Monday, June 27, 2005
Wakes are gloomier, drawn-out and butong pakwan and mani infested versions of the family reunions I hate attending. Aside from the usual reunion "You're so fat!" comment, and the lame "You still work...there?" (though nobody remembers where there really is) querry, wakes aren't excempt from the "Are you married?" line of questioning. And with wakes, the question spews out not only from the mouths of kin, but from acquaintances, strangers even, as well.
With every no I reply to questions on my being hitched, the reactions get worse.
"Why don't you get married?" is the most common. Of course, I don't really bother to expound on how I'd need to find a partner first. Unless they expect me to marry myself and reproduce through cellular division.
Tried to give the I'm still saving up reply, but I got "Nonsense! I didn't have enough money, yet I found a way. My kids are doing okay."
But I don't want a life that's just okay. I want a good life for my future family. I'd want my kids to have the things I didn't have. Particularly the things I still don't have to this day.
"You should get married," says a guy about five years older than I am. "Look at me. I have a kid in high school. We're like buddies."
Then again, if I needed buddies to hang with, I do believe that's what my friends are for.
"Get married so you'd get one of these," says a proud mother as she holds up her infant like a trophy.
I never bothered to remind her that reproduction can take place without a marriage license. In fact, if I really wanted to, I can name a few girls from her very own circle who found that out the hard way.
"My son already has four kids!" says the mother of a guy I went to high school with.
Well. I never realized it was a contest. And if the prize for not planning a family well is looking ten years older than his actual age, then I guess my former schoolmate won (I'd see him on the way to work from time to time, looking harassed and tired at 8:30 in the morning).
The last night of the wake, I approached my Mom just as one of my father's friends was interviewing her.
"And your son? Is he married?"
"No, not yet," says Mom.
"Well, I think he's still young enough. Thirty onwards is a good age to be married," says the lady as she turns towards me. "How old are you?"
Without blinking an eye, I reply with a smile.
"I'm twenty-five, Ma'am."
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