I met Jawo when we were both 18 years old and studying Architecture in Manila:
He, the ill- advised Alpha Male that he was; I, the misguided feminist.
Owing to our opposing (and mostly unreasonable) views on many things at that point, we were quite a match made in hell. There were many a ruined parties / drinking sessions we wrecked by some form of full- blown argument at the end of the night. This was to the frustration of our helpless friends, including my very polite part- Japanese roommate Miko.
Our weird frenemy-ship was also to our own confusion, because while we were very annoyed by each other’s individual conceits, we found that we also liked being around each other for odd frequencies of time. Mind you and our understandably suspicious ex- partners, we never went out on “dates”.
We’d only go out to watch punk/ ska/ metal/ swing gigs together (“Hey, do you wanna catch the Brass Munkeys at 70’s Bistro tonight? Oh, and I’m also outside your apartment.”);
Or buy bootleg merchandise from the pirates of Recto (“Cynthia and the Swing Set or Squirrel Nut Zippers?”);
Or literally just sit down by some pavement somewhere to talk about god-knows-what (“Let’s see if we can finish this fat- ass cigar by morning.”);
Or drink at bars;
Or go to band practice, etc.
We found out soon enough though, that more important than all the misdirected cockiness we had as extremely foolish kids, we also had very similar old- school, almost rigid belief systems in the more essential things in life (i.e. principles on family, real friendship, faith, etc).
A little after my 28th birthday last year, Jawo and I decidedly decided to get married. This comes 11 years after our first meeting, 11 years comprising of:
– 4 years of being classmates in College
– 3 girlfriends (plus a slew of plain janes)
– 3 boyfriends (plus a few adolescent heart breaks)
– 5 years of being together together
– 8 years of being the Ringo Starr to his John Lennon
– 97% Ups and 3% Downs
As to the Why of it all, comedienne Mindy Kaling sums it up quite sufficiently:
“In Shakespearean comedies, the wedding is the end, and there isn’t much indication of what happily ever after will look like day to day. In real life, shouldn’t a wedding be an awesome party you throw with your great pal, in the presence of a bunch of your other friends? A great day, for sure, but not the beginning and certainly not the end of your friendship with a person you can’t wait to talk about gardening with for the next forty years. Maybe the point is that any marriage is work, but you may as well pick work that you like.”
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