"What you want, nobody can give you."
---Mary Karr, "Lit"
My phone beeped.
"It's official K," C texted. "We're together as a couple!!!"
"OMG! You fuckin' got hitched! Congratulations! I'm happy for you!!"
"Honey," I told Vackie. "May boyfriend na si Carlo (Carlo now has a boyfriend). Call it a shotgun wedding or whirlwind romance or one last desperate attempt to escape being an old maid, but he did it."
"OMG! You mean he actually managed to find a good man and keep him?" he replied as we both laughed.
"I know!" I said. "Who would have thought? Imagine, after all these years... "
Sometime late March, Carlo and I sat down over bottles of beer and discussed our seeming inability to find romantic partners. What's wrong with us? we wondered. Were we being too picky, was there a dearth of suitable candidates, were men not attracted to us?
"Ang tagal ko na ring single (I've been single for a long time now)," C said. "When people ask, I just say four years but it's really a lot longer than that."
"I've been thinking, I'm always too careful. You know me. Maybe I should take a chance," he continued. "What about you?"
What about me? I pondered silently about the question as I took a swig of the beer. "You know what I've been thinking about lately?" I said. "How I was about 18 when I first started watching Sex and the City. Carrie was about 32 then and, now can you believe it? I'm as old as she was in Season 1!"
"And I wonder, haven't I've learned enough from watching all those girls date, break up, date all over again? I thought somehow we could skip all the messy dating part and go straight to happy ever after," I continued. "I guess not. And sometimes, I get to think I'm really becoming the ultimate single girl."
Like Carrie and the girls. Stable jobs, parties, dates. One after another. But as someone once told me, "I am happiest when I'm in love." Those words echoed in me.
And so when people would ask me why I'm not with anyone, I always give the same response. I'm always the date, never the groom. That is my fate.
The past few weeks have been a little difficult. Carlo has always been one of my constant companions in the last few years, always the one raring to go out, to have a drink. Saturday night would come and his call for action would be: "Where are we going tonight?"
But ever since he started dating, we haven't really spent time together. I miss him. I understand, of course. I know the drill oh-too-well. And I am happy for him.
That night, I texted him.
"I'm really happy for you C. I know how beautiful and amazing it is to find love. You, of all people, deserve this.
I miss you, but I guess that's part of it. I love you "
Days passed. One day, I was startled to receive a message from a guy, well, if we were to be completely honest, a guy I ... kind of like. My heart … fluttered.
Be still, I told myself. He couldn't possibly like you. He's just … being nice. Nothing more. But secretly, I wished he did. I wished he did.
"Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better."