Monday, February 14, 2011

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My idea of Valentine's

People speak about Valentine's either with extreme excitement or profound cynicism. Throughout the years February 14 has ballooned into this big, stress-inducing holiday where couples stick it out in heavy Manila traffic to dine in special restaurants. This is also the time when the unattached, in protest against the prevailing status quo, flood social networking sites with their desperate albeit funny battle cry, "Today is Singles' Awareness Day."

I personally don't find anything special with Valentine's, and my nonchalance is rooted largely on the fact that I am not, nor do I wish to be (at least for the meantime), romantically involved. But I get why some people get depressed or sad around this time: many of them don't have company—sure, they have friends, but friendship alone cannot quite fill that deep, romantic void. It gets more complicated as one nears 30. We can blame media, of course, for turning us into hopeless romantics, or we can blame ourselves for failing to realize that singleness is a gift from God, as are romantic relationships.

When I think of Valentine's Day celebration, I remember my friends who are either married or engaged, and I pray for them:

—that the Lord would prosper their marriages
—that He would reign supreme in their lives
—that they would cherish each other more deeply and intimately as each day unveils new experiences
—that they would love each other more and more as the years pass.

Most of all, I remember my parents whose love for each other has continued to blossom since they got married in 1984. I find it a great privilege to have been raised in a home where the parents genuinely care for each other.



I called home this evening, and when I asked my father if he has plans for tonight, he said, "We'll just stay at home, your mother and I." It's that familiarity, that closeness, that distinguishes theirs from the uninitiated relationships of youth: he knows my mother well enough to know that, after her clinic work, she just wants to lie in bed to watch the evening news. Minutes later Tatay would doze off to sleep, while Nanay would choose to stay awake to wait for the 11 pm tennis match replays. At which point, she would wake my father in the middle of his REM sleep, ask him to unplug the TV, to check if all doors are locked, and to scratch the itch in her back—which Tatay would joyfully yield to, even in his sleepiness.

My idea of romantic is not of pimple-faced teenagers cuddling each other, but of old, grey-haired couples holding hands in the mall or in church, cherishing each other after years upon years of marriage, only made possible by the grace of God.

3 comments:

  1. My parents got married in 1984, too! :)

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  2. Wow, Abby: during the month of May, too?

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  3. Sorry Kuya Lance, didn't see this until now. No, they got married in December. A couple of days before Christmas. :D

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