Watching Movies

“I have five kids so watching a movie is a big event for my family, you know?” someone once told me when I asked if he liked going to the theater. He went on to talk about how expensive a single ticket was and how he would have to get each of his kids a snack and all that stuff. I guess because a movie-watching experience really isn’t complete without the popcorn and the soda, etc. etc. It’s why I love/d watching movies in the theater, too. Aside from the big screen and surround sound and all that, of course. Because it is a whole experience. You’re not just there to see a film. You’re there to experience it. Which is why, lately, I haven’t been going to the movies. Because as with a lot of other kinds of experiences, watching movies has become quite painful.

First, it’s become really expensive. Ticket prices have literally doubled since I stopped watching movies often. Probably the only reason I can still watch movies now is because I can use the points on my credit card.

Next, and I guess more importantly, because it is an experience, everything about it reminds me of the good times that have turned bad. From the checking of the screening times on my phone or on the PC to lining up to get tickets to choosing between cheese and barbecue popcorn (and of course choosing cheese in the end) to debating with oneself whether or not my Php20 is well-spent on a bottle of water or do I just get a soda instead because it costs more or less the same and is more delicious even though it’s not healthy at all. Even watching the trailers and the advertisements between the trailers as well as the PSAs about movie piracy brings back memories. And the smell of the movie theater (because all movie theaters smell the same, wherever you are, I mean, unless you’re in a particularly shady area of the city), the feel of the seats, the annoyance that comes over you when the people behind you kick your chair or when the people in front of you have no sense of timing and stand up to leave or just arrive in the middle of the movie…

Everything I see and hear and touch and smell and taste is a reminder of all the movies we ever saw and all the theaters we ever went and all the popcorn we ever shared and all the arguments-turned-jokes that we ever had about plot holes, continuity errors, temporal paradoxes and whether or not John Williams is the greatest composer who ever lived.

How do I erase the memories? How do I replace the memories? How do I enjoy watching movies again?

No Pictures

I met up with some friends today and we had the usual dinner, dessert & coffee night + kwentuhan, but also something else. Maybe something new. We didn’t take any pictures.

I’m not even sure why. I guess we forgot. Was it because we had so many stories to tell, there wasn’t enough time for pictures? Or we were so engrossed in the stories it totally slipped our mind to take pictures? Or perhaps my friend K is right and we’re just too old for pictures now. We’re not part of the ‘selfie generation’ and we’ve totally gotten over taking pictures of each and every experience we have. Maybe, it’s all of the above. Either way, we’re left only with the memories. But I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. In fact, I think it’s quite the opposite.

Because if you break down our evening, nothing out of the ordinary actually happened. I mean, we had dinner at the mall. Sure, it was at a restaurant none of us have ever been, and we had quirky coffees and a 5-layer chocolate cake, but still, we were at the mall. Talk about an unexciting location.

But, as I’m sure everyone knows, it’s hardly ever about the location, nor even the food or drinks. It’s always mostly about the company. And I’m really glad the friends I’ve kept are top notch. Of course, everyone will describe their friends in this way, which is good, because that means that you all know what I mean.

Anyway, the reason for our get-together earlier this evening was to meet C’s new boyfriend. C’s been single for quite some time so it’s intriguing and exciting that she has a boyfriend now. Naturally, being girls, and her friends, we wanted to meet him, and see what he’s all about.

So far, he’s okay. I’d like to say that he’s more than okay, but it’s really too soon to tell. Also, we totally have trust issues so we’re not deciding on anything yet. Not that anything is for us to decide, but friends’ opinions are important, aren’t they? Of course I’m only talking about the friends you really trust. Not casual acquaintances who feel like their opinions are gold.

I’m genuinely happy for C that she has a boyfriend who seems to be a good guy. I hope he doesn’t turn out to be a jerk. He doesn’t seem like it, but you never know, right?

As for our food, we had Japanese food and then cake and coffee, all as per K’s recommendation. Everything was yummy. K really has good taste in food. Well, that’s part of the reason why you’re friends with your friends, right? Because you have the same taste in most things. And M didn’t mind any of the places we went to either. In fact, M and I totally want to go back to that cafe. I kind of forgot its name, but I remember where it is so that should be fine. :P

I had a really great time tonight and it was so much more fun than the last time. What I mean by that, well, because I actually took a test today, and met up with my friends after that. Last year, I took a similar exam, but instead of going out with my friends afterwards, I ate a burger alone at a fastfood joint in front of the school where the test was held and went to church with my parents to attend mass, that I didn’t get to finish because halfway through it I felt like I was going to throw up. Not because of the mass, but because of the bad cheap burger I had. I went back to the car to sleep and spent the rest of the night with a splitting headache. So… yeah. Cheap burger after an exam that gave me something akin to an anxiety attack, really not a good idea. But meeting with friends and telling stories about our crushes (because you know, my maturity level is still at high school level), I’d say is definitely one of the best ways to spend time after said exam. Now, if only the chances of me failing it weren’t so big. :(

Traveling With

Of course, although it is already implied as this is a personal blog, I’d like to start with the disclaimer of “To each his own.” And you may interpret my words as bitter or jealous or whatever other emotion you’d like to project on me, but as much as I can, or as much as I know, I’m being very honest right now.

Two of my friends got married recently (actually more of them have, there have been more than one set of wedding pictures appearing in my News Feed almost if not every week since I turned 27) and they’ve just posted pictures of their respective honeymoons. One couple went to a really awesome local destination, another went to a really awesome international destination. Equally astounding places, equally breathtaking pictures, and I’m really really happy for them.

But here’s my opinion: I feel slightly sad that they went to those places for the first time in the context of a honeymoon. I honestly don’t know why I feel this way (and I suppose, because it’s a feeling, then there’s really no logical explanation) but I never liked the idea of a “tour” as a honeymoon.

A few years ago, a friend told me that she was feeling jealous of a friend who went country-hopping with her husband right after her wedding. I told her that there was nothing to be jealous about. Country-hopping in Europe is not what you should ideally do after a wedding. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with country-hopping, but, don’t they know how tiring that is? Even if you flew business class on all your flights, those still entail unpacking and repacking, getting through airport security, going through customs, looking for your airport pickup, showing your reservation print outs to different hotel receptionists and having irregular hours of sleep. I’m not saying that these experiences wouldn’t be fun as a couple, but I think they’ll certainly take away some quality time from you and your spouse. When you’re so busy making sure your passport is in your bag, or you’re dressed right for the weather you’re not used to, I think, the focus gets taken away from bonding with your partner somehow. Of course, I don’t actually know, as I’m not a married person, but this is just what I think.

As well, going to a place for the first time is something really special that, I don’t know if I want to share the experience with a honeymoon. I mean, because going on a honeymoon is a special experience by itself, I think that discovering a new place will take the focus away from that if you do both at the same time. I travel to new places with my friends and my family all the time and I think, aside from being alone (I can’t travel solo, I’m a little girl with no street smarts), this is the best way to see a place for the first time. Because there are no expectations that the experience should be romantic or magical or honeymoon-worthy so you can do what you want and if the place turns out to be bad then so what?

I mean, okay, I know it’s also a great way to bond when everything goes wrong on your trip because you’ll end up getting to know the other person better because of it. So I think that there’s nothing wrong with going to a place for the first time with your partner on a weekend or on one of your anniversaries. Or on a Tuesday. But don’t do it on your honeymoon.

Maybe it’s because I think a honeymoon is/should be a vacation from the craziness of wedding planning, that’s why I think it should be as chill as ever, with the couple just spending a few days or even a week in just one place, relaxing every day of the trip and not thinking about the next train they’ll have to catch, or the next photo they’re going to take because they’re in a famous place that’s difficult to get to and they might never see it again. Or, I don’t know. It could also be because I just have so much fun traveling with my friends and family and I’m so used to it that I can’t imagine a trip being better with a boyfriend. Or maybe I’m just really selfish, actually, because when I look at the selfies I’ve taken on my trips with my parents or friends, I’m really happy that there’s no one else in the shot with me*. :P

laughing because I couldn’t get a shot with my hair looking nice the wind in Batanes was so strong

* Of course you can still take selfies alone even when you’re with your spouse, but seriously, wouldn’t that be weird?

On Paper

It both bothers and fascinates me how people can be so different. And I don’t even mean that they’re different from each other. Of course they are. What I mean is, I think it’s very strange that people can be so different from their own selves.

To illustrate my point, I’d like to give some examples:

So my friend works for a magazine and is in charge of hiring interns. She receives resumes and writing portfolios from college students and once she received one that had a really interesting cover letter. She showed it to me and we were so entertained by the writing on the cover letter and sample works, we Googled him to see if there were other things he’d written that we could read on the Internet. There were. And they were all entertaining as they were insightful. I told her that she should definitely get him as an intern, and we even thought of setting him up on a date with my friend’s sister we were so impressed with his writing skills.

But then she actually met him for the interview and was a little disappointed. Where had the funny, witty and insightful guy gone? The person she talked to was shy, awkward and weird. “Like, the weird kind of weird, not the quirky and cute kind of weird,” she said.

We supposed he was nervous. It was a job interview, after all, and who ever is comfortable during these things? But still, it’s too bad that someone who showed so much promise on paper turned out to be very underwhelming in actuality.

In contrast, once while we were at a food fair, my friend and I met a guy who was cute, charming and really down-to-earth. He was already a business owner, but still insisted on being the one to serve the customers during food fairs. He said it was because he was relatively new to the business world and so he still had a lot to learn. And he bashfully admitted to pretending to know people in the industry in order not to look stupid when meeting new business contacts. And he made other jokes that were also funny.

“He seems like the kind of person who’d make a good friend,” my friend said. And so we stalked looked for him on Facebook. And we found out that he went to snobby schools, hung out at snobby places, had snobby hobbies and had snobby friends. The pictures told us we were looking at the right Facebook account. But the text and other information we could see, told us he was a completely different person from the nice, grounded, friendly guy we met.

It makes me wonder if people have a completely different impression of me if they only know me through Facebook or my other social media accounts or this blog. Or if they change their minds about me after they meet me once they see my social media accounts. I’ve been told that I write exactly the way I speak, but I’m not sure if it was meant as a compliment or not. Or maybe it was just a neutral observation. But I’d say that it’s kind of inaccurate because I definitely speak less English than I write. Although, I’d say that it’s also kind of accurate because I mostly say pointless things, in the same way that I mostly write pointless things.

End of blog entry. #SeeWhatIDidThere