The Commuter Diaries: How manong driver made me reflect on singlehood

"Kaya nga nag-asawa para magkaanak eh..." (That's the reason I got married, so I could have children... ) were the words of the jeepney driver to his friend who just got on his jeep. The friend motioned to his wife, carrying his son, and he said they are on their way to the hospital for the baby's check-up, and also for his wife to get her contraceptive shots.

I am a daily commuter. Ever since I got employed, I have to battle with the ruthless Manila traffic, along with the dust and smoke and other forms of allergens and smells and grime that is the metro. As annoying as this may sound, the bright side of it is that I can use the time to listen to an entire Backstreet Boys album, or meditate and reflect on the reasons for my existence (both valid and invalid), or eavesdrop to the different stories shared by the other passengers and judge reflect on them. This morning I didn't have my earplugs on, and upon hearing manong driver's words of wisdom, a tidal wave of the different attacks on my singlehood surged in my head.

O, 'eto, asawa na lang ang kulang. (Husband is the only thing missing in this one.) This came from a man I barely know - the only thing I know about him is that he was a middle-aged married man with two kids. You see, when I finally got symptom-free, I looked a liiiittle bit gorgeous... yes, just a little bit. Plus, I am happy with what's going on with my life because apart from my health getting better, I am publishing the books I've written, I have conquered my fears and anxiety and left everything else to God, I have a supportive family and awesome friends. Plus, I've got a full time job. Maybe all of these were the reasons I'm glowing these days. I am finally full of positive energy. And as you may have noticed, there's no man in the equation. And this only proves I can be perfectly happy without a man (though this doesn't necessarily mean I don't WANT one 😂), so how can I possibly be missing a husband?

Mag-asawa ka na 'oy! Mahigit trenta ka na. (Why don't you get married, you're past thirty.) Another man told this to me, though unlike the first one, this is waaaay older, though obviously none the wiser. Biological clock is ticking, and I do not feel any pressure right now (read: Janina San Miguel). How come the bachelors look so cool when they're 40 and still single? Can I not be as cool as them if I'm 50 and irresistibly gorgeous? Okay, maybe I won't be, but still. I hate it when women are pressured like this!

Ikaw, wala pa rin ba? (Don't you still have yours?) This one came from a neighbor who stopped by when she saw me and my then-playmate making small talk about her baby bump. It was her third baby. I know the neighbor meant well, like maybe she was joking and maybe it was a pun intended. But then again, the society's gotta stop thinking that life is a race. We should all stop clinging into the idea that we should have what our college friends have right now, may it be a house, or a car, or marriage, or even kids. Again, life is not a race. Let's work at our own pace. Let's take our time. And most importantly, let focus on working what we truly want.

Eh, sino'ng mag-aalaga sa'yo kapag tumanda ka na? (Who's going to take care of you when you get old?) Salon visits often bring me to this kind of conversation with the other clients for some reason. And this is the reason, too, why I choose not to engage in small talks anymore, generally speaking. I dread to give birth to a child whose responsibility is to take care of me when I get old. If I'm going to have children, it's most probably because I want to produce better earth inhabitants. Ones that have passion in all they do. People who'd do the right thing despite the pressure of doing what's easy. But then of course, it's no easy task. And I have long understood that maybe, just maybe, I'll never be able to do that. Besides, how am I even going to do that?

Like manong driver said, you get married because you want to have children. Right now, I still don't have the idea how I am going to raise mine. And that's most probably why I'm still single.

Yo, please stop bashing single ladies...

1 comment

  1. […] caution, perhaps just like the truth. But I’ve said it somewhere in one of my previous posts, life is not a race. If we’re more comfortable in finishing something at our own comfortable pace, then so be it. […]