Of the books I read the past two months, here are five I highly recommend:
A man who doesn’t spend time with his family can never be a real man.
– Don Vito Corleone to Johnny Fontane, from The Godfather
L.O.V.E, it’s a mystery
Where you’ll find me, where you’ll find
All is Love, is love, is love, is love
– Karen O, All is Love from Where the Wild Things Are
Contrary to what people might think, I actually like Valentine’s day. Growing up, my ever thoughtful mom used to put heart-shaped patterned goodie bags filled with heart-shaped chocolates, heart-shaped gummies, and other heart, cupid, rose, or some similar Valentine’s-cliche-shaped sweet. My brothers and I already had the best lunch boxes, we each had one cooler (Yes, a cooler.) of Ritz Bits, mini Chips Ahoy, some fruit leather (Which I used to refer to as Fruit of the Loom until I saw the underwear. You can’t chew on those, well, you can, but you’d look like an idiot.), milk in a pack (Of course we had to have milk.), granola bars, and on Valentine’s Day our treasure chest turned into a personal ADHD resource.
As if we weren’t hyper enough.
Valentine’s has changed for us now that we are older, such as Joe’s traditional car stalling when Carla and he celebrate Valentine’s. I think Tammy the Tamaraw is jealous that she no longer gets Joe’s undivided attention. I think it started changing for me the first time I gave a bunch of roses to a girl. I got the colors all wrong and gave her white ones because I wanted mine to stand out. Now I know that tradition matters more than color – so stick to red. But I’m sure she liked them anyway. Because she told me she liked me like crazy.
Or did she say she was crazy for liking me?
It doesn’t matter. Everyone who likes anyone like crazy is crazy for liking anyone like crazy. If you found that confusing, well, so did I. But that’s part of the fun.
My parents seem to have warmed-up to our bringing females to meet the family, especially with Carla and Kristie around. At one of our recent dinners, my dad had reserved the seat next to him for Carla, for his new daughter, so that he could tell her to start calling her pop. He’s sentimental that way. Which is also why he watches Joe’s wedding video for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
It wasn’t always this way. I remember on one of my birthdays, my mom gave me a copy of Joshua Harris’ book I Kiss Dating Goodbye. I gave it away the next day. Christmas that year she gave me another copy. What kind of sadistic mom gives a book like that for Christmas??? I think I used that copy to build a camp fire or something. She then gave me a third copy on my birthday the next year with terrible acting, “Oh have I given you a copy of this?” “Um.. YEAH… for the past three disappointing gift occasions.” With me, they always had this idea that I only went out with females solely because of their looks. Which was absurd. All of them, and they’re not as many as my brothers make them out to be, were attractive, interesting, and incredible in their own different way. But I wouldn’t recommend my path to anyone, in fact, after witnessing Joe’s wedding, I’d suggest you emulate him, not so much so that you’ll bag an actress, but so that we’ll see how God works when we let Him. Ok I shouldn’t use the word “bag”, but you get the point. Besides, I prefer someone low-key and away from the limelight so that I don’t have to worry about getting photographed while I’m picking my nose or losing my temper on the tennis court.
February 14, 2010
Earlier today, the family, which is pop and mom, Joe, Josh, and their better halves, Carla and Kristie, and I got together for a home made Valentine’s lunch. Not to be undone, I invited my own friend from Japan who is also into sailing. I only realized later on that he was the same friend I brought to Christmas dinner when my mom mentioned it. Which prompted Josh to say:
“So, David. Are you trying to tell us something? Are you introducing him to the family?”
My brother is insane, and my other seemingly angelic but also quite as crazy older brother and he decided to pick on the remaining single brother by playing a twist to a family favorite game called What Would You Rather. This one is called David, Who Would You Rather End Up With.
Brothers: David, who would you rather end up with… K or I?
David: I don’t know them both.
Brothers: Just based on looks.
David: I don’t know how they look.
Mom: You don’t? K has nice legs.
David: Yikes mom…
Mom: Here. (Showing me a picture of K on her computer)
David: It’s blurry. I can’t see the detail. I like detail.
Mom: You like detail? Here. She has a nice necklace.
David: Like that matters when you’re married… More like, does she like classical music?
Brothers: Like THAT matters…
Brothers: C or H?
Brothers: What about C or P?
David: Definitely P.
Brothers: What happened to C?
David: P is hotter.
Brothers: P or R?
David: R by far.
Brothers: Nice to know you still have some substance left.
Brothers: P or P?
David: P. Like I said earlier, she’s hotter.
Brothers: There goes the substance.
So the game went on. F or Y? C or T? P or Z? A or double X? Actress or business woman? Chef or athlete? Musician or writer? Old or older? (Note: The letters I put are random. They do not correspond to anyone specifically. Well, they do, but not logically but by chance.)
All this talk got me thinking, “Who is someone I can’t live without?” It didn’t take long for me to realize. Because if you were to ask me if I would rather be doing anything else, I would tell you no. I can’t think of anything I enjoy more than being with my family – even if I am the seventh wheel, and even if it means enduring another round of Who Would You Rather.
It’s always been clear, that having some-one to yourself doesn’t really matter when you’re surrounded by the ones who mean everything.
Besides, I’m saving up for a sailboat.
The business of making a difference is not exclusive to the perfect – in fact, if you were to look closely at the people who have made some of the biggest contributions to humanity, you’d almost think it’s exclusive to the imperfect and to seriously flawed people – and you’d be right.