100 and 1 ways to ask...

When it comes to relationships, maybe we’re all in glass houses, and shouldn’t throw stones. Because you can never really know. Some people are settling down, some are settling and some people refuse to settle for anything less than butterflies…-Carrie Bradshaw

On the first Sunday night of June, inside the very busy Starbucks in Greenbelt 3, my cousin and I were wasting away hours before she boards her plane back to Virginia and DC.

Over tea, chocolate and mango cake, we were having a serious conversation about our thoughts on a sad event when I broke the somber mood:

Me: "I just realized that we've been asked the same question over and over again."

V: "I know! Never thought THAT question could be asked in sooo many ways!"

Let's see...

"May asawa ka na? Boyfriend?" (generally asked with a sense of genuine curiosity as if they really care about your status in life)

"Wala ka pang asawa????" (asked with a sense of shock or worst, horror on people's faces)

"Bakit wala ka pang asawa?" (asked with a sense of amazement at the reality that we are still single)

"Hindi ka pa nag aasawa?!" (translation: Girl, who the heck are you waiting for?)

"Mag asawa ka na kaseh." (translation: you must be so sad - find a husband already. Now na!..)

"Nag asawa ka na ba?" (hmmm, do I need to tell you if did?)

"Wala ka pa palang asawa..."(translation: what is wrong with you???Pitiful girl!)

"Kailan ka ba mag aasawa?" (I would also like to know the EXACT date but God doesn't work that way :) )

"Asan ang asawa mo? Eh boyfriend?" (somewhere out there, the guy is probably trying to figure out the same thing..)

"Single ka pa?" (Yes! Thanks for pointing out the obvious- in front of a dozen or so strangers!)

"Wala pa syang asawa." (People talking about you to other strangers in whispers and you are feet away from their table...)

And then you hear the lingering talks...

"Maganda naman....."

"Ang lakas kaseh ng dating nyo."

"Pihikan ata eh."

"Mukha kaseng neneng, ayaw mag lipstick,ayaw maglagay ng make up."

It's a Pinoy thing- us and our lack of tack or our desire to know the personal details about someone at first meet-or meeting them again after a long time.

It amuses me that people really would ask that question without respect for the event where they are -or anywhere for that matter.

But it saddens me that being single is a status that does not generate respect as much as being married does in my own culture despite the truth that all the married persons who asked us the same question over and over again know for a fact that being married does not necessarily translate to a very happy life.

Maybe, just maybe, they want us to share in their miseries too.

My cousin and I have similar and different reasons why we are still single.

As a follower of Jesus, I have learned to embrace my single status as part of God's goodness in my life. I am not afraid of it. I don't get stressed by it. It's just a fact that I live with just like the other facts of my life at the moment. That is God's grace at work in imperfect me. Daily, I trust (or try to) his sovereignty over my status. Like Job, I have come to know over the years firsthand that He can do all things and no purpose of His can be thwarted. I know that He is not wantonly withholding a status change; my status now is a good thing because no good thing does He withhold from His children. So daily I live my life and try to remember that my personal happiness is not the ultimate reason for my existence (or my being saved and adopted for that matter): that my chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever (or by enjoying Him forever if you agree with Piper's thesis).

That is what good doctrine does to your soul- it is what anchors you and set your sails in the God of hope up high, no matter how difficult it becomes to navigate the waters of life -or how tumultuous or abruptly your love story ends- or how stale or uneventful your lovelife has been for the longest time.

I know the events of last week will not be the last time where I get asked the same question over and over. I just hope that the next time,I will be able to say "Yes, I am single" in more ways than one without being exasperated, wanting to be sarcastic or worst,finding myself sadly affected.

maybe I will be Glee-ish about it and sing this line instead:

And my head told my heart:"let love grow";
But my heart told my head,
This time no,
This time no.
-Winter Winds, Mumford and Sons-

or quip with my best faux English accent:

"I'm alone not lonely."
-Emma Morley, One Day (David Nichols)-

or throw one of Carrie's smart lines instead:

"I'm missing the bride gene. I should be put in a test tube and studied."

or be spiritual and paraphrase Spurgeon:

"In the season of my singleness, His comfort delights my soul because the God who has been sufficient until now should be trusted to the very end."

Still, there are days that I find myself in agreement with John Mayer of old- but don't tell my cousin I said that.


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