Friday, January 12, 2007

Five Well-Kept Secrets Declassified

We were lingering over dinner at Kalye ni Juan -- my amigas and I -- when we got to talking about secrets. We agreed that though we go back many years and trust each other more than anyone else in the world, there are still secrets we keep from each other. Deep, dark secrets. Such as what? Well, we collectively tried to guess what these might be:

  • loving someone we shouldn't have
  • getting rid of someone we should have kept
  • or (this one amidst giggles) getting a lipo, a face lift or a nose job
  • When do we take old skeletons out of closets? -- we speculated. Will there be a time they wouldn't shock /embarass anymore? When we get to 60? 70? Beyond? At our deathbeds?

    Never, maybe?

    And now here comes Toe, high priestess of the kurokuro cult, upperclasswoman of the blogging society, tagging me and two other come-latelies to a meme, daring us to publish -- for anyone who cares to see -- five of our well-kept secrets.

    Now, as blogger, I am told I come across as bubbly, funny, game-na-game. Not wanting to spoil this (mis)impression and eager as a beagle to fasttrack my mainstreaming into this cool, kewl society, I have agreed to dare and bare. Well, some.

    Let me see. I guess the following secrets may now be declassified:

    • Most dastardly secret: I sometimes keep chocolates from my children so I can have them all. I must be the most clever chocolate hider on earth. At first, I was so unimaginative I hid them under the bed. -- but they were soon tracked out. And so I looked for unlikely hiding places: inside a canister labeled "FLOUR," inside the medicine cabinet behind vile-looking bottle of scotch emulsion; on the altar back of Christ the King. Nights, when the pesky ones sleep the sleep of the unknowing, I stealthily rise to take the contraband from its hiding place and take it to bed with me while i read, relishing it morsel by divine morsel. Ah, this is the life, I used to murmur.

    • Most aw-shucks secret: I lie to make each kid feel special. As if to neutralize dastardly act No. 1, I am sometimes capable of taking a small, delightful thing (e.g., an apple, a toy, a stationery set, a book) to one child, with an admonitiion to "hush-don't-tell the others-about it- you're-the-only-one- I am giving this too." What he doesnt know is next day or next week, I go to the next child with more or less the same gift, the same script. I like the way a child's face lights up when told he's the special one among so many and being handed a trophy as an evidence of it

    • Most unpardonable secret: I read my daughters' diaries. Everyone says this is a no-no, but I can't help it. My excuse: I want to know what's happening in my children's lives -- whether they are happy or troubled." Well, I guess they have learned to live with it. While I was at it one day, straining to read my bunso's deliberately disfigured handwriting, I suddenly came across a line, all caps, boldface: "HI, MOM. I KNOW YOU'RE READING THIS. ENJOY! :) " Yup, my bonch is a brat.

    • Most criminal secret: I plagiarized unabashedly. In high school, I drooled over my dad's letters to my mom -- sent from La Union where he was based for a time. He would be particularly sappy on Valentine's Day with lines like: "The pivotal truth, the all-consuming truth is that I love you. Yes, you, to whom I am the best even at my worst." And so when my class had to write an essay that December on Mother's Day, Teacher singled out my piece, reading out aloud the best part of what I wrote: "Yes, you, my beloved mother, to whom I am the best even at my worst." She ended with "very good, very promising" as a the young girl that was me beamed, blissfully unaware of intellectual property rights.

    • Latest secret: I was a Philippine idol fanatic. I spent a small fortune e-voting for Jan, for Mau, for Pao. And this was how I met Noemi and her blogs , so I could root for my idols. And the rest, as the cliche goes, is history.

    There you go, Toe, your meme accomplished with five secrets unleashed. Not deep dark and shocking, though. But teenyweeny, cutesy, the color of honey.

    Well, Toe, I got crimson-colored secrets, too. But you're not old enough for them. :)

    Now, whom shall I tag?

    Sexy Mom



    Your turn.


    Anonymous said...

    i have secrets too.
    ask me no questions and i tell you no lies. hehe


    A said...

    hmmm, those are pretty tame secrets! I was hoping for some scrabble dish.

    Toe said...

    OMG Annamanila, you are such a crackpot! :) I couldn't stop laughing at your post. :) You are definitely dastardly... keeping chocolates from your kids, reading your daughter's diaries... hahahahaha! :) You must be a fun Mom. :)

    Yes, of course, you can tag anyone you like. I didn't know who tag the first time I got tagged too.

    And welcome to the blogging world! :)

    annamanila said...

    A! I wrote an earlier piece on online scrabble -- "Anna-come-lately (My Online Life)." See if you can relate? Anyway, thanks for dropping by. Juliet endorsed my site in her profile notes at isc and i am afraid she has over-built me. Maybe in time, the site would mature and measure up. Yup, the secrets declassified were pretty tame. Just some cutesy stuff meant to amuse rather than shock.

    sexy mom said...

    oh, my Anna! this is all toe's fault. now it will be Sexy Mom - Bared! there is a chance that after this, my family, even friends and colleagues could disown me! but i am taking the risk.

    sexy mom said...

    there you go, Anna. Sexy Mom-Bared! i have posted my meme.

    Pra said...

    First time I hear Toe refered to as a cult high priestess. lol. I wonder what names people will give her if all the people she's tagged would ever get together. :D

    Oh, hi pala, I forgot to say that I'm one of the two other-come-latelies.


    Prab said...

    Okay, error on the first part. Sorry. How about that for an introduction. Buti na lang moderated. Would you be so kind to edit the first post and add my name? Thankies. :D

    crispi said...

    Hi Anna. I read your story about Naida (Loving, Hurting, Healing). I found the story very commonplace (because it happens everyday) yet I finished it quickly. Such an ordinary story written compellingly. It captured the gamut of betrayal and rising above it. Until the next episode!

    annamanila said...

    Prab! Sorry, tried to edit but couldn't. Even the moderation process seems to be simply a choice between "publish" and "reject." Perhaps you .. or someone out there can teach this retard how?! :)

    Brian said...

    My friend Bill lost his wife of over 30 years a couple years ago, and one of the shocks of his life was that she had lied to him about her age when they met and never corrected the discrepancy for the whole, long, happy life they had together. She was actually two years older than him, and she never told him the secret.

    Your post reminded me of that story, and I thought you might be interested. :)

    kate said...

    hahaha natawa ako dun sa, "Hi mom, i know you're reading this" - part. :) i never did find out if my mother had read my diary when she was still alive. not that i had anything substantial to write as a twelve-year-old. hehe. ayan ha nagcomment po ako! :)

    annamanila said...

    Brian! Lots of women can be "neurotic" about their age -- as though it defines them. But don't be hard on them.

    Let me ask you: Would your friend Bill not have minded 30 years ago if he knew how old his bride-to-be really was? Perhaps she didn't wan't to take the risk of losing him -- no matter that it would have said a lot about Bill (a not very nice lot), if he had minded.

    Today, Bill might easily say: "what does age have to do with the essential self." But ... you know, some things we know today we might not have known before.

    sexy mom said...

    if you cannot edit your post, and add PRAB's name, let me know, i'll tag him!

    annamanila said...


    Well you know how bratty the bonch is. :)

    You lost your mom at 12. Oooh. I dunno what to say. I just know she'd have been very proud of you .. I think she is, she knows. :)

    Brian said...

    Okay, AnnaManila, Sorry about the delay, but no, Bill wouldn't have minded at all. That's why it was especially puzzling to him to only discover it after she died. He showed some humor about it, but I can imagine that it brought up questions at the worst possible time.

    My thinking is it's better not to hide things, but of course I'm certainly not the best advocate for transparency. LOL

    annamanila said...


    May I ask .. how many years was the total age difference between Bill and his departed wife? Not much I suppose. And yet, Mrs. Bill was very insecure, not sure if the truth would change things between them.

    Which brings us to the age old but still raging gender equality fever. If Bill were older -- no matter by how much -- would this have mattered at all? Specifically, it is the gentle stereotypes, social expectations not the least of which are those of Bill's family -- these are the culprit here.

    I strayed into a chatting room not too long ago. One of the the first things everyone asks for is asl .. which at first stumped me. ASL ... i dont give asl, I said the few times i went there. I am here to chat, to exchange ideas ... not to look for someone of a certain age gender or location. But that marked me as someone not worth their time of day.

    Oh well.

    Brian said...

    No loss, there.

    Bill was only two years younger than his wife, so it wouldn't have been that big of a deal, but back in those days I guess things were different.

    I looked into the gender inequality issue when I was with my last significant other. She was about 20 years older than me. The articles I read online seemed to say that it's okay for an older man to be with a younger woman, but not vice versa. But like you said: "Oh, well."

    Asawari said...

    "When do we take old skeletons out of closets? -- we speculated. Will there be a time they wouldn't shock /embarass anymore? When we get to 60? 70? Beyond? At our deathbeds?

    Never, maybe?"

    This made me think twice about relationships, trust and if i really know the people i claim to know :)

    annamanila said...

    Here in our country, loving a woman 20 years older is almost unheard of. Except if the woman is rich, influential, famous, and generous. You get my drift ... of course. Therefore love like youth is wasted on the young.

    Men are expected to have last hurrahs at 60, 70, even beyond. Women are supposed to be dry in the heart and elsewhere when they start having hot flushes. Aaah ... i think i am getting out of control. Heha. Yup, heha.

    annamanila said...

    Anawari! We always have to relate, to connect. In this game, we win some, we lose some. But that makes life interesting, doesn't it.

    No, we can't know everything about our friends, lovers, even children. Think how dull it is when everything is so predictable. We like to be surprised, don't we?

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