This is a true story, but without the real names. It may be shocking to men and women my age, but perhaps not to today’s young. To the latter, it may even pass for a love story (shivers!).
It is so telling of how today’s relationships are made, destroyed—and made more exciting, if not incredible—in this day of social media (the world has gone way past texting).
While their elders are into lowbrow discourse on politicians, the millennials are busy doing a striptease on social media, literally.
My friend, Brad, is only 33 years old. This story began when he was about 30 or 31. We know about it because he tells us and gives me and my friends updates.
He has good looks (tall, tan, sharp features) and has the build of an athlete, which he is.
He claimed it all started after he broke up with his girlfriend because her mom didn’t want him for her and wanted a richer guy. He had been without a girlfriend for some time—he’s a bachelor, by the way—and still smarting from the rebuff, when he met these two girls: Angelina, a student graduating from college at that time whom he struck an acquaintance with on a jeepney ride; and Jennifer, an employee he met at a party.
Angelina was then 19, and Jennifer, mid-20s.
To cut the story short, he started seeing both. On a rebound, in a manner of speaking, or so he claimed.
He didn’t really have to court them, he said, since courtship these days is quite optional. Guy texts, girl texts, girl texts more often during the day, guy and girl meet up, guy and girl get together and sleep over, then girl runs after guy.
That’s the case with Brad, Jennifer and Angelina. Brad doesn’t have to lift a finger (at least not that part of his body). The line between “pursuer” and “pursue-ee” is blurred, just like in many “relationships” these days.
There’s no such thing as a “three-day rule” anymore. I didn’t know of that rule, until I overheard a middle-aged man tell a 20-ish girl about it. The girl was asking him advice on how she could tell if the guy she was seeing was really into her.
Do you know the three-day rule, the older man asked. Nope, the girl said.
In our time, the man said, the girl usually would wait three days to see if the guy would get back to her, and the guy also would wait three days, after the first meeting, to make up his mind whether or not he wanted a second date.
Uh, no, the girl said. We just text right after the first date if we wanted to meet up again, she added.
So no three-day rule for this generation.
On the contrary, the girl can just pop up in the guy’s place at a most conducive time.
Anyway, going back to Brad, Angelina and Jennifer. The two girls didn’t know of each other’s existence until one of them posted a date photo of her with Brad on Instagram (IG) and Facebook (FB). The other one did the same thing.
When the two found out about each other, a Twitter war ensued. Both girls accused each other of stealing her boyfriend. At this point, Brad realized that he was digging himself into a hole. How deep the s—hole would be, he would soon find out.
While the two girls confronted him, separately of course, it was interesting how after that, the girls focused not on the culprit—their two-timing boyfriend—but on each other.
The Twitter war was mild compared to the catfight that would follow in IG and Facebook. To us spectators (he was asking advice from us, the “titas of Manila”), it was showtime. We got so amused seeing the IG and FB posts, but also, these gave us pause. They gave an insight into how social media has stripped this generation of any inhibitions or ability to discern.
“Think before you click!” replied Pia Wurtzbach, I remember, in the Q&A portion of the Bb. Pilipinas pageant when asked what her advice would be about social media (she would win Bb. Pilipinas-Universe).
These girls just clicked away, in a way that would make even the Kardashians blush.
One after the other, Angelina and Jennifer posted their past photos with Brad, trying to outdo each other, if only to show that each had better dates or intimate moments with Brad: hugging in the waterfall or horsing around in the pool, in the car with Brad behind the wheel, in the resto, cuddling on the sofa, in the movie house. Name a date scene, each had her own take.
By this time, Brad had taken down his FB and had broken off with both, or tried to break up. As it turned out, they wouldn’t let him off the hook and would even stalk him in the workplace—the “bebekoh hit squad,” we took to calling them.
The posts got racier and racier—this generation disrobes in its selfie.
Angelina’s posts showed them under the sheets. Jennifer’s was a selfie taken upon waking up in bed, the “morning after” look. (We were enjoying our peeping-Tom moments.)
The “monthsary” posts were the most competitive. Can’t wait to celebrate an anniversary (might not make it to a year), today’s couples celebrate “monthsaries” instead. Highly perishable relationships.
What took the cake, however, was Angelina’s post of the back of a nude Brad, just the back, but even in the dark shot, the slight crack of his butt could be gleaned. Obviously it was a stolen shot in bed. Brad didn’t know his photo was being taken by his bratty lover, who then posted in real time to show Jennifer that—see, he’s with me.
All these happened more than a year ago, but it became a story on our mind, because:
First, is this an isolated case? Are the two girls really just exceptionally desperate wackos or sluts? Or is it typical of how this generation can live and “make out” in social media? No limits and inhibitions.
Second, it’s interesting how the two girls lashed out at each other more than they did at Brad. I’d like to think that in my generation, we would have nuked out a “boyfriend” like Brad.
I don’t have a daughter. But if this happened to my son, I would have, first, talked to my son and told him I didn’t raise an a–hole, and that while he can play the field, he should draw the line and respect girls, even those not respectable. Then I zap those two girls—not on my planet, they don’t.
Third, it proves how guys and girls today do live in social media. They hook up through it.
Social media is a definer of relationships; it shouldn’t be, but it can. It’s easy, instant, graphic, and it’s there. FB, Snapchat, IG are the first thing you do when you wake up and the last, before you turn in.
Fourth, you are what you post.
The ending? Last I heard, although the posts have long stopped, the two girls still hound him, trying to race each other to get to him, and he still tries to run away—literally.
I tried to make this a “Funny Valentine” but it sounds more like a cautionary tale. “My Funny Valentine,” come to think of it, is so ’50s.
A gay friend imagining what his reply would be in the Q&A of the beauty pageant, if asked, “What part of your body would you want replaced, if given a choice?” His reply: “My heart, cause it’s the only one broken.”
Another gay friend replied, when asked why he broke up with his boyfriend—“Because he found out we were on!”
A matronly friend (not quite a matron yet, just matronly) on why she refused to read “50 Shades of Grey”—“Activate my libido? What for?”