Honeymoon for three
SECOND WIND - Barbara Gonzalez-Ventura (The Philippine Star) - February 4, 2018 - 12:00am

Some ice in a glass. Pour Coke Light in. It is on the shelf next to my husband’s Pepsi Max. He decided to buy it the other day when we went to Rustan’s The Marketplace at the Rockwell on Santolan, the partially open mall closest to me. They did not have Coke Zero so he says that Pepsi Max will do. I am loyal to Coca-Cola because that was my account when I worked at McCann-Erickson and later I worked at Coca-Cola itself. Those were the best years of my career so I remain loyal. ’Til death do us part! But my husband is a lawyer. He doesn’t feel the same way so the two competitive bottles stand side by side in my kitchen. 

 The kitchen stands in my condo where we will not be sleeping tonight. Tonight we will be sleeping at his condo. On Friday we will be sleeping here but I am here this afternoon because it is my deadline and my computer is here. It is far easier for me to write on my computer than on his. So I am here alone again in the middle of the afternoon, sipping my Coke Light, prodding myself to think of the changes marriage has brought into our lives.

 Jan. 31 marked our first week of being “married.” A group of my lady friends invited me to lunch and asked me about the changes in our lives — after all, we had both lived alone for some time before we decided to get married. While the question was not unexpected, a part of me groped uncertainly for at least a few answers.

“There’s a man in bed with me,” I responded with an impish smile, thinking of how I feel when I wake up in the middle of the night, open my eyes and sense a body sleeping next to mine, feeling a hand lightly on my shoulder or holding mine. Or turning and seeing a head of grayish-white hair on the pillow next to me or a regal Roman profile serenely asleep high against all those white pillows. It immediately makes me feel safe that there is someone I am sleeping with and it is someone I love and who loves me. It’s different. It’s a change. It feels good. Adds to my sense of security. 

Of course, I never knew until I got married that I needed to build my sense of security. I always used to sleep alone. Didn’t have a sense of security and never thought to miss it. I would just lock the doors at night and, as far as I knew, I was safe. But having a husband apparently warms my heart, blankets it with a sense of safety. I love it. That part is really wonderful.

 There is a glitch. I asked my now-husband Loy, “Do you snore?” “No,” he said. It sounded like “Of course not!” Well, he does. It’s just that he had been sleeping alone for a fairly long time or maybe his occasional partners never complained, but he does snore. Just moderately; not too heavily. And he does talk in his sleep, though never in real words, just in sounds. For all I know, so do I, but no one has complained about my snoring. I know, though, that when I’m very tired I wake up with my own noise so — I guess we’re even.

 I guess the initial changes are in our sleeping habits but then again there are extenuating circumstances. Our sleeping hours have changed. We are now such early sleepers. We have dinner at around 6:30 p.m. then we go to bed at around 7:30, watch Netflix. Either we like the show or we don’t. If we like it then we sleep before nine. If we don’t, then we sleep before eight. We are really sleepy early.

 Sure, I know what you’re thinking, but no. It’s because we’re having a honeymoon for three — for him, for me, and for our flu. On our wedding day Loy suddenly broke out in a heavy sweat that forced him to borrow a shirt from my cousin, Ruben, and that fed the beginning of his cough and flu, which his youngest daughter caught from his youngest granddaughter, passed on to him and to his maid; then he passed it on to me and the maid passed it on to his driver and we have all been down with the flu. It’s like being constantly encircled by small fluttering butterflies — a mean cough, an annoying cold, slight fevers, lots of bed rest and water.

 But don’t worry, we will live. So far I have had lunch with two groups of lady friends. This 73-year-old bride seems to be the strongest in the group. I am able to get up, get dressed and go to lunch. Then I get dizzy, go home and fall into bed.

* * *

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HONEYMOON MARRIAGE
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