November is the time of the year when Ruby and I go out on a “date.” It’s over coffee most of the time but we also grab some dinner if we feel like it. It’s a no-holds-barred conversation (and reminiscing) on the goings on in our families, careers, former co-teachers and students at St. Mary of the Woods School, ca. 2002-2004, and the stuff we most like to talk about: the state of our love affairs. We do this annual ritual to celebrate each other’s birthdays (6 and 19) and the very special friendship we have developed over the years.
Our rendezvous for 2010 was yesterday at the Glorietta Mall in Makati City. Harry Potter 7 and coffee.
We both had a great time but as each date has its own way of being special, yesterday’s proved overwhelming as well. It was not so much of the stuff that we talked about nor the movie per se but the way the elements brought me back to a certain period of my life which is now boxed, stowed away, and is labeled: 2002-2004. I was just listening to her for the most part because as soon as I entered the mall, nostalgia gripped me and wouldn’t let go until I got home.
No, it didn’t spoil the fun of the afternoon. No dull moments with Ruby, I tell you. It’s just that every step and twist and turn at familiar places pulled in memories from before. I tried writing down the whole nostalgic experience but I had to edit it out for brevity. If you can’t comprehend what I am talking about please pardon me and let us just leave it at that.
Now, speaking of things that dates you back to a certain time and place, I’d like to post an article written by a certain Mark J. Macapagal for the Manila Times sometime in 2003: The One that Got Away. I have two actually and Ruby is one of them (the other one remains bitter.. hehehe). Read on. It’s nice.
The One That Got Away
(Mark J. Macapagal, The Manila Times, 2003)
In your life, you’ll make note of a lot of people. Ones with whom you shared something special and ones who will always mean something. There’s the one you first kissed, the one you first loved, the one you lost your virginity to, the one you put on a pedestal, the one you’re with…and the one that got away.
Who is the one that got away? I guess it’s that person with whom everything was great, everything was perfect, but the timing was just wrong. There was no fault in the person nor flaw in the chemistry, but the cards just didn’t fall the right way, I suppose.
I believe in the fact that ending up with someone, finding a longtime partner that is, does not lie merely in the other person. I can actually argue that an equal part, or maybe even the greater part, has to do with the matter of timing. It has to do with you being ready to settle down and commit to someone in a way that goes beyond the little niceties of giddy romance.
How often have you gone through it without even realizing it? When you’re not ready to commit in that mature manner, it doesn’t matter who you’re with, it just doesn’t work. Small problems become big; inconsequential become deal breakers simply because you’re not ready and it shows. It’s not that you and the person you’re with are no good; it’s just that it’s not yet right, and little things become the flashpoint of that fact.
Then one day you’re ready. You really are. And when this happens you’ll be ready to settle down with someone. He or she may not be the most perfect, they might not be the brightest star of romance to ever have burned in your life, but it’ll work because you’re ready. It’ll work because it’s the right time and you’ll make it work. And it’ll make sense, it really will.
So that day comes when you’re finally making sense of things, and you find yourself to be a different person. Things are different, your approach is different, you finally understand who you are and what you want and you’ve become ready because the time has truly arrived. And mind you, there’s no telling when this day will come. Hopefully, you’re single or be in a long-term relationship, or be married with three kids…it doesn’t matter. All you know is that you have changed. And for some reason, the one that got away, is the first person you think about.
You’ll think about them because you’ll wonder, “What if they were here today?” , “What if we were together now, with me as I am and not as I was?” .The one that got away is– the biggest “What if?” you’ll have in your life.
If you’re married, you’ll just have to accept the fact that the one that got away, got away. Believe me, no matter how fairy tale you think your marriage is, this can happen to the best of us. But hopefully you’re mature enough to realize that you’re already with the one you’re with and this is just another test of your commitment, one which will just strengthen your marriage when you get past it. Sure, you’ll think about him/her every so often, but it’s alright. It’s never nice to live with a “might have been,” but it happens.
Maybe the one that got away is the one who’s already married. In which case it’s the same thing. You just have to accept and know that your memories of that person will probably bring a nice little smile to your lips in the future when you’re old and gray and reminiscing.
But if neither of that is the case, then it’s different. What do you do if it’s not yet too late? Simple –find him or find her. The very existence of a “one that got away” means that you’ll always wonder…what if you got that one? Ask him out to coffee. Ask her out to a movie. It doesn’t matter if you’ve dropped in from out of nowhere. You’d be surprised, you just might be “the one that got away” as well for the person who is your “the one that got away.” You might drop in from out of nowhere and it won’t make a difference. If the timing is finally right, it’ll all just fall into place somehow. It would be a great feeling in the end, to be able to say to someone, “Hey you, you’re the one that almost got away.”