April 20, 2007

make this go on forever

or alternatively, the art of marking years

The last girl and the last reason to make this last for as long as I could –snow patrol, ‘make this go on forever’

I am writing this with Snow Patrol in my ears, trying to block out a certain day in May from interfering with my thought process all over again. Funny how you could succeed for the first 6 hours and still fail eventually.

The other day, I was talking to a girl friend about the impracticality, financially speaking, of celebrating monthsaries. Surprising, because in past experience, girls usually enjoyed celebrations of relationship milestones of any kind.

(Like Julie, who woke me up this morning to remind me that today marked her 23rd month as an employee of this company. Hah. I greeted her, “Happy Almost Anniversary”–no matter how weird that sounded–because contrary to popular belief, sometimes, almost *does* count. I’m marking a similar monthsary on the 26th.)

But here my other friend was anyway, telling me once a year is enough. Well, sometimes, maybe.

However, in the midst of all that is fast and instantaneous—did you know that prior to 1998, we did not have access to a telephone?—how can something only be worth celebrating after a year, when getting past three weeks is a feat in itself?

Why do we celebrate “dates” anyway? I remember how that was the first question she asked that day we got together – do you want to have a date? No, not a date as in a dinner. A date as in the calendar kind.

Was she saying what I thought she was (supposed to be) saying? Well, at that time she was.

My first relationship barely made it past the one-month mark – 32 days, to be exact. Years hence, objective scrutiny has led me to believe, it may have ended way before that, or even as soon as semester break set in.

I used to think we celebrate dates because there is always need to remember – to celebrate how long we’ve managed to keep something going, amidst all crises and against all dysfunction. Or sometimes still — how long ago certain things were, how far away square one is.

It’s all a matter of perspective.

Wedding, employment, death anniversaries, birthdays. The need to remember dates is an overwhelmingly universal need: The need to mark things with timestamps of sorts, to track progress or change or the lack of either.

So she leans in, one Wednesday night and tells me of their plans: Two years and counting, she just says — forgetting (as was convenient) the intermittent interruptions, the times i was there.

I just say, Wow. For the lack of a decent response, after all these years. And then, Two years, politely after.

Just as I’ve said: Progress or the lack thereof. It’s all a matter of perspective.