A Perfect Date

Stretch limo . . . formal suit and gown . . . a long and winding road . . . perfume . . . posh resto . . . a table for two . . . violins . . . dim lights . . . gourmet food . . . fresh flowers . . . sweet nothings.


Tony decided to join me in my plan to hitch a ride with JR who had a client call in Divisoria, a shopping district that sells everything at wholesale, dirt-cheap prices.

For me, a small brand-new car (JR's) could rival a limo . . . shorts and  thongs . . . a chaotic melange of hawkers, tricycles, delivery carts, pedestrians, and garbage trucks on a stretch masquerading as a five-lane road stopped and assaulted us with stench every inch of the way:

We entered the old Tutuban train station, still stately but has lost its old glory . . . JR hurried to his meeting and we squeezed into a crowded table at McDonald's to quiet our irate tummies . . . munching on burgers and fries, I glimpsed plastic flowers in a kiosk nearby . . . shouting was the only way to have a conversation over loud rock music and shoppers' chatter. It was nine AM.   

“What time do we go home?” Tony yelled.

“After JR's meeting!” I yelled back.

“What time?” 

I shrugged. Law firms are paid by the hour so who's counting?

The stalls had everything—from can openers to curtains. Up and down escalators, we visited every stall, twice, thrice, slogged through mud outside, bought the trimmings I wanted for my Christmas tree, and before noon, I was done.

“Has JR called yet?”


We headed to another crowded diner for lunch. Re-visiting again the stalls later, Tony found the Hawaiian shirt, the six-pocket shorts, and the bag for his tablet he couldn't find anywhere before that date. They were being sold for a song but he haggled anyway.

Eureka, we found Randy McDonald's bench vacant! My date took a nap while I took in more stores. 

More hours, aching feet and back later, Tony asked, “Has JR called yet?”


So we squeezed into another crowded coffee shop and parked our whining bones. 

“Has JR called yet?”

“Nope.” It was the longest time Tony and I were in one shopping place together. Rather, it was the only time Tony went shopping with me.

When nightfall arrived, we had to have supper at another crowded diner. With my spoon midway between my chest and mouth, my phone rings. The driver says, “JR is waiting for you in the car.”

That was the perfect call. Grace came to end a perfect date.


We plan to do it again. Let me change that; I think I want to do it again. There's a fat 1% chance it'll be another perfect date.

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