequited love nonsense

My husband and I were watching "Bridgerton" on Netflix and one of the Lady Featheringtons is hopelessly and secretly in love with one of the Lord Bridgertons. And I turn to my husband and announce, "I have no idea what unrequited love feels like."

My husband gives me his I-won't-roll-my-eyes-because-I-love-this-arrogant-woman look.

"It's true," I huff then I turn back to the TV and give my advice. "Just tell him you love him and be done with this agony. Easy!"


Now I know it isn't easy for many women. It wasn't easy during the 19th century and it's still not easy 200 years later. Goodness, despite all the progress feminism has brought us, when it comes to love, we still pine away and hopelessly wait for the men to notice us.

I've never been this way. If I like a guy, I tell him. If he doesn't like me back, then his loss! As Taylor Swift sang, "Who could ever leave me, darling? Who could stay? You could stay." And if he chooses not to, then it's just not meant to be. And it's okay, I can let it go because I tried and failed and I can't argue with facts. 

But if you never tell him how you feel, then how would you know it's not meant to be? And you're trapped in this purgatory of never knowing when this hell of uncertainty will end. Just like quarantine! I mean, you can enjoy quarantine but you don't want to be stuck in the same place forever. 

I've been told many times by friends and older people that if the girl shows interest first, men will lose respect for her. But they underestimate my intelligence. I can see when a man is taking advantage of my interest and then I lose interest because I see what he's really like after all. And isn't it great I saw the real him before I ever fell deeply in love? 

So maybe we should teach our girls to be smart so that they can see a jerk a mile away. Maybe we should teach our boys that a girl who says what she means and means what she says is admirable and be taken seriously instead of mocked. Maybe we should be teaching our children that honesty and truth are good things and that both men and women can be honest and no one should disrespect an honest person, especially when they're sharing something so delicate. And then maybe this world wouldn't be full of heartbroken people who shouldn't even be heartbroken in the first place because love is a relationship. It's not a one-sided affair, folks. When only one person is in love, that person never sees what the object of his/her affection is really like. You're not there when he's happy or sad or sick or mean. You're not in a relationship so all you ever see is the good side. You only love an image. That's not true love.

I hope my sons never know what unrequited love feels like. Yes, it's romantic. Think Severus Snape and how he loved Lily Potter so. Or Cyrano de Bergerac and how he wooed Roxane with his exquisite love letters but signed them as Christian so she ended up falling for the dumb guy. Or Julianne who was determined to steal her best friend Michael from Kimmy. Or the Little Mermaid (not the Disney one) giving up her life literally to be with a Prince who never cared for her at all. Eponine and Marcus. Gatsby and Daisy. Romantic but tragic and infinitely a waste of time. 

I tell my sons all the time, "The worst thing in the world is waste." Waste of resources, waste of talent, waste of opportunity, waste of life, waste of time. Don't waste time pining away for someone. Tell him you like him. And if he doesn't like you back, don't waste your affections on him. He doesn't deserve you. Move along. Life is short. Your heart, mind, body, and time are precious. Don't waste yourself on someone who won't love you back.

Love,

Auntie F.


Saturday, May 09, 2020

Not invisible

This was in my drafts folder, in 2016. I don't know why I never published it but here it is because it made me happy reading it now, the day before Mother's Day of such an extraordinary year. It's such an ordinary story and I want to remember it forever.

* * * * * * *
"You're just like Piero."

My husband Vince declared this yesterday while our toddler woke up languidly from a long nap.

"What do you mean?" I asked.

"You stretch when you wake up," he replied. "There," he nodded towards our youngest boy. "Just like that."


Later at dinner, Vince added, "Piero is really just like you. He's stubborn like you. He's cute like you." He said this while he was spooning chopseuy onto his plate, matter-of-fact, absorbed in his dinner, very casual, no gooey eyes. Like he was saying, Just sayin'.

Later in bed, I realized with a start that Vince watches me. And so I kinda went a bit panicky, aware I've let myself go since we had kids. I'm 25 lbs heavier since the day we met. I'm all stretched out in the tummy area. The boobs and butt areas, too, if I'm going to be honest. I dress for comfort not for style or sex. I'm a mom now and this mom is usually busy and exhausted and annoyed and exasperated. What does he see? Does he like what he sees?

Well, he said I'm cute like Piero. I don't know if 40 and cute go together but he still enjoys being with me, talking with me, and apparently looking at me, too. After almost 18 years together, he still looks at me. He still looks at me! He still sees me, he still wants to know me. And he still loves me.

And then I remembered all those times I rushed past him, on the way to a crying, needy, demanding, angry, hungry, sleepy, poopy, sick, or whatever-it-is-this-time child; and all those times he said he wanted to chat and I said, "I'm tired;" and all those times I was so busy working I didn't even look up from my computer when he said, "Hi." I remembered and I wondered if he hopes I see him, too.

Because I do. I do! I always think of him whatever I do. I always look at him, too, when I can, when I'm not looking down at the kids, the chores, the work. I wonder if he doesn't see that I see him the way I don't see that he sees me.

My heart is feeling tender now. My husband still sees me. I don't even care now if he likes what he sees. The fact that he's still looking means he still cares (and he must still like what he sees!). 

I'm not invisible. 

I'm not invisible. 

I'm not invisible.


Thank you, Vince. I see you and all that you do for us. Now I need to make sure you know you're not invisible, too.