I had a get together with a friend from back home when I learned he was in town. It’s not so often that friends come over to this side of the world so, not wasting the opportunity, I texted him and found that he was also looking for me as he needed a van transfer to a nearby province.
Before their trip, we met for a quick coffee date and today, before his departure, we also met for coffee. It can be awkward, given that this guy used to like me. We met each other a couple of years ago when we climbed Mt. Apo. We haven’t climbed together since then but saw each other through reunions and have kept touch as we belong to the same mountaineering circle, albeit minimal through social network. Well, actually, we hardly talk. When a guy begins to like me and I know that the feeling isn’t mutual, I keep things at bay.
But I remember something so vividly about this guy friend of mine. When we were in Mt. Apo, he was the one who looked out for me the most. When we were soaking wet, exhausted and chilling in the cold, stormy weather in camp Godi Godi, despite my insistence to just sleep without eating, he knocked at my tent with cooked food. He prepared me coffee in the morning and at night, and helped set up and pack up my tent at every camp. He was very thoughtful and caring, and I saw the same trait today during our quick coffee date.
I had complained that the mousse dessert I ordered “tasted weird”, almost like the cream was expired or something. Actually, I just had him taste it to see if it was just me, or if there was really something off about the dessert. He hadn’t even told me what he thought yet when he called the waitress about it. After much inquiry and a gentle reprimand of, “my friend might get sick because of this dessert”, he had it changed.
I observed quietly and for the first time in a long time, I let a guy take control. It felt nice. To have someone look out for you and ‘protect’ you in this way. Inside I was already ready to jump into my own defense, be the one to talk to the waitress and all, so used I am to doing all things by myself, but today, I let a guy do it on my behalf. Why? Not because we are damsels in distress but simply because we are women and they are men. They do what they do best: leading, protecting, looking after. It follows the correct order of things, at least as how I believe them to be. There was something inherently manly in the way he acted, the need to protect, the need to step up.
I don’t ever take these things for granted, despite what many may only see as a “natural” reaction by any guy. Is it, really? Whatever the case, it felt good. And I’m thankful I’m a woman. :-)