Sunday, November 28, 2010
Over 60 and swooning
“Karma” – my BFF Gabby calls it.
She couldn’t relate to me, she says – which, shorn of diplomatese, may have meant she laughed at me -- in my Dao Ming Zu days.
Those were days I’d go home early to catch plays and replays of “Meteor Garden” where Taiwanese actor Jerry Yan (aka Dao Ming Zu) strutted, with his magnificent abs, big hair, and brooding, slit-eyed looks, into and under the skin not only of the saccharine Shan Cai but also of his huge audience of women, young and old and, yes, older. Days all I wanted to do at lunchtime was to recount the latest Dao Ming Zu tragedy or crisis with office friends, never mind if all of us watched the show the night before. Days I’d watch Meteor Garden episodes on CD which I cajoled my niece Maila to lend me and which I didn’t return though she more than cajoled. Days I’d shop at Bench, where Jerry was poster boy, only so I could grab a free poster.
Of course, it wasn’t the first time I swooned over a 20 year old. There was Diether Ocampo back in his Ang TV and Gimik days; and before him Romnick Sarmenta; and before him Dranreb Belleza; and before him …. ooops, my memory fails me.
She has been karma’d, Gabby confesses, because now, she’s hopelessly in love with K-pop idol Jang Geun Seok of “You’re Beautiful” fame. Hah, I wanted to gloat, JGS is only a Korean reproduction of my DMZ – a second rate, trying-hard copy cat.
This must be second childhood, Gabby frets. “I bought a lot of JGS stuff. I listen to his soundtracks and constantly watch his manhwas (Korean dramas). He has a new one showing here now,” she adds, referring of course to Korea where she is an exchange professor.
Gabby offers she is an escapist-dreamer whose outlook in life is “that there should always be magic and that anything is possible” -- her way of explaining why she is hooked to the young Kor-Kor idol. She is not keen on reality, she says, because reality for others is not HER reality.
Unlike Gabby, I don’t shun roller-coaster reality, even if some of the bumps really did hurt. It has brought enough high and magical moments, to savor while they lasted and to re-savor in the remembering. No, life has been good or has evened out for me – with its admixture of joys and griefs, surprises and disappointments, and gains and losses. Truly, I have sometimes surprised myself how well I played some tough cards life dealt me.
(Which reminds me how an online scrabble buddy recently complained about the tight board we were playing -- you know, the kind where you could only move edgewise. Don’t you just hate it? -- she asked. I replied honestly that I have learned to enjoy the challenge of difficult boards and bad tiles where I have to dip deep into my ingenuity, stock of words, and other resources to form a "respectable” word without passing or exchanging tiles.)
But I escape too sometimes. There is also this secret place in my mind, that I stealthily enter when I am alone, where everything is magical and where I am young forever and the season is always summer.
Is it horribly wrong – this living and dreaming-daydreaming, waking up and then starting the cycle again? Is it so ridiculous and laughable – this delighting in everything that elicits a smile and perhaps some kilig, regardless if it's Jerry Yan, Jan Geun Seok, an old flame, a virtual friend, or some other who has caught our fancy?
There is a secret chamber inside everyone -- young and old, male and female, rich and poor, wise or not so -- that one takes refuge in when the going gets rough or merely tiresome.
We don’t stop dreaming or swooning just because we are 50, 60, or older.
Maybe I should watch “You’re Beautiful” one of these days and then …. who knows?
Photo: from crienglish.com