Sunday, November 16, 2008


It's a kid's world. Maybe I feel like that because I belong to the childless minority.

I have always been a minority, it seems. But I cannot get used to it. This year is tougher as motherhood continues to elude me.

We attended an early Christmas Party at a colleague's big, new house. There were tons of food (of course), bored spouses and jolly kids. It is a perennial occurrence and my feeling of strangeness persists. Well, aside from feeling awkward and clumsy because I always forget that the kids are the first ones to be served (duh?) and get the first option to choose where they sit which means lucky for us if we find a comfortable place to eat our dinner, most of the conversation were about these children as if they don't get enough recognition. It is perhaps an American way. Nothing wrong with that except that we, the childless minority, were left with this uncomfortable feeling that we don't belong in that gathering. We tried to penetrate their world but it seems like trekking a one-way road and you're going the opposite way. My husband, who is normally quiet and funny, tried his best to deliver his one-liners to no avail. Conversation which jumped from one topic to another without resolving the previous ones were repeatedly interrupted by the children's thumps and holler. After eating and house tour, there was nothing to do but go home. However, children continue to have fun playing and watching a movie. Men (except for my hubby who stayed by my side the whole evening, thank God!) were watching college football game in which the home team was losing terribly. We felt relieved getting out of that predicament. We are once again in our own childless world. "They need a karaoke there," I jokingly told my husband while driving home.

It is always like that each year. I don't even know why we bother to attend. I don't think our absence or presence will make any difference. It occurs to me that we will always find ourselves in that predicament if we stay childless. We will be an outcast for another 20 years in our own age group-- second citizens whom many people will probably feel sorry for. Our life will be treated as less important compared to those with children. The future will stop with us but those with children will continue to exist.

I don't really feel sorry for myself and my husband. I see it like this -- we are given time to know ourselves as an individual and as a couple and to pursue more interests. I am starting to learn how to knit and my husband is getting another degree. Most important of all, we are more appreciative of each other's presence.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election day

I am anxiously and excitedly awaiting the result of this presidential election.

I voted once for a president in 1992 back in the Philippines. I was 18 years old and very excited. I even volunteered as a poll watcher. The guy that I voted for won (yes, it was Ramos).

But today it is different and historical. For one, everyone has been waiting for this day for 2 years now. I heard from BBC that many people in different countries are also closely watching this US election and most of them are hoping for Obama's win.

The truth is we did not support Obama in his bid to be the Democratic nominee. We thought he is too young and inexperienced. We believed that other candidates were more qualified. However, armed with the message of hope, he prevailed to be the nominee.

My husband and I are long-time admirers of John McCain. My husband even voted for him as a write-in (yes, you can do that here!) back in 2000. We think he is a true American hero. Lots of people outside the United States do not know that John McCain survived a 5 year ordeal as a POW in Vietnam. He suffered several injuries and grueling tortures in the hand of his Vietnamese captors. He was offered early release after a year in captivity when they found out that his father was a U.S. forces commander. He refused to leave before his comrades, and remained in prison for 4 more years. In the senate, he works with Democrats in issues like immigration, environmental concerns and finance reforms. He is a true maverick, making him unpopular with the conservative base. He does not care, though. He believes that serving his country is "a cause greater than self."

Deep inside, I am a conservative. I don't believe in entitlement and big government. Coming from a country where there is very limited opportunity for people like me (poor, no connection, average looking, and not a UP graduate), I cannot understand why some Americans complain when they have so much opportunities given to them. Success requires and deserves hard work, doesn't it? Over and over again we hear people who started nothing making it in this country through hard work. Why can't they?

However, I am not really what you call a "social conservative." I am pro-choice when it comes to abortion rights. I believe in gay rights. I am for environment preservation and universal health care.

I registered as a democrat. And yes, I voted for Obama because I believe we need a change -- good change especially in foreign policy, health care and energy policy. I like John McCain but I see him as the past and Obama is the future.

Whatever the outcome, I am proud of my adopted country for its true democratic values and grateful for the comfortable life it gave me and my family.