Posted by: Jae | June 1, 2007

Of Blind Dates and Blind Corners

Hazel from high school pops up in my computer via yahoo messenger.

Hazel: Are you dating anyone right now?

Jae: Uuum, I just got out of something.

Hazel: Can I set you up on a blind date?

Jae: Huh? Sino?

Hazel: He’s a photographer.

Jae: (thinks for a while, considers. had been meaning to get all vamped-up and have some artsy semi-nude studio shots taken for years now. maybe she could wangle a discount from his studio or whatever. but then again a blind date sounded like too much work.) I’ll think about it.

Hazel: Hay naku. Bahala ka.

* * *

And that’s when I realized, I’ve never really been out in the dating market in years. By going out on a date, I mean putting on a dress strategically-designed to highlight your best assets but stopping short of making you look like a whore, carrying a bag that fits only your cellphone and a small lip gloss and P500, and then dining in a fancy-schmancy restaurant where you ask each other questions like “what is the book that changed your life?” and you try not to choke on your baked oysters when you get answers like “Tuesdays with Morrie” or even worse “Da Vinci Code”. I haven’t done that in years, preferring instead the comfort of familiar terrain, with people you work with and drink with and forge a better lipunan with (hehe) day in and day out.

I tell people all the time that I need to be with someone who views the world in the way I respect, as a way to explain why the men I’ve been dating for the past few years have all been part of one big expanded network of left-leaning activists. That’s true of course, I once dated someone who told me after three or so dates that he was a rabid Marcos loyalist, and after that big revelation I went home and took a bath for a one full hour. I need to be with someone who believes in the things I do — agrarian reform, due process, and all that jazzy jazz — and will understand why I chose that path I’ve chosen.

But then, sometimes, I wonder if there could be other reasons. Dianne thinks I’m judgmental and narrow-minded. “E pano kung young entrepreneur pero nagvovolunteer sa Habitat for Humanity?” Because we are great friends and love each other to bits, she reminds me often that I’m going to grow old and miserable and lonely and surrounded by cats if I don’t get my act together and fix up my love life.

Joan on other hand thinks Im too protective of my personal space with strangers. Meaning, wala akong landi vibe. “Kung may karinderyang bukas sa lahat, ikaw karinderyang nakapadlock na, nilagyan pa ng bulldog”, she told me, right after watching me converse with two guys striking up a conversation with me at a bar.

But maybe the bottomline is: I’m just scared. It’s both tiring and terrifying, the whole dating exercise. From wondering what to wear, to being charming and witty and smart (but in a non-threatening way), to wondering whether or not he’s going to call (even if you don’t like him, he still HAS to call, for the sake of your ego, hehe).

A friend and I were having some beers a few nights ago away from UP Village (a happy inuman serving as yet another reminder that nothing beats long and rich conversations over beer) and we were wondering how come other people have it so easy. He had no answers and neither did I. We talked about our friends — a married couple na “nagkita lang sa EDSA 2, may isang anak, may laundromat, may pag-ibig na walang hanggan”, a gay couple who met in Philcoa and nested in Krus na Ligas in a house of pink and canary-yellow walls and an aging couple with a love story dating back to their underground years. We talked about the jagged and uneven corners of our lives, and how it looks like they’re going to stay jagged and uneven for quite some time.

In Shrek 3, there’s this dingy hole-in-the-wall bar where all the fairy tale villains converge. The evil stepmother in Snow White was in one corner crooning “I’ve been to Georgia and California..” like some washed-out has-been. Cut to the next scene: Princess Fiona in a pink, sun-filled room with twittering fairy tale heroines throwing her a baby shower.

So I think to myself: where do I fit in? I’m no one’s bruha-kontrabida, and I’m nice by general social standards. I’m not ready to be called a witch or an evil step-sister. But that hole in the wall bar with bad singers and drunk misfits is, at this point in my life, closer to home than pink bridal showers and giggly princesses. So pano yun? Tinkerbell chugging San Mig Light?

Haaay. Shrek-fan-on-Valium. I really do need to get out and get some air.

That blind date with Hazel’s photographer-friend? Right now, I just might.



  1. because it’s never meant to be easy jae. because once you hit it right, the pay off is rich. 🙂 or so i think. 😉

  2. I hope that’s true. For both of us. We havent really made chika in a while. Miss na kita. 🙂

  3. “That blind date with Hazel’s photographer-friend? Right now, I just might.”

    Why not? Double date na lang para kung di mo type, si Biana na lang kausapin mo. 😉

  4. rosey pie!!!

  5. wow… this entry hit me hard. i’ve been having dreams of raising a family, wanting to raise one – a wife, kids, what-have-we… but everything seems to boil down to should i go out for dates and put myself in the available list, and it somehow terrifies me – in a lot of ways. (sigh)

    dami atang hang-ups. masyado madaming iniisip at rinarationalize.

  6. Pinaga mo na ng lubusan,
    Inubos ang naipon na tubig mula sa batya ng pinaghugasan
    Piniga ng husto upang gumaan
    Ang damdaming walang laman
    Atsaka iyong sinampay.

    Akala mo tapos na,
    Akala mo matutuyo na ang lahat,
    Ngunit nagtampo ang araw
    Biglang umulan,
    Minsan nakakabaliw,
    Tila ayaw tumigil.

    Kaya’t heto ikaw, balik ulit sa pagpipiga…

  7. Anj: Huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuy!!!!!! Musta ka na?? Gosh, how long has it been??? Im so glad you stumbled on my blog. Email mo naman ko sa, tapos ilagay mo cellphone number mo. Lets go out soon.

    Chrisgel: Maybe you are just holding out for the right person. Patience lang yan. 🙂

    Emman: Concept ko yan ah. Sinampay na naulanan. Ginandahan mo lang ang pagkasulat. Hmph. Hehe. I’m back from Cebu (obviously). 🙂

  8. Yup. sa iyo nga. ganda nga eh.

  9. at pag sinuot mo na ang sinampay na hindi pa lubusang natutuyo ng araw, magkaka-BO ka kasi maasim. so… patience is a virtue, wag adelantada, let the sun shine in..

  10. unga jae. tara chika tayo soon. 🙂 especially since our / my days here are numbered, ahuhuhu. joke!!!

  11. Napangiti’t napatawa ako rito ah. Nakatutuwa naman ang conversations ng mga girls (women?), hahaha!

    Jae, ‘Can you set me up for a blind date?’ (apologies to Hazel). Ka-chat ko si Gary AD last week yata at sabi niya marami ka raw magagandang friendsters at friendships! At siyempre, sana ‘yung pareho rin natin ng politics (well, I could imagine you share the same values with your friends)!

    From time to time, I find myself dealing with existentialist questions, asking myself the most important things in life. Ganyan nga siguro ‘pag nag-iisa ka, malayo ka sa mga mahal mo sa buhay, at tuwing nakikita mo sa friendster ang mga batchmates mo, bigla na lang mag-post sa shoutout ng ‘I’m the happiest girl in the world’, ‘I love my family’, etc, at mag-upload ng mga wedding pix at mga photos ng baby nila. 😦 🙂

  12. Bonn,

    dont worry, my friendster account aint filled with mushy, do-goody happy-as in-sesame street thing.
    If its any consolation sa iyo. hehehe


  13. mman, picture lang ni sadako. hehe.

  14. Syempre, late ko na ‘to nabasa, pero my gawd, paano ba kasi mag-blind date? Ano ba gagawin ko pag nakita ko na sya at either hindi ko type ang itsura or hindi ko type ang laman, o kawalan ng utak o common sense ng date ko? Ano ang dapat na reaction kung sabihin nya ay: “you are bery fretty.,” matawa o mag-excuse kunwari para pumunta ng CR at dun magtatatawa? Kelangan ba mag-ayos, mag make-up, or (gasp!) magsuklay? Paano ba pag magbabayad na? Dyosko, 26 na ko at hindi ko pa na-experience mag blind date. Hahahaha. Kawawa ba? 🙂

    Miss you, Jae. Mwah!

  15. Oo nga, nakakapagod. Magpapaganda ka. Magpapaka-hotchick. Iinom ng grande hot white mocha (starbucks english with starbucks coffee) at nagpapakademure, when you’d really rather be chugging san mig light with real friends who you can talk about anything with and time and the rest of the world just fly by.

    love ya, joan!

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