Tuesday, September 28, 2004

At Cape Cod Bay

Provincetown Beach

If you're fond of sand dunes and salty air
Quaint little villages here and there
You're sure to fall in love with old Cape Cod

We rented a mini van and with our parents and aunt, my sister and I drove to Cape Cod last week. The drive was about 4 hours not counting the stops for coffee, lunch and outlet malling. The weather had been beautiful, nice and perfect during the daytime and chilly in the evenings. This is afterall the first weekend of autumn.

The route along Interstate 95 was brightening up with the beginnings of autumn colors. The further north we went the denser the colors.

Beginnings of autumn along I-95

Our long weekend had stops at Provincetown, which is the tip of the Cape Cod peninsula, a visit and mini tour at the Truro Vineyards, feasted on lobsters at Eastham, an overnight at Hyannisport where we visited the JFK Museum and then a tour of the Breakers mansion at Newport in Rhode Island. My dad, the ever tennis aficionado, also made a stop at the International Tennis Museum in Rhode Island.

Beach houses along Provincetown

The vineyards at Truro

The Yatch Club at Newport, Rhode Island

Main Street, Hyannis

Monday, September 13, 2004

Le Divorce

I had dinner with Matthew and he had brought a friend. Recently separated and working on his divorce, I will call him Jeff.

I have learned from him that New York state laws require that a couple be separated for a year before they can legally file for divorce. I didn’t ask why but assumed that this was to ensure that the couple will not be acting on impulse. He is young, just 35 and was married to his high school sweetheart for 8 years after they have lived together for three years. They were both from Manhattan but after their wedding moved to Long Island in a three bedroom dream house with a porch that overlooked a manicured lawn.

Jeff is not a bitter man after the fact. He is, actually quite reconciliatory. He strikes me as one those who have removed themselves from their situation and have begun to look at their situation as an outsider looking in. He shrugs that he thought it was all simple when you marry someone you have literally grown up with and that things would work it out by itself, and expectations wouldn’t be so high. His ex-wife, who we will call Anne worked as a pre-school teacher and had a strictly 9 to 3 workday and she gave up her work at a school in the city for one that was a 5-minute drive from the house. Jeff worked in Manhattan for a big-shot investment company and stayed there grooming for a vice-president post (which he got last year) and worked long hours. He admits it had been his fault in a way. He had thought that if he worked and made money to pay for the vacations, the parties, the bills and the other things that supposedly made for a lifestyle they both wanted, he was doing his part in the relationship. He was, like his father, fulfilling his role as the Provider.

It was obviously not enough for Anne who felt taken for granted and abandoned in favor of an ambitious drive for corporate success. The next year and a half prior to D-day (when they move out of the dream house with the porch overlooking the manicured lawn) became a struggle to reviving a relationship that had flat-lined. He compared the hard work to feeling your way around a large dark room barefooted with broken glass on the floor seeking for a needle. It was as though no matter how much he had tried to reach out for her hand the further she drifted away from him until they were no longer in the same room. It was a time when every attempt for romance was a sorry act of desperation.

They both resolved to end it sans the drama. Anne moved her things out and returned to her parent's house. Jeff bought an apartment in the city and was spending the week on Matthew's couch while it was being redone.

Looking back, he said he would have done things differently, if he had the chance. He would never have let her slip away in the first place – to have listened more and kept the courtship going even after the wedding. These, in hindsight would have made a difference but in hindsight just the same. It was now over, the house is for sale and lawyers in discussion. When I asked him of the possibility that they could still miss each other and eventually reconsider, he told me real life wasn’t about how it was written in the romance books and Meg Ryan movies. Both of them have thrown the towel to the ring and have accepted that this marriage was over.

Then he said that the experience makes him feel like he’s ready for a relationship more than ever. Not for revenge because he still respected Anne and maybe even loved her, in a different level. Knowing what he knew now, he felt he was armed with the basics of what would make a relationship work and last. He has long accepted that there is no such thing as a perfect relationship – not with parents, siblings and more so with spouses. And yet that he enjoyed being in a relationship – the companionship, of dreaming big together, of creating a life for each other, of having someone to grow old with and of the comfort of monogamous sex. He was never a swinger so there was no wild bachelorhood to revert to.

Until tonight I have always thought of men who have gone through separation and divorce to be the troubled wounded ones. I was just telling Wally a few weeks ago that I stay away from the path of the emotionally wounded man because they carry the weight and burden of drama: exactly the reason why I only date single men. Jeff is wounded and troubled and perhaps masking the wrenching misery and feeling of loss he is trying his best to keep hidden from us. He, however does not make any effort to pretend that the loss of a marriage was one or the other’s fault. He acknowledges his shortcomings and does not uttered a single bad thing against Anne.

Jokingly, we mused that the failure of a marriage being directly proportional to the cost of the wedding. To me, if a couple puts up a big program as a prelude to a marriage you are setting yourself up for doom (and what an evil thought for a wedding planner, too!). People whom you have invited to watch you say your “I do’s” and make your first dance would the ones who would be jinxing your chances for that silver wedding anniversary. How many times have you secretly gone to a wedding and in your head placed a bet on how long the couple would last? Or have you observed the way a couple interacted with each other or their new in-laws to come to a conclusion that the union wouldn’t make it to silver anniversary?

Jeff brings to light a different kind of a man coming in from the storm. Hardened by the cold and having survived, he sees the world in a different light; having experienced the loss of love, now more willing to work harder to keep love. Or perhaps it is just Jeff, a rarity in the class of divorcees and separated men: that there is life after marriage, just with alimony… and maybe child support.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

The New York Streetfairs

New Yorkers know a good deal when they see one. What matters most when making a purchase is quality versus price, simplicity with taste and with food, flavor and freshness. Compared to their counterparts in the rest of America, Manhattanites are more fit and/or slimmer because they walk a lot, sometimes more by need than by choice.

The whole of Manhattan is a mall. Shops sit side by side everywhere - Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic, Loft, The Children's Place being the more affordable clothing chains that populate the city. The pricier designer shops line the stretch of Madison Avenue. If they don't seem affordable, just browsing the goods is motivation enough to walk blocks of concrete pavement. Those who want value for their money and still be in fashion know where to get the goods: Century 21 downtown for European brands of clothes and shoes at sometimes half the price; Daffy, Filene's Basement, Loehmann's and T.J. Maxx also make for great bargain hunting places.

In the weekends, as soon as winter melts its last snowfall and the weather starts to bring the mercury to bearable levels, the streetfairs of New York begin to unfurl into up to 10 blocks of avenue space at a time. It brings mayham to traffic, the trash that it leaves behind reminds one of those EDSA rallies against ERAP (much easier and faster to clear up with street cleaning trucks than the broomsticks of the Metro Aides). But I love them, as much as every other city dweller who descend on them to browse their wares.

The goods are actually pretty much the same: souvinir NY shirts, Imposter sunglasses for $5 (great deal!), houseplants, dried flowers, knick-knacks for tiny apartments, pirated CD's of Italian/Spanish/Greek and reggae music or used CD's selling for about $6, socks of all kinds, leather goods, fashion jewelry, scarves, production overrun of sneakers and other shoes, $10 watches and the assumed rip-offs: fake perfumes, cosmetics you'd be deadly scared to put on your face.

Today, being one of the last great weekends before autumn officially sets in, streetfairs were everywhere. On Second Avenue it closed the stretch of 43rd Street to 53rd. I met up with a friend who suggested we get lunch from the fair and ended up sitting at the park on 47th chowing down French crepes from one of the stores (I had mine with apples and walnut!).

47th Street Park

Since she had to do her laundry (while I had already done mine earlier in the day with some sweet help from a friend) we said goodbye and I headed for home. As the bus reached 60th Street and turned westward crosstown instead of uptown, I was sure there was some more street closings for street fairs. I got off on 86th Street and true enough, a huge arch of red, white and blue balloons danced with the wind. Huge masses of people had gathered and loud live band music was playing and it seemed like a giant street party. It was only after I had passed the huge truck blocking 83rd street did I realize that this streetfair ran for more than 20 blocks!

Balloon arch on 86th Street

20 blocks of street fair

The concert

The wares were the same and so was the food: fried seafood, cheesesteaks, Italian and Asian food, tortellinis (the best in New York, it advertised), pies (the best in New York, it advertised), and Italian gelatos (the best in New York, again!) that you'd think the best food this city ever serves only comes during the weekends.

My favorite all summer had been the popcorn which comes in several flavors: regular, caramel (favorite!!!), chocolate, spicy (hmmmm, good!), cinnamon and buttered.

Kettle Corn

I had tried to call up the MO who lived nearby so I'd have someone to walk with all the way down to 66th Street and the back uptown but when his voicemail picked up instead, I decided to call it a day and start my trek home. On the way back, I decided to stay away from the Kettle Corn booth. But because it was so irresistable, I couldn't help but pick up an ear of roasted corn (super sweet! for $2), ice-cold lemonade ($1) and those things pretending to be flowers that you pin to your jacket so you think you look like Sarah Jessica Parker ($5 for 3).

On the way to the exit at 86th Street, I picked up some brochures for the Fall 2004 offerings of the YMCA on 92nd street and then gave the Bush inflatable a grand uppercut to the cheers of many onlookers. These streetfairs really have everything you need, even a vent for your angst.

We hug him or we punch him - I punched

Norwalk's Oyster Festival

Saturday, temperature in the mid-70's, lots of sunshine and a light cool breeze. It was a perfect day to leave the city for suburban East Norwalk for the Oyster Festival. My girlfriends and I took the first Metro North train of the afternoon and arrived after an hour's travel.

Washington Memorial Park, where they were holding the celebrations and the fair was about 10 minutes walk from the train station. We passed through quiet streets and roads blocked to give way to the throngs of people trooping to the park. As we hiked our way we couldn't help but compare life in this part of the tri-state to the city: an almost unnerving quiet, multi-level homes and cars in driveways, and roadkill. A life completely the opposite of Manhattan chosen by those who seek out life, as it should be as Matthew has declared. Besides, who ever said people need to live through noise in cramped small apartments shared with several other people in buildings once called tenements. Oh well... As we reached the end of East Avenue, a view of the Norwalk Harbor greeted us and lots of boats.

Walking the streets of Norwalk

Norwalk Harbor

The grass was wet and the earth soggy from the drenching of hurricane Frances' visit mid-week. People however had already filled the park and were looking at the items being sold in the tents. At the gates you pay $10 as you enter and gets a stamp on your arm - so high schoolish!, visible only under the ultraviolet lamp they have.

Giant slides of pink and yellow towered over the expanse of the fair, the same with carousels, dizzy dragons and other rides to make the young ones confused so their parents can roam the grounds with more or less sedated children.

Height Frights


We were hunting for our lunch when we bumped into Aline and her fiance, Matt. Some congratulations and then we continue with our search for food. When we finally settled down on a table under a tent being followed by small flies (at least hindi bangaw!). For $12 I got myself a lobster weighing 1 and 1/4 lb., steamed and cracked open dipped in butter - hmmm! Des had a tuna steak sandwich, Lucia also got lobsters and Paola had a big serving of mussels - perfect lunch, though not cheap!

By the time we had finished our lunch, it was time to move to the middle of the grounds of the food area which had been cordoned off with yellow tape to give way to a skydiving exhibition. A huge X had been marked in the middle using red tape and this was officially now a drop zone. And by 5PM, a green plane flew over the fair grounds and began ejecting extreme sports enthusiasts including our dear friend Thereza.

One by one, each skydiver made their way to the giant red X. We watched them gracefully dancing in the air with their chutes and then as they came closer to the grounds, seemed to pick up speed until they are almost swooping past us and onto terra firma. Some came down with flags flapping in the wind, another with violet smoke trailing behind him for drama, two, including Drew had cameras on their helmets to shoot their descent and some came in a bunch.

Twin Landing

Finally, we see the chute she had warned us to wait for: red, white and blue with a huge USA to the side - it's Thereza! She circled a bit and then like the rest, came down very fast to a great landing. Of course, we cheered her on, relieved that she was safe (she'd be rolling her eyes if she knew we were worrying about her).

When she saw us in the crowd there were bursts of excited girly screams and hugging. She was glad we had come to see her jump and we assured her we came for the food. And then watched while she picked up her chute, a relatively small piece of nylon rags sewn together and kept her afloat while in mid air. When she was done, people had began to swarm around her and as the crowd favorite, gamefully signed autographs (we, her friends, cracked up of course!) for those she captivated with her guts and her charm.

Thereza signing autographs

As we were returning to the train at the end of the day, we wondered where the oysters were as this was anyways, the Oyster Festival! We only saw one shop selling friend oysters and nothing more. Hmmm, maybe they ought to think of renaming this festival for truth in advertising.

Adieu, Farewell and Arrivederci to Summer

This is one of the last weekends of summer (autumn officially begins Sept. 22) and it turned out to be a perfect one. The past week had been a wash-out, remnants of mega-hurricane Frances had soaked the city on Tuesday and creating its own version of an urban nightmare. The buses were bottlenecked on all the intersections of the East Side, my friend Matthew called to let me know so I decided to take the train. It usually takes me about 10 minutes on the subway to get to work but when portions of the 4 and 5 track below 42nd Street got flooded the trains had to use the same tracks as the 6 train and it my trip stretched to 30 minutes.

Grand Central's platforms were being soaked from leaking ceilings. It gets worse as you go up to the turnstiles where it is flooded and about 15 buckets are strategically placed to catch the downpour from the ceiling. I had worn close-toe summer heels and they were soaked so badly it make swishing sounds when I walked. I got the office late but still earlier than everyone who had to drive into the city, ending up more than doubling their travel time as well. Soon as I got to my desk, I took out the alcohol and rubbed some on my legs and feet. Ew!

Wednesday was dreary as well but not as bad as the previous day and as the weekend came closer, the weather got better. The mornings and evenings had become cool, less humid, averaging in the upper 60's. Sunset has also started to get earlier, darkness installed at 730PM.
The trees in Central Park and around the city are still green but slowly and surely, autumn is on its way.

The displays at the stores are now showcasing fall fashion - boots, ponchos, jackets and less of the pastels, though Loft is still in the pink and gray mode. Although these are still relatively humid weather for Manhattan I am amazed to see women in the subway wearing their boots already. I'm sure they missed their shoes but should enthusiasm be an excuse for comfort? I am baffled what if they have feet that sweat in the heat of all those suede or leather. I am back to my slingbacks but I will still go back to my slides if weather.com can guarantee no preciptation for the day - I really hate it when my feet gets wet.

I don't really abhor autumn. The love the way the air gets crisp and comfortable, when it melts the sticky humidity of summer. Fashion wise, it is always great to returns to the less pastel hues because it has been proven to create an illusion that you are a few pounds less. And the jackets make great cover-ups for the extra flabs on the sides, too! I always say and rejoice about the fact that when the cold weather sets in, the chubby/non-size 0's are in fashion again.

It seems from this point onwards the days go by on high speed soon it is time to take down the calendar for a new one.

I would embrace the summer and not let go if I could. Despite the sweat it makes me break into and the balminess of a humid day, I still find it to be my favorite season of all. Probably more if I could find myself near a beach to walk the sand or play on the water. But I like the way the bright days seem to lift my moods almost automatically. When a walk in the park instantly vanishes your worries.

Autumn is about reds, browns, yellows and golds as the foliage colors change and then fall to the ground. It is about driving upstate for apple picking picnics. It is about preparing for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and my favorite of all, Christmas. This is going to be my third autumn in New York as a resident. I will look forward to a stroll at Central Park as the trees start to shed its leaves. I will look forward to the grand Halloween Parade at the Village where everyone is a child again. I will then travel to San Francisco to spend Thanksgiving with relatives and then get ready to go home for Christmas.

Arrivederci summer, but not yet.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Mail Call2

My recent entries talking about marriage created different reactions from friends, as evidenced by the offine messages on my yahoo and email. The most extreme are as follows:

Where the Grass is NOT Greener

It is so like you to evaluate your current situation after catching a
glimpse of what is on the other side. Let me tell you however that grass is not
always greener on this side of the bakod (fence), speaking from experience.

Let me remind you of the same words you had given me before when I asked
you about settling down: some people are made for it and
some are just not
. Let me bring back the sanity to your thinking by
giving you ten reasons why you have the better of the two worlds:

1. When he comes home early morning from a night out with friends, drunk and
charging the limit on your joint credit card, you have no choice but to figure out a way to get past this situation because you are in a marriage. If he were just your boyfriend, knowing you, he'd be zapped out of your life.

2. Despite two incomes you're figuring out which is the more priority: a romantic
week travel to Italy or a brand new washing machine. I'm sure without much
thought yung lakwartsa pipiliin mo (I'm sure you would choose the one that involves travel).

3. You come home tired and so happy to just have a sandwich but he comes home and sweetly requests a meal. And being a good wife is serving your husband - turo ng mga nanay natin yan (our moms taught us that this is the only way).

4. You want to sleep and he wants something else and the mood is just NOT there.

5. He flaunts his bodily noises around you because you've come to that stage in your relationship when you are more 'comfortable' with each other.

6. You clean the house spotless and then the kids come in from school and throw their stuff all over. Then husband comes home, kicks off his shoes and sits in front of the TV oblivious to the rest of the world. Careerwoman? Tsimay ka sa bahay!

7. You earn an income that is not really yours. It belongs to a joint account to pay the bills, the mortgage, the insurance, and everything else that has nothing to do with you and what used to make you happy.

8. Right when you have finally earned the respect of your peers at work, you get treated as though he still knows best and your opinions do not count. Obvious bang ngitngit na ngitngit ako? (ah...eh....oo)

9. You will never sleep the same way again from the moment you get that first child
(but you know what I am talking about).

10. You can always come up with an alibi not to have dinner with your boyfriend's relatives. When he becomes your husband, they become part of the package and might even stay at your house and take over the household while there.

I have always envied you. Be careful what you ask for at baka magsisi ka. Dios mio wala sanang dwendeng gising nung nagmumuni-muni ka ng mga yan!

Sa Wakas!

A partner in life is God's greatest gift. I'm glad you are re-evaluating your choices in life and I think the guy you're seeing now has a lot to do with this. I think my prayers are answered. He seems to be the perfect man for you because he has helped made you change your mind. I will continue to pray for you and hope that God will bless you both. I know things will not always be easy and that you might still change your mind one more time. But maybe I should tell Judith to talk to you some more and maybe invite you to Ohio more often so that you can stay in this frame of mind. You are right, it is really hard to grow old alone. Do get married while you are still young and so you'll have a Joshua of your own.


I said I was reconsidering. I HAVEN'T gotten engaged over the weekend and I do not see a wedding in a year or 6 months so you can still improve on your repertoire, Jong, if you really intend to sing at my wedding. But I like the suggested processional song: Dito Ba and recessional song: Sino ang Baliw - hehehehe.

Calm down, even my daughter took my reflections with a grain of salt. I am not apt to make major decisions overnight despite the fact that yes, I think I have found a really good man who makes things worth reconsidering. As for the list of WHY NOT's, I can assure you that many of that might not apply since he often is the one who cooks for me (because he doesn't really like Filipino food and he is better at the task), he is quite a considerate man.

But firstly, I have no idea if this is what I really want. Ask me again in two weeks.

Monday, September 06, 2004

Meeting Josh

The trip had been planned weeks in advance. I had booked my flight but haven't had the chance to build the excitement with so much going on with work and play. It seemed that the days were moving fast and before I knew it, it was Labor Day weekend and I was ready to travel to Ohio to meet Josh.

Plan was to meet up with Remy and Judith in Columbus for our annual get-together. Last year we met up in Ft. Lauderdale and prior to that, in DC and Manhattan. This year, Judith was hosting us. As early as Thursday however, it became obvious that mega-hurricane Frances was going to hit Florida and wasn't allowing Remy to fly out at all, unless she could book herself a broom in time c",). By lunchtime Thursday, Remy had called me up to let me know that airports were closed and that they had been sent home to secure their homes with shutters and to prepare for the worst.

I pushed through with my plans. I left my Manhattan apartment and had the ever reliable Super Shuttle bring me to La Guardia. Door to door, I was there in 10 minutes and it didn't cost too much either ($15 + tip) compared to a cab ($25) or the airport bus ($13 but I have to get it from Grand Central which means I have to get into the subway with my luggage).

Airport was filled with delegates from the recently concluded Republican convention held at the Madison Square Garden for the week. They had their placards, their hats and their luggage bragged their political affinity. I sat amongst them at the airport's lounge as I devoured my slice of Sbarro cheese pizza.

The Delta jet was small. It is a 1+2 seater, meaning the single aisle has one seat to the right and two seats to the right. I knew it was going to be a short flight but a dinner party the night before at Union Square area with my friends from work for Renee had me in bed quite late. I also had to wake early to get a fresh cheesecake from Junior's at Grand Central. Unbelievable as it may seem, it was tired even before I had gotten started on my day. I dozed off soon after take off and woke in time for the landing.

I looked out the cabin's window and viewed the vast green vista we were approaching that was Ohio. The sun was bright and it promised to be a perfectly mild weekend.

It was Kevin, Judith's husband who got me from the airport to bring me home. While driving he told me about Columbus and about the places we were passing on the way to Dublin where their home was. As we drove through Easton he mentioned that Arnold Schwarzenegger would hold his annual bodybuilding and fitness celebrations there.

The drive was pleasant and as we turned toward the residential areas I noticed a big Taco Bell and mentioned that I had been craving for a Taco Bell only to find out the one near my apartment had closed and was now another deli. On Saturday night, Kevin made tacos at home and hey, it's even better than TB! We passed through quiet streets lined with family-size homes with front yards and porches, we reached a cul d'sac and pulled into their driveway.

Finally walked into the house and found 5 week old Joshua in his mom's arms. What a cute baby! So lovable!

I wasn't tired anymore, forgot about the headache from lack of sleep, and was just going to enjoy the long weekend in the company of this loveable little person and friends.

Kids Play

Joshua is just 5 weeks old. So all he does is feed, poop, sleep and make a fuss when he can't get either. When he is in the mood he stares back at me as I carry him in my arms and mouths responses to my monologues. Once in a while he breaks into a funny giggle or a yawn. He enjoys listening to the conversations I endlessly have with him mom and sleeps through our chatter. When the room turns quiet he wakes.

Funny that I would tell Desiree later on that the perfect man, I have discovered is 5 weeks old. No emotional luggage, no sarcasm, no insecurities, no deviation toward alcohol or drugs, caffeine or nicotine. Life for him is just mommie and milk and sleep. Hahahaha...

This is Josh, a victim of my boredom on the long drive to the outlet malls.

I really should have another one of my own. I tried to run away with him this morning as I was about to return to Manhattan but it was hard because 1.) he couldn't fit into my luggage after the stuff I shopped for and 2.) his parents were bringing me to the airport and his absence might have been noticed. Hohum....

Discovering Columbus

What does astronaut Neil Armstrong, seven American presidents, actress Doris Day, golfer Jack Nicklaus, director Steven Spielberg and Dean Martin have in common? They all call Ohio their birthplace.

Planing into Ohio's Port Columbus International Airport is like riding a breeze. It was an easy hour and half jet ride from New York's La Guardia. Nevermind that this is probably going to be my smallest jet ever, the trip was still uneventful and easy and it seemed as though I had beamed from the city to the suburbs in a wink.

Pretty much like the rest of America, the expanse of freeways and roads link up the cities and places to each other. I remembered California and how it was unusual for someone NOT to own a car. It is certainly NOT New York where people walk to get anywhere.

Big houses with frontage of trees and flower beds and swing-sets for children. Each driveway has at least one car, some even 4, probably depending on how many of those who lived in the house drove. Backyards with no fences, tree-lined streets, porches, cul d'sacs and picket fences.

Big high school campuses, almost the size of some universities in other countries, I realized, with baseball diamonds, basketball courts, track fields and centrally located in neighborhoods that raised families. Strip malls with drive-ins: Taco Bell, McDonalds, Wendy's and my newly discovered favorite: White Castle's with their mini-hamburgers. Chinese restaurants that required pick-up because delivery would have to take longer than 10 minutes from time of call, which is the Manhattan standard.

Neighbors who talked to each other and who invited each other to the parties at home. Kids who ran up to the house next door to brag about a new pet, ask about visitors and just to say hi. A certain degree of trust that does not come naturally to neighbors within a building in the city.

Yet this is a city also with the usual skyscapers but also the country where vast acres are planted to corn and beans. There are malls that have the same merchandise that they are selling in Manhattan, just less tax. Where corn is a dozen to $2 while it's $1 for 3 in New York City, which is fine as I won't be able to finish 12 anyways no matter how much I like corn.

What I liked about Columbus most though, aside from little Josh giving it a whole new meaning is that part of life which had momentarily slipped me away: family life. I had been engrossed in the single life - of living alone, taking care of myself, having friends to hang out with. Although I have thought about it and have seriously discussed it, I have never comfronted the possibility of creating this kind of world for myself and someone special (read next blog).

I have discovered this city called Columbus and in a way it has discovered me, too. Now I am contemplating things I haven't. Although I'd like to think of myself still pretty much a city girl, a weekend immersion into domesticity is refreshing break.

Flying back to the East Coast, I couldn't help but notice how residences came closer the nearer we got to New York. An hour after taking off from Ohio, my plane broke through clouds and flew over the familiar view of the city island so familiar to me. I heave a sigh and couldn't help smiling to myself: this my home.

A Fear of Heights

Tonight, sitting across the table from Desiree at the diner, we talked about marriage and commitments. Would I see myself being with someone for the rest of my life and having more kids?

I have just had an immersion at domesticity in Ohio while spending the long weekend with Judith and Kevin. I have paused now and then to ask myself if I was ready to return to that state of long-term commitments. Sooner, not later would be the best time to begin contemplating on it as the world had not paused to when I was ready to contemplate.

Marriage, yes. I am definitely seeing myself married and growing old with someone. That is a given I have prepared myself for and hopefully, as I have said, it would be with someone who I not only love but respect as well. A life-long partner who sees me as an equal, who can share laughter with me and who can appreciate the differences in our cultures, if he should be from another part of the world.

Children? It's been a while since I have had nappy calls and burping sessions. Nicole is already at that age when she is ready to give me my first grandchild. But although I do love babies so much and I can work magic with them, I am afraid to start over again. The scare of a child running a fever, screaming and crying at the top of his lungs makes me feel helpless. To sit down to do homeworks, deal with school activities and go through teenage angst one more time seems too overwhelming for me at this stage. I have done that and though I cannot say it had been traumatic to raise a child like Nicole I will also say I am scared to test fate and realize I have found myself a child who is just like me when I was young.

Medically, I should still fall within the healthy pregnancy age range, specially here in the United States. On the other hand, it would be fun to have babies again. It should be easier now that I have been there and have had a great experience raising one.

Much as many people have raised kids in the city, I do not see MY children growing up in a cramped apartment. If I do decide to have another child, that baby would have to be the catalyst for me to give up my City Gurl lifestyle and engage a new life in the suburbs. A house with space to crawl, walk and run; trees in the backyard to climb and fall off from; lawns that would have the sprinklers running in the summer to run through.

A marriage, a family are serious thoughts of immense depths. From my shallow ground I couldn't help but ask myself if that kind of a commitment was something I could seriously grasp and keep hold of. I also know that the success of that endeavor is not solely in my hands but would rely also on the sense of responsibiity of that person I will choose to partner with to make this dream a reality. And call it supertitious but fate would have to be a main factor in that choice as well. We would have to be each other's soul mates. Sige, taasan ninyo ako ng kilay.

I used to fear permanency. I used to think life as I knew it would be enough to grow old on. I was making my own money, have a career, I already have a child, this is my life and seemed quite complete. Not anymore. These days, more now than before, I have begun to think of sharing a life with someone again. I might just be ready to jump off from my tower and run off with my prince into the sunset.

I used to have a fear of heights. I still do, can't stand the view from the 24th floor office I inhabit daily. But with life in general, I think I am ready to take the view at a different aspect. I may not have the heroics to jump alone but if someone will take my hand then maybe I could brave the height and take the plunge. You never know....