A Tubby Tabby, Three Konekos, and a Life with Hello Kitty and Autism

Archive for February, 2009

The One Who Got Away

Thursday, February 19th, 2009

I wrote this a few weeks before Valentine’s Day, with the intention of posting it as soon as it was finished. Somehow, the days slipped through my fingers and I forgot.

This is for you, A -  the one who stayed - for all the Valentines you and I have been together. Even through our sometimes difficult life, I have never hand a single moment of regret with you.

hk-unbreak-my-heart2We often wax poetic over “the one who got away.” Memories are tricky that way. Like light that passes through a prism and breaks into a rainbow of colors, memories often pass through a sieve that breaks our remembrances and filters the past of its unpleasantness. And through these tinted lenses, we remember things a little differently, a little wistfully, perhaps, with a tinge of nostalgia and a bit of longing. 

We remember the good times we lost. We romanticize the hours of pining and sweet aching. We idealize the nights of wondering about an imagined future. “The one who got away” becomes our life’s ultimate unanswered “what-if?” We think about where he (or she) could be now, what he (or she) is doing at this exact moment. Is he  thinking of you too? Do you even cross his mind? We wonder if the life we lead now is where we were meant to be. We second-guess our decisions. We live in the past.

Yet, in that rose-colored haze, we often forget that “the one who got away” is usually the one who broke your heart. The one who dumped you once, even twice. The one who cheated. The one who couldn’t commit. The one who lied.

He wasn’t perfect, that much is obvious. And so what if the timing was a little bit off?  For true hearts in love, time and space are ephemeral. You would have hocked the universe just to make your relationship work; why couldn’t he have done the same?  Timing, or the lack of it, not being emotionally prepared, not being committed —  these are all cop-outs, excuses people make up to rationalize their wanton disregard of another human being’s feelings. If he was not ready to commit, why bother to go through the whole thing? The truth is, and take it from an old hand in love, it does matter who you’re with, whether he (or she) is a jerk, a coward, or just a complete fraud. Timing’s the least of your worries. 

I can’t totally promise this, but one day, “the person who will not go away” will come. This is the person who will not lie to you. Who will not make you cry. Who will not break your heart.

You and he may not be both ready but it will not matter one bit. When love comes, and I mean true love, nothing else will matter. Not your fears. Not your doubts. Not the inconsequential little things that people seem to worry so much about.

I know too that when that day comes the “what-ifs” will no longer be important. You will realize that reality is so much cooler than imagined expectations. Chuck those clouded eyeglasses for a reality check and just heave a welcome sigh of relief. Thank God, that one got away, for indeed, you are lucky.

You got away too. ♥

Kittyholic In Remission

Monday, February 16th, 2009

crazy-spending-copyI am on a Hello Kitty detoxification and recovery program.

Last year, when I discovered the addictive joys of online shopping, I got hooked and went a little crazy with all the buying. I have a social network account where my friends — all Kitty collectors like me — and I share photographs of recent additions to our collections. Unlike some of them, however, I choose not to post all the items I buy. The truth was, I felt guilty about spending a lot of money on really cute but nonessential items.

It just hit me suddenly one afternoon during the holidays, the fact that I  had become a compulsive HK shopper. I was watching television and flipping through channels when my ears caught the words “hiding shopping bags.” That struck me hard as I had done just that a few days earlier, when I shredded the courier packaging my latest purchases came in.

It was weird because my kitty shopping has never ever been an issue of dispute between my husband and me. I am a card-carrying Sanrio Fans Club member, and proud of it. I make regular purchases at local Gift Gate and Sanrio Surprises stores. When I started buying things online, it was always with my husband’s knowledge (and permission). I would proudly show off the bargains I picked up and he would always say nice things about them.

As the months passed, however, I realized I was receiving a package (or two) almost daily. I was paying for them in cash, so debt was not an issue. But while I was happy about them, I also felt queasy in the stomach about having new items almost everyday. The guilt was temporary, though. After a while, it just seemed easier to pack away my newest packages as soon as they arrived. The plastic bags would be folded and stowed away, or when space ran out, shredded. 

I was online almost everyday, watching for auctions and sales. Calculating all my acquisitions over a six-month period, I was dismayed to learn that my purchases have already surpassed the high 5-digit mark. A hundred pesos here, maybe two hundred there, and after a while, going through a thousand pesos in five minutes became as easy as double-clicking a mouse. I even stayed up late nights checking and rechecking sellers’ pages for new items. I was hooked and I knew it.

They call shopping addiction or oniomania (derived from the Greek word onios = “for sale,” and mania for insanity) an impulse control disorder. Thankfully, I have not reached the point where my life has spiraled out of control because of my Kitty addiction, and I’d rather not wait for that to happen. I’ve already seen the early symptoms (the elation of buying, the guilt of receiving, the problem with disposal of packaging) and they are not at all pretty.

That day, in early December, I went cold turkey on Hello Kitty. I have been Kitty sober for 50 long days. It’s a hard, but necessary, step to fiscal responsibility.

I don’t think I’ll ever stop wanting all those kawaii HK stuff. I like Hello Kitty; I make no excuses for liking it. But realizing the difference between wanting and needing and putting a rein on uncontrolled, mindless, dysfunctional behavior are essentials in the fight against any addiction. Within the framework of responsible living, some things are definitely good,  but too much of a good thing, even Hello Kitty, can also be quite bad, I’ve learned.

(This is this week’s column at HerWord.com.)