2008 was a big year for me. It was the year I finally get around to learning to sew. It was also the year that I was unemployed for three whole months after a four year love affair with the call center industry. It was the year when I finally get to work in a real office and finally get a job title of a writer (even though I don’t exactly do any writing). It was a year where although I must admit that I am still adjusting to, tell myself every day that I must be mature and act like a grown up. It was the year that I got married and became the Diplowife.
JG and I didn’t really discuss how we were going to spend Christmas or the New Year because as I expected, we wouldn’t agree on anything; mostly because we both got used to very different ways of spending Christmas. I grew up to a big noisy Christmas, while JG prefers to spend it quietly. I tried to talk to ask him about our Christmas plans, which as predicted, only ended in a huge fight.
We did manage to compromise: we would spend the day doing a little of his Christmas thing and little of mine. However I did find myself a little gloomy on Christmas Eve, but I guess it’s really hard to let go of something you have been used to for years.
My MIL (mother in law) spent the 24th preparing a simple Noche Buena of her Menudo and Chicken Afritada, also with my Penne Carbonara and our joint efforts of Lasagna. On Christmas day; the plan was to catch the T. V. & J. Iskul Bukol reunion flick and then go to our house to attend a Christmas get-together with my family. But as nothing always turns out the way I expected in my life, we had a hard time getting a jeepney, had a little setback with lunch at a Chinese restaurant, and couldn’t get tickets for the afternoon showing of the film. I got a little cranky I admit, I was afraid that JG would decide to ditch my family; to me Christmas was the only time you could be with your family and was really having a hard time to understand that I might miss all that because of a movie. (Not to mention that if we get posted next year, this might be my last holidays to see my family) So holding my temper, I told JG that we could always watch the movie some other time, but he was determined to see it.
As pissed as I was, I also didn’t want our first Christmas to be about a memorable fight so I decided to just let it go. And JG didn’t make things more difficult and agreed to once again compromise. So we decided to buy tickets for a later showing of the film, visit our house while we wait.
So we went to see my family which really made my day, plus the fact that while we were there, I was surprised and really happy to see JG joking around with my family, and something he didn’t really do when he visits. And we really had a good time watching the movie and were still on high spirits even though it ended really late and still had a hard time catching a ride home.
I always thought that everyone goes to Baguio during the summer, thus the title “summer capital”. My MIL always mentioned that she wanted to go there, also JG who has always been a fan of places with cool climates; and since my lucky husband mentioned that he might get a fat bonus, we decided to have a four day vacation after the 25th and come back for the New Year.
However he did say that he “might” get a bonus, so we waited until we made plans and reservations. Which was a bad move on our part because by the time JG received his bonus, we couldn’t find a hotel to stay in as it was all booked.
One thing I can say about JG is that when he wants something he really doesn’t give up that easily; he kept asking me to call the travel agency to ask if anyone had cancelled. As it turned out my mom knew someone who lives there that help us get a place to stay. She did find us a house, but the catch was that we were going to be staying with an old couple who owns the place. Unfortunately, another thing I can say about JG is that he doesn’t like to live, even for a short period, in a place where he has to share the bathroom with strangers. And that was basically the end of plans to visit Baguio. I guess we just have to find another time to visit.
December 31, 2008, no doubt about it was a memorable day for me. Aside from it being the last day of the New Year, it is also my Mom’s birthday. And although I got to visit during the day this is the first that I wasn’t going to be at home at midnight. But I was really looking forward to a quiet New Year with JG and his Mom, because it is my new home, plus the fact that I HATE fireworks.
And now I hate fireworks 10 tens more, because last night a couple of hours before midnight, the apartment three doors down caught fire. They said a kind of firework found its way through their windows which caused the fire. Fortunately, firefighters came fast enough to stop it from spreading specifically to our apartment. I cannot explain how afraid I was, and I kept praying so hard for God not to let it happen to me again, as I knew that I would forever think of myself a jinx to experience getting house burned twice in my lifetime. It was one of the longest two hours of my life.
There are also some things that I realized with the fire. One, no matter how many times a big emergency such as a fire happens to you, you will never be able to get it together. I was hysterical, and was no where near brave. I kept praying out loud, asking our neighbors for help; I did manage to get some valuables in a bag, but later realized that I still left important stuff like documents and money. You would think I would know what to do, but no. And two, I got a chance to see JG in a midst of a crisis. Not that I was hoping for one just so I can test the abilities of my husband, but I was always afraid that since he’s so quiet and always keeps to himself that he would freeze or worst get a heart attack in times of need. But he was really brave and got everything together. In fact in the midst of everyone’s panic he was the only one who had the sense to call the fire department. And although he had to keep walking around to see the fire truck coming, he always remembered to come back to me and give me a comforting hug. Now I know that I could depend on him to be strong when I am scared out of my wits.
I still cringe at the thought of our house catching fire, or if the fire fighters did not come on time. But thank God a thousand times that everyone is safe and our house is okay. But one last thing, whenever you think of how shitty things are whether you’re not pretty enough, or successful enough, or good enough for anything; when bad things like that happen, it reminds you of how lucky you really are. It reminds you to be thankful and appreciate what you have and the people around you.