Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Martina, marriage, and the lack thereof

I absolutely love my phone chats with Martina, mostly because they just barely resemble real-world conversations. I wrote about some of our exchanges through the years and I am pleased to report, that today – about 2 weeks before her 5th birthday – I am still deeply baffled by our short talks.

Just this morning, in the span of 10 minutes, Martina called me three times to:
  • Share that her toys weren't working because they needed batteries;
  • Complain that Juancho used her bathroom and will probably make it dirty; and
  • Order me to call her mother because she promised she would be gone for only an hour.

(Ask me about my productivity level today. Ask me.)

The truth is I prefer the above topics versus her most recent 'problem' that has prompted her to call the house every day with a sense of urgency that 5-year-olds shouldn't even feel. Her concern?

"Tita Eng, why aren't you married? Who are you marrying?"

Prior to this, it was "Where is your real family?" (she meant "Where are your children?") I said I didn't have any. I suppose the marriage question was logical backtracking. To be fair, she also asked all her other single aunts and single uncle. I wasn't the sole target of her interrogation.

Of course, being thirty (*cough cough*) seven years old, I am used to being asked the marriage question because I live in a country where tact is endangered and, apparently, it is more hip to be in a loveless marriage than to be happily single. I have gotten tired of the polite response to "Why are you still single?" (the polite response being "Shut the hell up, you miserable excuse for a human being.") My actual responses have been variations of the following (some sound better in the vernacular, try it):

  • I can't choose among my boyfriends.
  • I AM married. Didn't I invite you to the wedding? So sorry.
  • Is marriage still a thing these days?
  • I'm too young.
  • *Closed-mouth evil smile* (see below)

Singleness: having time to take random pics

Anyway, back to my supposedly short story. Martina never got her answer because I was always still asleep when she called at 8 in the morning. When Martina finally visited and asked me to my face, I told her I was marrying Rafa (you know, 10-time Grand Slam champion ... of my heart), she gave me a skeptical look, as though she could see right through my thick screen of delusion. "No, really, who?"

I was able to distract her from that topic for the rest of the day but she remembered again the next day and called for the nth time. "Who are you marrying again?"

"No one, Marteens."


"Not everyone has to be married," I said.


"Some people get married, some people don't. OK?"

Martina thought about it for half a second and said, with a bit of resignation, "OK."

Single women all over the country will agree that it was probably one of the easiest and fastest times an unmarried lady has been let off the hook. It's refreshing to see how a pure soul can just accept the situation and move on. In Martina's case, she moved on to asking if I could buy her a skateboard.

And now, if you'll excuse me, I have to finish composing my video marriage proposal to Rafa.

BTW, Martina, *this* is my real family
(taken 3 years ago, when Martina first started using the phone)

1 comment:

pinaynewyorker said...

Eng, she's got your spunk... That's five year old you in the next generation... Love it!