imyeyes-banner-sqIn My EyesBy Edward B. Antonio

The story of Jimmy

Being single is not bad, but getting married is better.

Unless you got married too early that your life became a mess afterwards.

A deeply religious man says an unmarried man cannot be exalted in heaven.

“But that depends upon what heaven you’re talking about!” quipped my good friend, Mang Maing.

You see, when you are in high school, dreams are as easy as if everything is easily possible under the sun, just like the love stories we used to watch at Consuelo Cinema in Vigan City once upon a time.

Consuelo Cinema had been a part of our childhood days, fellas. It was the rendezvous of then young kids like us who used to escape classes when a James Bond movie was shown. When we heard that Roger Moore’s “The Spy Who Loved Me” was currently shown, we didn’t have a second thought asking money from our parents for a “group project.” We escaped after the flag ceremony to see the movie. In one of those escapades, Jimmy, who belonged to another section, joined us, that’s why I know his story.

Jimmy, partly Chinese, was married once, but he married the wrong girl – a pretty girl several years younger than him. Jimmy inherited a booming business from his parents, and right after high school, he started helping his parents man their business – selling motorcycle and bicycle spare parts. Her wife was a young, bedimpled lass who always smelled good. When Jimmy courted her, she didn’t think twice. She thought it was the perfect opportunity to escape family poverty and experience the life of the rich.

Jimmy’s parents died a few years later, so he and his materialistic wife took charge of the family business. He lived to work for the family (they had 3 kids then); she lived like a single queen as if she did not have a husband and children. She would primp for hours in front of the mirror and would drive his car out anytime she liked. He didn’t know her whereabouts. She would come home late, sometimes smelling of liquor and went to bed immediately.

Their relationship grew from bad to worse when Jimmy found out that their business was going bankrupt. He later found out that his wife had been spending much to renovate their own family house in the nearby barangay where her parents live.  

One day, she disappeared, taking all the money they had in bank. She never came back, leaving Jimmy almost penniless to take good care of their 3 kids. He was so depressed that he thought of committing suicide, but we restrained him. Her wife later came back, but did not return to Jimmy. He struggled in life, resorted to buying and selling scrap. He did scrap business for 3 years until he had his own junk shop. He regained composure in no time but he did not revive the family business anymore.

“There’s also money in scrap,” he said.

Years passed by until Jimmy discovered why his wife disappeared; his wife eloped with her lover and then they went to work in South Korea. She lived with her lover somewhere in Pangasinan. Her lover was once a roving businessman for motorcycle and bicycle spare parts, so there’s the rub, fellas.

Once in a while, his former wife and her lover boy would visit her family in the nearby barangay to repaint the family house which was renovated out of Jimmy’s money.

Since then, Jimmy became aloof with girls.

I saw him once in a Chinese store, buying some motorcycle spare parts.

The once seller had become the customer.

Poor Jimmy!

“You need to marry once more,” I told him. “Para may mag-aasikaso sa iyo.”

“I have forgotten how to impress women, bro,” he replied.

“Naaah,” I said. “You deserve to be happy the second time. Life is too precious to spend alone in bed!”

He said he met a woman younger than him. She works as cosmetics dealer.

“I am more careful now, besides, I have forgotten to impress a woman. Kasano aya brother?” he asked.

I am not an expert on girls, fellas, but I do have some researches. And so I gave him the following tips through his Facebook Messenger:

First, look well-groomed and presentable but not over groomed. Wear decent clothes, too, and always try to smell good.

Second, control your speech and observe silence when needed. Let her talk and respond while conversing. A good lover is a good listener. Keep the eye to eye contact while she is talking to you. Speak of your dreams and ambitions to let her know you have a purposeful life, and that you are not a wanderer. In addition, you can share some funny incidents of your life to amuse her. Don’t speak of politics, past girlfriends, offensive and racial jokes and above all, don’t speak filthy.

Third, don’t stare at other girls in front of her. When impressing a girl, make sure that she is the end all of your attention as though no other girl exists in the world. You will gain her trust and admiration if you are attentive only to her because it makes her think like you truly want her.

Fourth, keep your cellphone off. One of the most neglected steps on how to impress a girl is to avoid using the cellphone while you are in her company. It’s annoying to a girl. Frequent use of cell phone in front of the girl may force her to think that you have no sincere interest in her. She may think that people on the other end of the mobile phone are worthier of importance to you than her.

Fifth, be romantic but not aggressive. I remember another widowed friend whose gentlemanly and romantic attitude impressed his woman, now his wife. During lunchtime in a gathering of media people, he served her lunch and volunteered to take her home after the occasion. He is 20 years older than her.

“You can surely win your cosmetics dealer in no time, bro,” I told Jimmy.

I have not seen Jimmy for a while due to these COVID quarantine days, but we keep the road open for us to communicate via Messenger.

Last May, he said: “Brother Ed, thanks for the tips; they were effective, he he.”

“Good luck, bro, happy to hear that!”

This is the story of Jimmy and I am sharing this to say there’s always hope after despair, that every time we stumble, God always lifts us up to start again.

Remy Balderas says it best in her former radio-drama program Dagiti Tugot Iti Dana Ti Biag: “Iti kada dumteng a parikut, ditay’ rumbeng iti paibalat – ta no tangaden tay’ ti langit, adda Nabisked a Takiag a kadatayo ket mangbatak!”

Life is up and down and up again, fellas.

And once more, Jimmy has proven that!