A Spaghetti Story

When we were just dating, Christian shared with me his favorite spaghetti recipe. Up until then, the only pasta that I know how to cook is my roommate’s spicy tuna carbonara. Really simple because you only need to mix the canned tuna and the cream, let it simmer, then mix with your cooked spaghetti, or any other type of pasta that you want.

His recipe was a bit complicated for me then, a kitchen novice. It involved mincing garlic and onions, slicing hotdogs (Yes! We have hotdogs in our spaghetti because we’re born and raised in the Philippines! Haha!), pre-cooking the grounded beef, and perfectly mixing together his secret ingredients to make his preferred sauce. He’s not a fan of sweet spaghetti, like most Pinoys. He wants it tomato-ey and a bit spicy, thus, his “secret sauce”. Even the pasta, he wanted a very specific way of prepping.

All well and good if he actually prepped and cooked it from time to time, but no. He instructs, I execute.

Through the years, I’ve come to perfect his spaghetti recipe. I remember including in my silent wedding vow that I will cook his favorite spaghetti on his birthdays. Silent because we didn’t really say our vows out loud in front of everyone. But I’m getting out of topic.

Anyway, today is not his birthday but he’s been very stressed by work lately. In my effort to take a bit of his stress away, I went ahead and prepped his favorite meal. And I’m happy that it put a smile on his face.

I’ve read that to make a marriage work and to keep the love alive, you don’t need to do monumental gestures every single time. It’s the little things that matter that you consistently do.

You just need to know what makes your partner smile and you try your best to be a constant source of that smile.

Happy Barkday, Mr. F!

Dear Mr. Frodo, 

I still remember when I first saw you. You and your sister were in a playpen but you, my boy, caught my eye. You know why? Before we even approach you, you were already standing on your two hind legs and resting your two little paws against the playpen, barking at me incessantly, looking so happy. It’s as if you were saying, “Pick me, hooman! Pick me!”. 

And I was smitten. 

You were so curious on our drive home, looking out of the car window and can’t seem to get enough of what you’re seeing. Do you still remember what I told you then? 

“Look at the world, Mr. Frodo. Make it yours!”. 

You are a promise silently made and a promise kept.

When your Poppa and I just started dating, I jokingly told him that he should get me a pug if ever we reach our 3rd anniversary. This stemming from the fact that some people thought we wouldn’t last that long. He just shook his head at me, smiling without saying a word. I took it as silently telling me, “You wish!”. 

It didn’t help that after three years, he gifted me with a pug paper craft proudly saying he’s keeping his promise. I thought it was really funny, until he told me that he’s getting me you, for real. I still could not believe it until we were going rounds the pet shops already, looking for the perfect you. 

The morning after, you gave me a fright. You were so sick that I thought I’d lose you. Without taking a shower I took you to the vet and waited nervously for your checkup. The vet told us that you might not live for long and I almost cried. I talked to your previous owner and she assured me that you will live. That she will take you in for two weeks and give you back to me in perfect health. 

And she did.

It was a promise made and a promise kept. 

At that time, I wouldn’t have thought that you will be this mischievous little one who would go and ruin my stuff, sneeze straight on my face as if it’s the most delightful thing in the world, and make me fall and roll around the streets of Tomas Morato while trying to save you from being a roadkill. 

At that time, I wouldn’t have thought that I could trade sleep just so I can keep an eye on you when you’re sick. That I could trade night outs and partying just so we can spend more time together. That I could trade splurging on a meal just so I can buy your favorite snacks and toys. I wouldn’t have thought that I have this much capacity to love a squished faced, sneezy non-human. 

Mr. Frodo, you are one of our earlier relationship milestones and you’ve been with us through every other milestone thereafter. The good and the bad, the happy and not so happy. 

And we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Happy 6th Barkday, Mr. F. We love you and you will always be our baby boy.

That’s a promise that we will always keep. 

His Greatest Fear

This ECQ has proven to be a good time for no nonsense yet hilarious conversations. I was having lunch with my husband one day when he brought up something that surprised me.

“Hey, if ever you go into labor someday, can you make sure that you type the baby’s name first on my phone?”

“Why? Are you having second thoughts?”

We’ve talked about baby names for as long as I can remember. Part excitement, part wishful thinking, I guess. We’ve actually narrowed them down to two, depending on the baby’s gender. Yes, we have become that couple who annoyingly plans for something as if it’s already a reality.

“No. It’s just that… I don’t want to make a spelling mistake”.

This cracked me up! In all of our talks for the past years, this was the first time he’s brought it up. It’s not as if our chosen names are too difficult to spell out. We are not fans of  complicated names that are convoluted with consonants, or vowels, or (gasp!) both.

“It’s one of  my greatest fear you know. Misspelling the baby’s name”. 

Laughing out loud, I assured him that I would do such thing and make sure I put in my pregnancy checklist in the future.

“Ok, I will make sure it’s in your phone and in one of our documents when we pack your hospital bag. But husband… if you ask me, my greater fear is for you to tick the incorrect gender. Yun yung di talaga kita mapapatawad!”

It was his turn to laugh out loud but the look of concern never left his face…