Saturday, August 22, 2009

Till Death Do Them Part…

08:03:11 AM
February 14, 2009

My best female friend, BFF just told me now that she’s getting married soon.

I should be happy for her. Marriage after all, is a very important milestone in one’s life, the culmination of a goal for some, the beginning of a journey for others, a phase marked by the presence of that significant other in your life. A stage where that long awaited dream comes true and you look forward to the years ahead filled with the bliss of love, the cheating, the forgiveness, the agony of quarrels, the patter of tiny feet and the gut-wrenching task of raising good children in this bad world.

Despite all the cynicism with which I regard the institution, I still realize that marriage is indeed good. I should be happy for my friend.

Why then do I feel so sad? For lack of better words to describe it, I feel like someone just died. I’ve felt like this two times before. The first time when my best male friend, BMF told me his own good news, the second time, the wedding of my childhood sweetheart/friend. BFF is the second female friend I’m losing to marriage and the third real friend over all.

I clearly recall why when BMF got married I had these same feelings of melancholy. It was as if my best friend, my soul brother, my pally, literally my skin and bone had suddenly decided to take a decision that would affect our friendship forever without duly consulting me. It was selfish on my part I know, but the knife went deep inside my back, pushed even further when I realized he had been dating the lady in question for a while right under my nose without hinting me about it for once. How could I have been so blind? Why didn’t he tell me?

But that’s all water under the bridge now. We still remain friends though in a slightly uncomfortable fashion. A bachelor can never really be friends with a married man. With BFF, however, things are much more complicated than that.

I’ve known BFF for many years now though we became best friends just a few years back. I recall how I first met her. It was in church and I was discussing with my sister after Mass when I saw this girl approach the altar. I can’t recall the day or month. I just know it was a Sunday.

In one of those random moments that just dart past in our lives almost unnoticed, the thought dropped in my head as I watched her: She could be my girlfriend. I had never spoken to her; I had barely even noticed her. I didn’t know her before then. The resolution, unbidden, however was just too strong.

During those University days, I usually carried out full background checks before I even approached a girl to say hi. It wasn’t difficult; you could always find someone you knew in her Department. In her case I just couldn’t turn up much. My sister couldn’t help out either so I later shelved the whole thing and bided my time. There was time.

Afterwards I would run into another girl, E. who ended up becoming not just a friend but my girlfriend as well. Surprise, surprise! While leafing through E.’s pictures I found out she was best friends with BFF. Finally I had gotten all the background info I had long wanted all right, but from the one I was already committed to. I was getting great love from E. I decided not to bother approaching BFF anymore.

A few years later, E. and I broke up and BFF was on hand as a negotiatior of sorts, offering support and encouragement to us as we rode out the storms that follow separation. She did her job well and we all remain friends till today. Some more years later, BFF would also break up with a guy she had been going steady with for like donkey years and I would be there to offer her the same help and encouragement. I didn’t do much. I just listened. And that’s when we went from being just friends to very good friends.

It would seem that Fate has turned the tables again in my favour. We were now single. We were good friends. BFF had all a man would ever want and more (I do not exaggerate here and no, I’m not wearing rose-tinted spectacles). Most men would recognizable her for what she is: an asset. Now seemed to be the right time to lay my cards on that table.

But I never asked her out. I felt she still needed more time to heal. I did hint at the possibility of it once in a while but her reaction was a resounding no. E. was her friend and she could NEVER go out with her friend’s ex even if they had broken up decades ago. I’ve always had an odd way of taking Life as it comes. Maybe that is my undoing. I understood.

And this was before the Guy Parade started. I wasn’t surprised when she told me of two guys in a rush to marry her so soon after her break-up. Ironic it was that what all we guys saw in BFF, one of us had been dense enough to let go of. Contrary to what women think, only a few of us are stupid. We all knew very well how valuable BFF was.

Eventually one succeeded where we others failed and the proof of this is been marked today as you read this. Without a doubt he must be a great guy otherwise BFF wouldn’t have chosen him. She’s very practical, maybe even choosy when it comes to things that affect her deeply and I’m yet to see her make one really bad decision. For as odd as this sounds her decision not to go out with me is a good one. My ego isn’t as over-inflated as all that not to recognize the truth.

This is a scheduled post. I started typing this immediately I heard the news. As you read, I’ll most likely be in church sitting not too far from BFF and her soon-to-be husband. I do not know as of now what part - active or passive - I’ll play towards her wedding. That’s still undecided as at when I wrote this. However I know I’ll be on the sharp look-out to make sure nothing or no-one - myself inclusive - slips up and spoils this day for my best friend.

They may be exchanging their vows right now and I’ll be trying very hard to smile. One thing I know for sure, I’ll try hard to dodge the photographer as usual. I hate appearing in pictures.

I’ll be looking at Mr. Right and jokingly thinking to myself: you lucky bastard. I taught myself early never to hold any ounce of envy or resentment in my heart towards any other guy. Love is a game. He won, I lost. He’s a good fellow and he’s very smart. Just like me. He’s bold too. Unlike me. I am sure he’ll treat BFF right. She deserves it.

I am also looking at BFF caught in the midst of all this. She always wished for this day. I sensed it every time she talked of working towards a successful relationship. She looks radiant as always. I shall stifle the pangs of regret. My loss, his gain. Time to look sharp now. Another female might just be looking at me too and thinking to herself: her loss, my gain…

I wonder how my friendship with BFF will change after this. It’s tough enough for my married friend BMF to remains friends with a bachelor like me not to talk of a married woman. None of us speak the same language anymore. She always tells me we’ll still remain good friends but I doubt it. There is after all, a time for everything…

I love reflecting on the circle of life. Life, with its suspense, ups, downs and in-betweens is actually far more interesting than any movie, film, book or play all put together. When I first met her she was walking towards an altar. Now as I leave her, she’s also walking towards an altar.

I shall miss you BFF. All I’ve got to say to you and he is Happy Married Life. You’re both co-pilots of your love boat now.

You know, when you told me you would be getting married, I cried.

They weren’t tears of joy…

*** UPDATE***
As the timeline above indicates, this post was written 6 months ago shortly after hearing of the betrothal and does NOT represent my state of mind at present. I am grateful for all the concern shown though… Thank you. Really...

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Blame It On The (Lack of) Internet & Where I've Been...

So for the very first time ever, I'm doing something I've NEVER ever done before in all my blogging life: publishing an unedited post directly into my Blogger publisher page. Usually I'm used to typing everything (yes, even my comments) in MS Word and proof-reading before doing the entire copy/paste routine. But not for now at least... So forgive any typos...

I've missed Blogville... I didn't go anywhere. I still do my blog-rounds religiously but I don't leave comments anymore. I try to think of something original or witty to type and everything comes out sounding cliche.

The poor internet services (helped by the rumoured SAT-3 shenanigans) haven't helped either. I've blown a fortune sitting down in cafes waiting for Blogger's sign-in page to load. Not helpful too when you have to move around cautiously with work ID and laptop receipts (both fakes in my own case) before a trigger-happy policeman nabs you for Advanced Fee Fraud. Funny enough, the real scammers have no such fear of the Police.

So where have I been all this while? Well, I'm getting my new digital high from Twitter. I put up the widget here before so people could follow me but since my family's still intent on knowing all I do online I had to take it down. I haven't abandoned Blogville, just that the crowd on Twitter seem so focused and yet nobody there takes themselves too seriously at the same time. Turns out the 140-character limit really brings out the best in certain people literary-wise...

Funny enough, I relate with certain bloggers even better there than on Blogger. Plus I've even met a few in real-life too though I'm not mentioning names! It's an open secret anyway...

Enough of the free PR. As for my personal life, not much has changed I'm afraid. Still out of work and as I type this, I'm supposed to be getting my beauty sleep in preparation for an interview back in Lagos but I've just decided I'm not going anyway. I'd gone for 4 (yes, four!) previous interviews in June at the same said company for an Engineering position only for the Manager to flip the whole thing  around. Now, just when I leave Lagos for a few days to give myself a much-deserved rest (?) they want me to come back for a 5th interview as a temporary Trainee! Not only has the position been downgraded from a full post, but I hear that the job is just a one month contact  meaning I'll be back on the dole within one month.

I guess I'm just pissed because I missed another earlier job opportunity just to attend the previous interviews in the first place and I'm still beating myself up for not choosing the other company. I'm still hoping and praying though because it's almost 6 months now since I quit and my siblings' patience must be wearing thin. My mom wants to help but it hurts knowing I should be fending for her now and not the other way round.

Speaking of praying, I haven't been doing much of that either. I still talk to GOD but we're not as tight as we used to. He's still there for me but I'm the one holding back. Even when I want to run mad with frustration, He still does something - anything - to show me His awesome presence whether it's as simple as showing me where I misplaced my wallet or giving me the courage to let go of fear and seek out wonderful people who want to help me without even knowing my real name. He's just too good to me and I hope I can get back to how we used to be. I hardly talk about religious stuff so this out-pouring is still making me a bit uncomfortable. That's just me I guess.

August holds a lot of emotional memories for me and I'm hoping I'll have the courage to blog about them. Interestingly, they mostly revolve around women (or the lack of). My best female friend's getting married in a few weeks and our talks concerning marriage have been very interesting. I'm trying to schedule a post as I write this so...

Everybody's hooking up nowadays and it's rather scary in a way.  But what's even more annoying is when people you've known all your life start showing attitude just because they've paid a dowry, hired a church and worn a ring. I'm not beefing marriage but oh well, why am I even saying all this anyway?

And in case you peeps haven't figured it out by now, I'm rambling like mad, the sole reason I never do unplanned posts. I wasn't even going to put up a post up till like 20 minutes ago when I checked out a new blog I'd just discovered and saw someone saying he'd missed me since I'd gone MIA. So this one's for you Kay9, that's if you haven't given up on my blogs.

Time to hit the Publish Post button under this edit text field and broadcast my jargon to the world. I'm too lazy to even look for an image to accompany this post so I'm using Kay9's profile picture hoping he'll see it.

Gotta go now... MS Word rocks! No endorsements intended but I'm never trying this ish again...