Jenny and I are not your typical couple. As you may have noticed by browsing around briefly, we’re continents and oceans apart. People will say to me “it must be tough, all of that distance between you two.” Whenever they make a comment like this, I wish I could punch them.
No one will understand our relationship the same way I don’t expect to understand your romance with your high school sweetheart. All relationships are unique. As much as we try to relate, no one will ever fully understand.
It’s like death; and I hate to compare my relationship with Jenny in any way to it. Yet I can’t think of anything else more universally experienced while at the same time too complicated to relate to. When someone dies we attempt to empathize by sharing our own experiences. Since we all have different relationships with the deceased or are at different points in our lives when they pass on, I find it difficult to ever buy in when someone suggests they know what I’m going through.
And the same goes for my relationship with Jenny. No one will fully understand how it feels because sometimes I’m not even sure. Is it hard? Does it make me sad? Will the distance help us create a truer bond?
We’ve experienced an entirely different life and relating to each other has its obstacles. I’m pretty American after all. I like baseball, hot dogs, and grew up eating Pop-Tarts for breakfast. Amazingly, Jenny didn’t taste one until I visited.
We planned it out too. In her attempt to learn everything she could about me, I professed to her long ago my breakfasts as a kid usually were made up of hot chocolate with marshmallows and Pop-Tarts. She, coming from a rice eating country that devours hot dogs for breakfast, had never even heard of such a thing.
Oh the glorious highs and lows of Pop-Tarts. A delicious processed bundle of sugar largely responsible for my childhood obesity was actually a big part of my trip when I visited Jenny in October 2015 for the first time.
Jenny had never seen a Pop-Tart. To her it was like a Sasquatch or interesting Facebook status; elusive and hard to find. She did discover at one local mall that Pop-Tarts were indeed for sale. Being the sentimental woman that she is, Jenny waited to share her first taste of my common childhood breakfast with me. On New Year’s Eve 2014-2015, I think I ate one when we Skyped at midnight. More likely though, I ate it beforehand because my self-control is severely lacking these days.
Pop-Tarts were the first thing we added to our cart at the grocery store. We chose the Cookies N Cream option because it was the sweetest available. We only had limited options unlike in the US where there’s a Pop-Tart flavor for every day of the week, major holiday, and religious affiliation. If they ever decide to begin an uprising, Pop-Tarts could take this country in a day.
Jenny enjoyed the Pop-Tarts, and rightfully so. Who wouldn’t like them? We had to eat our Pop-Tarts raw since we were sans toaster or microwave. The sugary delight is just as delicious no matter how you prepare it and Jenny’s face suggests she liked it.
A typical breakfast in the Philippines, I learned, is a lot different. Cereals are an afterthought when put up against a meat dish. Jenny’s family in particular loves to get carnivorous early in the morning. When I meet them I’ll do my best to hide myself until noon, just to make sure I’m safe.