Monday, July 30, 2007

Happy Birthday To Me

pen and ink on paper

I hate birthdays.

I made a promise to myself that I shall never tell the truth of my age until I hit the age of forty. And now I am scared. Pretty soon, I am bound to accept the truth.

“Happy 3_th Birthday!” Sheila croaked as she lifted her cup at my pre-birthday gathering last Saturday.

As I was trying to muster a fake smile of approval, she continued to happily chirp to the rest of my friends that night, “I know Dan. You never admitted it until I saw the year you were born in your SSS. Now you cannot lie about your age!” I suddenly felt my fake smile turn into a frown. If I do not love that woman, the friendship I hold so dear with her and her two boys, I swear she can join Mary Antoinette for yelping my age.


“Happy birthday tol,” Arnan greeted me as he handed me a shirt from Debenham.

“Thanks man. Hehehe, sosyal ah. I love this shirt and it’s the right color pa,” I happily told him.

“How are your kids?” I asked him.

“They’re fine. They’re doing well at STC. I told you that one of your nieces is my daughter’s classmate, right?” he said.

“Yeah, but I doubt if that niece of mine knows me. She’s a cousin’s daughter and I never met her,” I confided.

“Yeah, my wife asked her if she knows you. She said no. Hey, didn’t you know we had a high school reunion?” he told me and the rest of that afternoon we talked and talked about the days when we were kids and how our childhood friends are right now.

“I’m glad you came,” I told my friend.

“Yeah, me too. And I like your place. You seem to be living now what we used to talk of when we were kids,” he told me as I was accompanying him to my gate.

“I guess I am. Thanks. Too bad you can’t stay and meet the rest of my friends. They’re a pretty interesting bunch,” I said.

“I’m sure they are. You’ve always been the strangest in our group in school,” he said with a huge grin.

“I was?” I had to ask.


“Bring me flowers instead,” I told Andre. “I don’t care even if they’re the cheap kind or if you just pick them from the roadside basta bring flowers”

“Hay naku, oo na! You’re in your flower mode na naman ngayon,” he willingly obliged.

I used to buy flowers for my mother every time there’s an occasion. Birthdays, anniversaries, fiestas or anytime I feel like it. And I thought, why hasn’t anyone given me flowers? I like flowers. I couldn’t care less if it’s unusual to give a man flowers but I like the idea of at least someone doing it for me.

“Thank you so much dong. I am very happy. They’re beautiful!” I exclaimed when I opened the door and there was Andre holding several huge bundles of flowers.

“You should no! I look like I’m going to a funeral with these,” he remarked as he passed me by and with his heavy feet he went upstairs.


“Pole dancing,” my nephew Deus said as he winked naughtily and gave me that characteristic smirk of his when he got down from the car.

“Tito Dan, Happy Birthday. You should do pole dancing,” his brother Wiggy whispered in my ear as he too followed his brother.

“What the hell are they saying now?” I asked my brother, the boys’ father, as he was checking the car’s locks.

“Hay naku. Your nephews were watching the news and they saw this segment on pole dancing as a new wave in exercising. They kept on harping the whole night that Tito Dan should start doing the same thing,” my brother told me.

And the two boys kept on buggering me the whole night to pole dance.


“Don’t you just wish that after you’ve done with a dinner or a party for a whole bunch of people, that you could just put all the dishes, pots and pans in one big trash bag and have the garbage man pick them all up for you and everything’s clean again?” I quipped to Thad as he was helping me with the dishes.

“It’s okay. It was fun,” he said. “Besides, you seem to have enjoyed it.”

“Yes, I did. It’s good to know and have your friends and family around you. Even if sometimes my nephews and best friends won’t quit harping about my age or pole dancing,” I muttered while I swept the floor.

After an hour and everything was clear, I sat down exhausted on a chair.

“I think I am coming down with the flu. My nose is already clogged up,” I complained.

“You need to rest,” Thad reminded me.

He was the last person to leave that night and I thanked him profusely for helping me clean up the mess. After I bade him good night and he boarded a cab, I went upstairs, looked at my clean flat empty of friends and family that came that night and thought to myself, “It’s a good thing nobody brought a cake or candles.”

I sighed, closed my lights and slept.


Anonymous said...

it's a good thing you love me, or I'd really get it for blurting out your age, huh? :)

haller, i didnt get it from SSS. we were talking about chinese horoscopes one time and you mentioned you were born year of the ____, so i discovered what year you were born! You and your big mouth! hahaha!

Seriously, i love you whatever age you are. no matter how old you get. and don't worry, you're not getting older, but getting better. Wiser, even. so enjoy your birthdays!


Big Bad Red said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Big Bad Red said...

gurl, when we've all started checking the age checkbox after 25-30, we don't give a rat's arse anymore what your exact age is.

besides, i'm with a 48-year old individual who's not at the very least bothered. so i guess you shouldn't, too. hehehehe

damn. i need to go back to writing my own blogs and not just reading others. ;)

love you! and thanks for the painting. you should definitely append your blog to include how my luck suddenly started changing at your party. yeah...cheese meteors are, indeed real.


palma tayona said...

you know i love you sheila. other than my mom, my aunts and my landlady, you are one of the very few women, ahem... ladies in my life. but whatever you say re: the years we add on our lives... i smile, but at the back of my mind i still say "oh yeah sure. get on with it."

thank you love. :-)

palma tayona said...

@ben... as i have said, i shan't tell the truth until i reach the fourth decade of my life. unless it's the boxes on an official document i tick off, i still find myself skipping it, or simply ticking off the lower age brackets. ;-)

heniwey... i do hope you enjoy the small piece you got and she's called "Dalagang Pilipina". :-)

joelmcvie said...

Belated happy birthday. :-)

SeƱor Enrique said...

Belated Happy Birthday, Daniel!

Visitors (actually, relatives) from Subic decided to stay overnight which prevented me from going out to party :( Glad to know that you had a wonderful one. Perhaps, in your fortieth?

I had a brother who made it a point to buy fresh flowers every Friday after work for his apartment.

palma tayona said...

@joelmcvie : thank you. now i feel the weight of the truth drawing near. hahaha

@senor enrique : as far as i am concerned, flowers bring back good memories and it's a salve to the eyes and a weary soul. :-)

it's quite alright if you weren't able to. there'll be other birthdays to come. hehehe

Anonymous said...

Hi. Glad to hear from you! :) A.H.W.O.S.G. is next on my backlog too. I've read about it in the hipsterbookclub community on Livejournal and many people call it the quintessential hipster book so there haha. I've always been drawn to coming of age novels since (tada!) the catcher in the rye then came the likes of the perks of being a wallflower which I really liked until it became overrated. Safran Foer's Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close revived my love for the genre. I'm currently reading McEwan's Atonement (partly in preparation for the movie).

Re: Love in the Time of Cholera
I loved that book too! I can't wait for the movie on October. GGM is one of my favorite authors..I've just finished Of Love And Other Demons.

PS. Belated Happy Birthday! :)

palma tayona said...

@joseph : they are coming up with a movie based on that book??


Anonymous said...

Yes they are.

palma tayona said...

@joseph: okay, i am defeated. i have to harass someone to teach me how to do these linking and stuff because i notice people wimple write a text, it becomes blue and when you click it, it directly prompts one to the intended url.

i feel like a dinosaur for i have no idea how to do that. i end up writing the whole url when i want to show one the intended site.


(i am like Puff the Magic Dragon with his golden scales falling off as he slowly realizes his helpless-ness)

palma tayona said...

i meant "simply" and not wimple.

ruff nurse-du-jour said...

dropped by! happy birthday!! =)

palma tayona said...

why thank you RUFF.

now i officially hate birthdays. i already feel like a dinosaur. :-(

ruff nurse-du-jour said...

Thanks for the visit Daniel!

Don’t worry my friend, my over-familiarity with the shows is just borne out of intense boredom (I’m on an unexpectedly long leave from my work) and when I’m back from my sabbatical, my relationship with the boob tube will be so non-existent. (There are still the wonderful pirated DVDs, though). For the meantime, I’ll be enjoying every minute of my time with the TV, as such good, brilliant shows are just occurring once in a lifetime. Hehe.

I guess by now you’re already familiar with my contempt, er, dislike for The Soprano’s. I can’t seem to get it’s storyline. Magulo!!! Sobra!!! Hehehe. I watched a few episodes and my neurons got dehydrated! Perhaps it is because (1) I was not able to watch the first season, (2) I have huge huge expectations and the episode I watched is a wee bit boring, or (3) I don’t exert too much effort appreciating the show. James Gandolfini looks, uhm, interesting, and yeah, cute. Hehe. He looks nice. =)

Thanks for dropping by Daniel. Again, belated happy birthday!!

rye said...

Happy Birthday my friend!

hope you had a blast!

pero parang tama nga mga pamangkin mo. parang bagay nga sa yo ang mag pole dancing (wink).... hehehehehehe

palma tayona said...

hahahaha... thank you rye. that was a pretty comforting thought.

Mark Xander said...

Your art is the real deal. WOW.

BTW, about your comment on my blog.. Yep, that's my mom! :) She actually has 5 blogs! It's cooler that your 81-yr-old aunt chats with you though. WOW!

Andre said...

Did i read "puff the magic dragon" somewhere. That is so 70s or was that a 60s song...numbers... whole numbers soon.. hehehehe

love yeah dearie despite the talent agent's fascination with the "H" hahahahaha

palma tayona said...

@mark xander : thank you. i enjoyed reading your site as well. and i like your mom for being so cool about blogging. :-)

@andre: i believe it's from a song by peter paul and mary for the early seventies yata. and yes... that "h" thing. oh well