Zee Says: After going through an annulment and every single thing prior to it, one thinks a million times before even seriously thinking about getting another marriage. That’s the way it should be. Rose-colored glasses are off from the very beginning, and are replaced by skepticism (not necessarily cynicism) at all times. Just like in Jerry Maguire, you’ve seen the puppet strings and have been there. For someone like me, I felt that marriage was just a piece of paper that can be dissolved like any other contract.
And so, the biggest consideration for someone like me is my child, and her acceptance. That is a challenge. It’s so psychologically and emotionally draining that you don’t even want to think about it. Being a single mom is hard. But being a single mom in love is harder. It was not easy for Mark at all, but from the very beginning, he seemed so sure and wanted it so much, he could taste it like the bacon he had for breakfast. If you’re with someone who believes in you and shows you that a future with them is the best thing that can ever happen to you, it’s hard not to seriously think about it.
MDJ: I don’t really have any Miss Universe questions for you anymore. We’ve processed and re-processed so many things so many times together, we practically know ahead what the other is thinking. As Derek Zoolander would say, we’re bulimic – we can read minds. So I’ll go back to when we were still a fresh couple – what kind of future did you see for us?
Zee: I know we talked about marriage a lot. But I kept thinking, “Why fix something if it ain’t broke?”
We were very happy and even without a commitment like marriage, we knew we would always be happy. But last year, I asked you for one good reason why we even had to get married, and all you said was “Because I don’t want to say goodbye anymore. Just good night.”
MDJ: McCann Worldgroup, thank you for teaching me everything I know about copywriting. John Mayer would kill for a line like that.
Zee: Before you pat yourself on the back for being so sweet, may I remind you that I knew I had a very eloquent advertising guy for a boyfriend (though I did melt when you just blurted that out). You give me the cheesiest lines every day. I know you mean them, but it makes me roll my eyes and face palm, which just makes you do it even more.
But even then, I knew you were right. Something was amiss. You spend so much time at home, my place seems lacking without you. Prayer time and reading time with Bea seems incomplete (her words) without you around. You would tuck us into bed, then say goodbye, and it just wouldn’t be the same after you’d gone. I was happy with Bea and having a cute happy family of two plus yaya – sort of like Sharon Cuneta and KC before Kiko came along. But everything just seems happier and right with you around. It was a dilemma.
MDJ: Well… I’d rather be Kiko than Gabby. And to be fair, we did talk about me maybe moving in for practical considerations. The daily drive from Quezon City to get to work in Paranaque was literally killing me, and I’d never have enough energy for you.
Zee: “Living in” was not an option. I’m still really conservative about those things, and I wouldn’t know how to explain all that to a little girl who, after all she has been through, still believes in marriage and happily-ever-after’s. She still believes in the “proper” way and is a member of the St. Marie Eugenie Club in school, and assists at every mass at Assumption.
What if we want to have kids of our own? What happens then? Again, it can be so convoluted that one does not want to deal with that sort of commitment. But we did. Because you showed me that you are true to every single cheesy word that comes out of your mouth. Because I believe in us and as long as we keep loving, laughing, playing, and working together, everything else in life will be easy for us to tackle – or at least we will have a hoot trying.
But eventually, I realized that it wasn’t just Bea who still believed in marriage and happy endings. I did too. You made me see it was still possible.
MDJ: And you made me believe in it too. I wasn’t kidding when I told you early on that I’d always imagined myself growing old alone, a bitter, angry 50-year old who didn’t believe in the pot at the end of the relationship rainbow. You made me believe in one important thing – hope.
Zee: And so, Bea decided that you would have to take the “Are You Perfect For Mom?” Test before you could even propose. Although honestly, I think it should have been named the “Are You Perfect For Bea?” Test instead. She prepared for it and it took you and me by surprise. For a while, I honestly thought you would fail on some questions and tasks, but you pulled through, and it ended the way we all wanted it to end. I wanted it shorter, but you are both so funny and sweet. Here it is.
MDJ: That still makes me tear up, even as I try to stop myself from giggling at the silliness of it all. The love! The tender emotion! The jiggling belly fat!
Zee: They say the camera adds ten pounds; you must have had about 7 pointed at you.
You actually proposed before my birthday. On the ring is the inscription “Only You.” Admittedly, we’ve had a lot of trials in our relationship, but those are the words that reassure us the most. It wasn’t the ring that made me all emotional. It was when I read the inscription. That’s when I really lost it. In my heart, I knew I found the one who loves only me. Just me. Imperfect, crazy, headstrong me.
This picture I love the most. We believe in happy endings for imperfect, funny families, for people of all ages, shapes, and sizes, for weird, quirky, nutty people, for those who think they are too hard & jaded to believe in these things, for everyone who thinks they are just plain different, and have stopped believing. Somewhere out there is that perfect joy for imperfect people.
Happy endings are not just for Cinderellas, Snow Whites and the Brady Bunch. This is just the beginning of new adventures for us.
MDJ: Thank you for making me believe in hope. I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life being utterly, heart-stoppingly, crazily in love with you.