Saturday, February 22, 2003

This is so funny. Got this from an e-mail. This is NOT my story. I just found it very amusing. Now I wonder why I can somehow relate to this... Hmmm...

Could the real fish please stand up?

I have no pretensions about who I am. Modesty aside, I'm physically attractive, I'm smart, I'm accomplished and I have a great zest for life. I have managed to go through 22 years of existence and could still afford to look like 16. I'm complete, I'm self-assured, but somehow, there's just this one thing I can't understand no matter what: why do I keep on attracting the wrong fish?

When I was in grade school, when I meet relatives or family friends, the standard questions were: "Anong grade mo na?" "Saan ko magha-highschool?" Occasionally somebody would ask me, "May boyfriend ka na?" To that last question I would answer in the negative and that's the end of the matter. When I was in highschool, relatives, family friends and classmates ask me questions like, "Anong course kukunin mo?" "Saan ka magco-college?" "May boyfriend ka na?" I would reply in the negative and it won't bother me. Much too young for that to be bothered, I suppose. When I was in college, people would ask me, "Anong karera ang gusto mo?" "May boyfriend ka na ba?" And to that question I would answer in the negative and promise to myself that I would have a boyfriend after I graduate.

Now I have graduated. I went through grade school, highschool and college with flying colors. I have a degree, I have a job. Uh-oh, I say to myself, for I know what that one question people would be asking me this time. "May boyfriend ka na ba?" In fact, people have asked me that question more frequently these days. And of course, my standard answer is, "Wala." But you know what? Believe me or not, that's not the worse part. I dread the question that follows that: "Bakit wala ka pang boyfriend?" How the hell should I know?! I'm not the guy I like! Sometimes I feel like answering back in that manner, but of course I just try to calm down and keep quiet. That last question is rhetorical ... it's something that only a member of the male species who has met me can answer.

A male friend of mine told me once, "There are many fish in the sea." Ok, so I got heartbroken over a guy in class whom I carried a torch for the first 3 years of my college life, and after that I fell in love with a guy whom I have just met for some days and who is now in a foreign country, studying. Fine, they're not the only "fish in the sea." I have encountered some guys who became my friends and who would later on confess they have a crush on me, they love me or they really like me. They're nice and all, we get along pretty well, but I can't still get over the fact that they're the wrong fish!

Wrong fish --- you know, the types who, no matter how handsome or kind or gentleman or Mr. Perfect they are you just don't have any other thing with them but friendship. Period. Wrong fish --- the ones whom you regret to have fallen for you because they could have saved themselves the heartache by not falling for you if they had fallen in love with somebody who would really love them. Why do I keep on attracting the wrong fish? "Maybe that's because you're using the wrong bait," a friend of mine told me once. But I'm not using any bait at all. I'm just me.

My friends have offered a lot of theories about why I am still boyfriend-less. The main school of thought is that guys are intimidated by me. With my background, reputation and personality, guys feel short of what should be for me. And my reaction to that? To hell with intimidation. I'm not intimidating at all, and even if I am, why should that matter? This is not some freaking competition. But I suppose there is a certain truth to that, one way or another. Relationships consist of people who match each other, right?

It's a good thing I'm a person of good humor. I don't let the standard, "May boyfriend ka na?" get on my nerves. We unattached kindred say that it's ok, because our market value is increasing. Or my friends and I used to kid around, using Eminem's Slim Shady line, saying, "Could the real fish please stand up?" That, a tall glass of iced tea and a piece of sour cream donut at Country Style and I'm a-ok.

If it were only that simple. Of course in the real world, the real fish won't show up right away. I have to go through a lot of struggles before I see him, I know. In every major event in my life I go through that
hardships-tears-dream-come-true-happiness-Oh-thank-God cycle. After 22 years of that cycle I know better. I know it's going to take me more courage and more growing up, more 8 hours of work, more single Valentine's, more "May boyfriend ka na ba?" and "Bakit wala ka pang boyfriend?" before I meet the real fish. Maybe in the end it's that guy I loved in first year college. Or maybe it's that guy who left for a foreign country to study. Or maybe it's somebody I have never met at all.

In the meantime, I'm still the pleasant, smart, boyfriend-less me. High market value and all.

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