WAYWARD AND FANCIFUL: Too long have they tarried

“Linen, then. How big is your bed?”

“It’s not in the kitchen,” he helpfully reminds. Smart Alec.

At this point, Mac interrupts to say, “I’ll get him linen. And where’s our coffeemaker?”

“Why? You gonna give it to him? It’s on loan with the CBRE. They got coffee. We got coffeemaker. Nice arrangement to have someone else wash up around here.”

Mac does not take the bait. He can’t be sidetracked from delivering his standard admonition in times like this: “You got a bun in the oven already?”

Oh, boy. He’s raring to go. And can the word warrior be blunt with his words. Bull. Taken by the horn.

The groom-to-be denies with a chuckle.

This is kinda funny. Like some weird soap opera. Like I’m getting practice at that future occasion when my daughter tells me she’d want to get married. Knock on wood.

Mac and I were taking a break from presswork on the journal to peruse our friend Neil Pancho’s invitation to his wedding. We asked Neil to stay a bit as we were giving him back the invitation cards. He could use them another time on someone else. Anyhow, Neil’s announcement was very welcome. Mac and I needed a break from fighting over where the comma should go, among other things.

“Where’s your wish list?” I asked some more.

Neil tells me he’ll text me his wish later. He agrees to accept Mac’s sheets. Brave man. Me, I’d ask first where those sheets had been.

Tongue in cheek, Pancho assures me that I don’t have to give him an airconditioning unit.

Good. ‘Cause he’s not getting one.

He did text me later. He said he’d want an electric airpot. I ran out of phone credits and couldn’t text back. Some minutes later, he texts, “Di ba ako demanding?”

I let him sweat it. Anyway, he’s getting his airpot. He’s a wonderful friend and he’s getting married – finally! – to this sweet girl he’s been engaged to for some time now. Since I’ll be out of town that day, the least I could do is to give the soon-to-be-weds something that keeps warm – hopefully forever.

Because sometimes it doesn’t. Keep warm, that is.

Last week, my ex-boyfriend from high school finally emailed me a hi from Baltimore and we ended up exchanging friendly, newsy notes. Which goes to show – what? That people can be friends after? Okay, long after. Anyway, my daughters wanted to know if he was a nice guy. Hmm-mm, now what would Mama be doing running around with a not-very-nice guy when she was 14? What do you think was that about? Fil-Am Friendship Day everyday?

“Fourteen, Mama? You were 14?!!!” shrieked my 13-year-old who’s not supposed to have a boyfriend until she’s 42.

Hey, don’t blame me, pretty girl.

That agreement is strictly between my 13-year-old and her dad. It’s something like she doesn’t get a car until she’s 42.

Okay, I did intervene. If my husband had his way, my 13-year-old ought to be wearing a chastity ring to allay my hubby’s anxiety attacks. I trust my daughter. She won’t need symbols to remind her about making the right choices. Evidently, albeit reluctantly, my husband agrees.

Ah, the choices that we make. How they make life just a little bit more complicated. Makes us end up begging the fates to bless us with one more day everyday.

Shaun calls in a raincheck on working the layout. Baby’s running a fever and Anna’s doing duty at the hospital. That’s what Pancho’s got in store for him in the next few years. One more day, I pray.

So anyway, Mac and I did our surrogate parenting bit again as we worked out a change of schedule with Shaun.

I can’t twiddle my thumbs till the sun comes down, so I hijacked ADDU’s ambassador-at-large Rex Rola for a ride to the sky. Jun Padilla finally took pity on my puny attempts to reforest the mountains and kindly agreed to airlift the seedlings if and when the TOG-11 choppers were headed that way. Time to go, says the man. Right-o.

Now Rex is not a renaissance man for nothing. He’ll try anything – Apo-climbing, bungee-jumping, not to mention failing all the students in his class. He’ll build his own house from the ground up, teach physics, film, language, or literature on the side, and philosophize the meaning of life for Winnie-the-Pooh. He’ll even imagine what my wedding reception was like with the left and the right in attendance. Sometimes, imagination is all that keeps a man going, so I let him at it. Anyway, he’ll try anything, except get Mac and me to do our prenuptial patter with him as the object of admonition.

But who knows, huh? I never thought marriage was for me, but there comes a time when we heed a certain call. I don’t think my husband had a hard time then convincing me I really wanted to get married, I just did not know it.

It’s gonna get Rex. Probably when Christmas is in the air, when love and family abound, and little kids line Maa Diversion Road with their hands held out.

I’d better recall that coffeemaker before Mac beats me to it.

(Wayward and Fanciful is Gail Ilagan's column for MindaViews, the opinion section of MindaNews. Ilagan teaches Social Justice, Family Sociology, Theories of Socialization and Psychology at the Ateneo de Davao University where she is also the associate editor of Tambara. You may send comments to [email protected] "Send at the risk of a reply," she says.)

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