Valentine's Day: Blast from the Past

where did you meet your love?  

how did you meet your love?  

when did you know it was love?

is it still love?

let's go back in time.

Her: dog collar
Him: Blink-182 Black Hoodie

kev and i met in 1997.  July 1st 1997.  my second cousin and i had just reacquainted ourselves as young teens from our early childhood days of teasing at family get togethers.  these were few and far between as second cousins, but as our moms knew each other and grew up together as kids back in the Philippines, we still saw one another at least once a year.

grade 8 had just ended.  he was turning 15.  i had just turned 14.

very sadly, i had just lost my virginity.  the guy also had bought me a bunch of stuff from the Body Shop for my birthday afterward and a week later that was it.  obviously.  a week later i went to my cousin's 15th birthday.  i didn't expect anything from going.  i was lying on the couch thumbing through his yearbook and trying to find all my friends from elementary that went to st pat's as my mom had enlisted me into the Little Flower Academy Catholic all girls school.


oh god.

kevin arrived at the east van home from tsawwassen in his parents aerostar van.  the same van he's been driving for the past 7 months while working on his Falcon.  he walked in and i acted cool by not really acknowledging his arrival.  i was wearing a navy tank top with my first pair of Thrift Store jeans.  they had a star on the butt.

we headed out on the bus.  what a thrill for me.  daughter of an over protective and very strict asian filipino catholic mom out in the big city, bussing with a bunch of older boys, unsupervised.

it was at Cheap Thrills or maybe The Underground on Granville Street where they had rings with all the different astrological signs displayed.  i asked Kevin what his sign was.   lame.  LOL.

SCORPIO!  promising!  i'm a cancer!  WATER SIGNS....

so that's how we met.  that's where it began.

why did i mention the virginity?

as fate would have it, that same guy went to highschool with kevin and kevin spent the entire last year hating on this guy, chasing him down around the school grounds.  of course fate would have it that way.  but.  this did not send kevin running.  neither did the comments and gossip that filled the hallways at his highschool and mine and the other all-boy's Catholic highschool.  oh and the 30-45 minute bus rides in traffic from vancouver to richmond.  yeah.  jeered by teenaged boys.

and this was after an entire summer of me being grounded and having to sneak on the phone to talk with kevin.  there were no cell phones, remember.  this was 1997.  i was grounded from sneaking out earlier that june.  when my mom would leave the house, she would leave her cordless phone lying on her bed turned on with her door locked so that i couldn't use any of the other phones.  i opted to going to the mall where i was allowed to roam for an hour at a time.  of course there was no roaming to be had, i would bring a few quarters and park myself at the payphone.  PAYPHONE.

and because i was under strict surveillance, our relationship was long distant with visits far and few between, and mostly just 20 minutes at a time at my bus stop unless we managed to concoct something more amazing.  i think it was maybe 3-4 times a month.  one month it was once and that was horrible.  however, in between those visits were the letters.  3 page letters, 10 page letters or longer spanning over days or a couple of weeks, each one dated and signed.  hand written letters delivered by numerous friends and acquaintances from both our schools.  sometimes it was to my friend/classmate natalie who lived in the same house as cathy who went to school with kevin.  sometimes it was through JADE (yes, soleil and nova's momma!) and her sistter Jen who bussed home into richmond with me.  and even then, i never knew when or what bus they would be on, but i have clear memories of having to quickly scan the busses to see who was on before jumping onboard.  Jade would always save me a seat and if i was lucky, once in a blue moon kevin would be on the bus with them.  always the

he had huge mutton chops that i hated.  you could see them puffing out from behind his big shaved head.  he smelled like a teenage boy.  he skipped classes at the end of the day to rollerblade all the way from Main and Broadway to Granville and King Ed to see me or surprise me.  every single day of my entire high school life, i packed my backpack so fast and would run out just in case he was there not wanting to miss a minute.  most of the time he wasn't, but i never knew.  and sometimes i would want to kill myself when after waiting my MAX 20 minutes before hopping on the 408, i would see him just making the block.  i lied to my mom everyday about wanting to take time to hang out with my friends once school was over.  she always gave me shit about being late because there were other LFA girls that arrived earlier at Richmond Centre where i would get picked up.

we wrote letters throughout our entire highschool years.  to this day we both have our binders of letters, all crinkled and with the foldlines from all the many different folding methods.  we have photos and cards and drawings and bad poetry and even worse, sexual literature.  LOL.  oh dear god...

my parents met kevin in my bedroom when we were about 16.  he had caught the last bus from Tsawwassen at 1am or something crazy?  that let him off across the Oak St bridge in Marpole where Moses was conceived and lived for 5 months.  he walked to my house in richmond.  it probably took him over an hour.  he climbed up the patio and i let him in through the window.

my dad threatened him with the hugest knife we had in the house.

and he still stuck around.
he has never left.
he has never held his pride over us.
he has always been willing to work things out and given me opportunities to grow and learn even when i did not deserve it.


i can't believe i'm writing all of this right now.

don't get me wrong, like every relationship, we have had a lot of ups and downs.  a lot of downs and a lot of growing pains.  A LOT.

nothing has ever been perfect and i don't go a single day thinking that it's ever going to be perfect.  we make it work.  we talk.  we argue and yell.  we say things that we don't mean.  having kids has changed our dynamic.  in some ways, i feel like having kids saved us from a lot of insignificant fights and issues that seemed so huge as a couple with too much freedom on their hands.  becoming parents has mellowed us out and really trained us to choose our battles.  most of the time we are just too tired to fight and when we argue, it's easier to forego the anger and B-line to being understanding and agreeing to try harder to improve on whatever the issue is.

i love kevin.  i don't know what the future holds, but i know i will always love him.  we are an amazing team without the wild teenage romance.  it is crazy to see how our lives have changed, crazy to fathom after years of imagining what our children would look like that they are here now, sound asleep in a pile of blankets.

life is funny.  you really never know how things are going to work out, but so far things are looking good.

happy valentine's day.


  1. I luv this story. I never knew the whole story. But now I do and I luv it. U guys were crazy back then and look at u now. A beautiful family with kids. ;) xoxo

  2. I remember ALL of this. I loved you both then and I still do now.

  3. this is beautiful and amazing... the history you share is really incredible! holy crappers getting busted by your dad and him threatening kevin with a huge knife!!! gad, crazy teen times...! love your writing style, phanie...

    um i also had a studded collar ... and i am also a water sign! ^__^


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