AS THEY MEET HALFWAY
My Daughter’s Letter to the Man She will Love SomedayBy Cathy Babao-Guballa; Philippine Daily Inquirer
“I pray that this will make every girl believe that hope does spring eternal, and even if your heart has been broken a few times, you can always put the pieces back together, and make it right the next time around.
Take your time. Don’t rush and don’t just “settle.” If it’s part of His plan, God’s best awaits you out there.”
I will admit that sometimes I really do wonder if you exist.
There is a part of every little girl’s heart that envisions her prince charming. At age three, it is usually of a man who can save her from the wrath of an evil stepmother, wake her from eternal slumber or give her that true love’s kiss.
In elementary school, he becomes the boy with the least cooties, the one who’s willing to cross the playground to share his Oreos even if it makes him a target for the week of all the other boys.
Come high school, it’s that boy you stand with at prom, who your father stared down at the door, who provided you with an experience complete with photos you will cringe at a decade later, a corsage that yellows in the refrigerator, and a faded memory of a night that seemed almost too magical to be real.
Nineteen years into this life, however, and still unwilling to give my heart away, I am still that same little girl who hopes for her prince charming. And although I wonder why it has taken you this long to sweep me off my feet and whisk me off to your palace on horseback, I know that it is probably because meeting you will be better than any fairytale I could’ve read as a kid.
A couple of heartbreaks and a few years wiser though, I will admit that there are times when I question your existence. Because I have yet to meet the guy who makes me hear songs like “All My Life” or “A Whole New World” in my head when I see him does not mean I don’t hope that it’ll ever happen.
I may already know you or may still meet you someday—something I leave completely up to God because I’m pretty sure our story will be epic.
However, I can’t promise you that I’d make the world’s most perfect princess. In fact I’ll probably keep you on your toes and amuse you with my eccentricities—there are a lot of them. I’ll probably steal a bunch of your T-shirts and turn them into shirt dresses, or drive you slightly mad with my obsessive compulsivity and my need to fix your collar constantly.
I can promise to be your best friend however—that person you can rant to after a rough day, the hand you can hold when you get sad, or the person you can text when situations get awkward.
I’ll probably mess up your hair sometimes and hug you for too long, but that’ll only be because I absolutely adore you. I’ll bury my head in your shoulder during scary movies and make you feel like superman when you kill those flying cockroaches that really shouldn’t exist. I’ll cook your favorite food on your birthday and try my best to make friends with your mom.
I’ll respect your nights-out with the boys and make you seem like the perfect guy to my barkada. I’ll watch basketball or soccer games with you, and not complain when you cheer too loudly at the TV set.
I’ll know the difference between giving you space and being constantly there for you—even if it means sitting and playing video games with you or taking hot chocolate runs when it rains.
I’ll listen to your music and we’ll go on epic adventures together—seeing the world, taking awesome pictures, eating awesome food, and never running out of things to tell each other along the way.
I won’t be waiting for you to sweep me off my feet and take me on a magic carpet ride, because I know I won’t need anything like that to fall for you—I will love you for you.
You will be that someone to make goofy faces with in pictures, to lace fingers with when I’m lonely, and to take long walks under the stars with on the beach.
You’ll be the guy who takes me the way I am—and will laugh as I burst into Disney song or pick out pink wallpaper.
You’ll be that someone I envision a future with—us filling out visa forms as we travel the universe, picking out our first dog together and arguing about what to name it, or being snap-happy stage parents in our preschooler’s annual mini-plays. And I keep hoping that maybe someday when we find each other, you will become that someone whose smile I wake up to in the morning and the last one I speak to every night.
So to the man I know does exist, and who will help me maybe make sense of the world someday, this man I can’t wait to love. Please know that I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with you. But for now, I wait. Fingers crossed and palms held together, I hope that you’re out there somewhere, waiting for me, too.
With the hope I will be yours for always,
At the twist of fate, he replied. . .
I am delighted to finally hear from you! Your sentiments warm my heart and your hopefulness spurs in me a renewed vigilance for our fateful meeting. That day will surely be magical. But maybe we did not receive the same memo?
While I am pleased to see that you’ve been studious at watching your Romantic Comedies, your letter baffles me. You see, I embrace your eccentricities. It’s cute and will give you personality for the first month of our relationship (or first half of the movie). I will get used to having my collar fixed and my T-shirts stolen. But surely you expect more than this from me, your prince charming! After all, I am ready to listen to your opinions and to share in your passions. (I’m not talking about likes and dislikes teenagers talk about.) Which issues do you find compelling? Do you agree with Aristotle when he said some men are more fit to rule over others, and the naturalness of slavery? Are you fascinated by design, art, music, philosophy, poetry, business, engineering or economics? I want to know what drives you.
Taking long walks on the beach under the stars is okay. Going on chocolate runs during rainy days is okay. They make for nice 4 minute scenes which establish how charming, sweet and blissful our life is, especially with “All My Life” playing in the background. What actually excites me though is organizing a beach cleanup with you because you worry about the environment or opening our own hot chocolate cafe because you are a passionate chocolatier/barrista dedicated to making the perfect blend! Giving space is good! but it’s not just for me, it’s for both of us. More than playing video games or watching TV, I will develop my body and my mind, keeping fit, learning new things and deepening my appreciation of other people and of life. I will accept you but I expect you to grow, evolve and to have your own sense of purpose.
More importantly, I regret to inform you that we will not be able to go on epic adventures around the world. Our pre-schooler’s school, the one with mini-plays where he acts as a talking pumpkin or little drummer boy, isn’t cheap. Our first dog, which I insist on naming Sparky, has veterinarian bills that need to be paid. So maybe after thirty years, after our son and our daughter,have both gone to college and taken their international MBAs or MFAs and I can quit my job, after Sparky the dog has been replaced by Sparky the turtle, after we’ve set aside money for our retirement, after we’ve moved to Canada for the excellent health-care coverage, if you’re still up for it, then we can travel the world. Having said this, waking up to my smile might be problematic. I make it a point to sleep early so I can wake up early, clean the house and cook a healthy breakfast for the kids before bringing them to school and heading off to work. My barkada is responsible and they understand how demanding life can be so there’s no need to worry about barkada nights either.
It sounds like a lot of work doesn’t it? And not the kind of conflict you can resolve in a two hour movie. Of course, as Prince Charming, I could just leech off my father’s fortune. We wouldn’t have to squander our youth building our careers and saving for our children’s education. But is that really the kind of man you want me to be? Spending his father’s hard earned money? I would rather earn it and prove my worth to you. I assure you our life will have moments of romance and comedy, but more than anything, it will be characterized by commitment, discipline, discernment and maturity.
Lastly, I want you to know that I do exist. But I am not waiting for you. I want to find you but right now, I am still finding myself. After my journey of self-mastery I will find you. I urge you to make sense of the world on your own for now so that we can swap stories afterwards, learn from each other and teach our children that life is much much bigger than a montage of kilig moments in your latest romantic comedy.
Your Prince Charming.