Friday, November 10, 2006

Laughter Lifeline

After a bout with gloom, my oldest friends came to the rescue via conference chat. How funny that the 3 of us had no microphones for voice chat. MLV in the office, teasing us with a probable webcam invite--that didn't work anyway. MASI was home about to run her errands. So we typed away as fast as our midlife fingers would allow us to. I laughed my heart out as we waited for MLV to get hi-tech and figure out the proper chat room, oggling at her IM pic, showing off her (infamous) cleavage and bleached hair.

"Wala pa si rufa mae," said MASI, coining our code name for MLV.
"Low-tech kasi," I said.

Amidst MLV's boss hovering, we exchanged stories--about old and "young" dudes, as MASI put it, only because MLV's dude interest's first name is actually, "Young," plus a furious exchange of recent and funny old pics. ("Noong fresh pa kami," they said). My husband and kids circled in around me, ("What's happening?")as they never saw me giggling like this in a LOOOOng time.

And I must tell you, this is the kind of laughter that can cure anything. Even my soul was laughing. I was laughing even in the bathroom as I took a shower. I went to bed with a smile on my face. . .

"Naka-depress talaga diyan sa States, kasi wala kang makausap," said MLV, zeroing on the state of my social life here. It doesn't help that the average American has only 2 friends, not counting the spouse or home partner. In Manila, we would have picked each other up and hang out for coffee for an average of 5 hours. But here, hanging out is rare and almost not possible, unless you schedule it a month before.

I am lucky to have friends like MLV and MASI. I have nothing to hide from them and I definitely don't have to pretend to be brave and strong when I am not. They are the ones I can call late at night and show up at their place unannounced. MLV knows that I "keep blogging because wala kang makausap diyan, no?"

Friends since grade school, we share a solid bond like sisters. We have had our dangerous misunderstandings that lasted for years with no speaking to each other. But when we get back together, we pick up right where we left. Nothing to explain, nothing to apologize for.

I realize that deep friendship focuses on the deep things. We can talk shallow and make fun of MLV and we talk about others sometimes--but we don't judge each other on what we think or say at the moment of gossip. I like that we remember our maiden names more than our married surnames (maybe even our class number!). I like that we were friends before we became wives and mothers.

There are some things we don't bother about with each other. I didn't even know MLV had a day job! (Neither did MASI). But I know every inch of MLV's personality. I can predict that she will piss MASI off at any second. Nevertheless, we are still friends.

The conference chat has assured me that time and distance will not fade our friendship. The laughter we shared on purely nonsense will carry me through for a while. I take solace in knowing that they know all my kids and will love them, just as I am godmother to theirs. One day, they will give my eulogy (if MLV will articulate better. . .) because I trust that they will miss me the most--just as I miss them terribly as I continue to adjust in this land of plenty--with an average of 2 friends.


kofranks said...

Great entry Minotte! I also feel alone at times here in Manila. All of my kindred cousins are there already in the US!! This Homecoming preparation has enabled me to reconnect with my old friends and it feels good!

minotte's notes said...

kofranks, i miss the compound days, too!! be sure to bond with your bestfriends in your homecoming preparations. i wish you laughter and lots of jokes!

MASI said...

OMG! That picture was taken during our 1st trip to the land of plenty (plenty of what ba?) Seems like we're due for another trip together to celebrate our friendship. Uhmm, Ruffa Mae and I should at least take separate flights. Let's discuss this on our next chat session.

Yours truly,

P.S. If we were 'fresh' then, we're 'refreshed' now.

minotte's notes said...

hi heart,

what a good question--if the US is the land of plenty, plenty of what nga ba?

excited ako kung papayag kang mag-disneyland tayo ni rufa mae quinto ulit! really? promise??


Senor Enrique said...

Ahhh, the trade-offs of living in the States. But the Internet does a decent job in connecting people.