Monday, July 1, 2013

Dinner at Mr. Jaded's -- and tossing a coin and trying to have it all, as usual



The other day, over a sitdown dinner at Mr. Jaded's lovely house in one of Manila's best neighborhoods, I was talking with some people on my side of the table about the joys of Travel and Life.

Then I heard myself being discussed across the room -- literally, across Mr. Jaded's massive dining table.




ART ON THE WALLS AND THE CEILINGS

I was at the very end of it, you see, and I'm sure Mr. Jaded has put very good accoustics in his dining room with a ceiling that doubles as some kind of installation art.

Yes, at his house, if you're bored at dinner, you can just look up at the ceiling to be entertained by art for a few minutes.



Anyway, I said with a smile across the table to everyone at that end, but to no one in particular: "Excuse me, I'm already here...."

We created this informal rule, you see, that allows the people present at dinner to talk about others who have absented themselves from the plans. But if you're present, I assumed it went without saying that no one could gossip about you.

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A CRAZY NIGHT IN MANILA

That night was just crazy, by the way.

I'd chosen Friday, June 28, for our dinner because I thought it would be a relatively quiet evening. But there were so many things suddenly happening all over the city.

I already blogged here how I was triple-booked that night -- but I was actually quadruple-booked.



However, I ended up only going to two sit-down dinners that night in roughly the same neighborhood as it was just physically impossible to add even more thing to that evening without hopping around like a clueless butterfly.

So I was at dinner #1 from 630 PM to 930 PM, and then at Mr. Jaded's dinner from 930 PM onwards.



As I was late to dinner, I'd basically given everyone permission to talk about me in my absence.

I don't know if they did, but I'm hoping they were too busy to do so, with all the wine and catching up they did before dinner.

Besides, one of my contributing editors started hammering some really nice songs on Mr. Jaded's Steinway grand piano as well.

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TRAVELIFE'S GREAT BUNCH OF EDITORS

We really have such multi-talented contributing editors at Travelife Magazine. Travel is truly a part of their life, but they have a lot of other things going on as well.

They're successful in their day jobs, they're passionate about their hobbies, and they've been traveling in the very same way they write in Travelife long before they began writing for the #1 travel and lifestyle magazine.

Just in case you're wondering, as well: none of the contributing editors at Travelife Magazine go on freebies when they travel on their own and write for us. They pay their own way and write for the love of it.

Travelife Magazine's Contributing Editors
Dondi Joseph
David Lim
Gabby Malvar
Rafe Totengco
Jerome Velasco




THE RULE BREAKER

But back to Friday night.

After I arrived and sat down at one end of the table, some people actually started talking about me at the other end of the table -- breaking our rule.

It turns out that they were talking about how I'd been triple-booked that night, and what other events were on my calendar.

TOSSING A COIN TO SOLVE A DILEMMA


Actually, I was in a quandary for a few days about having two dinners that night.

Mr. Jaded and I had planned the whole dinner at his house from the start, you see: the date, the guests, and the menu.

I'd just done the guest list and he'd done everything else, but of course I felt some co-ownership for this dinner -- especially as I'd even invited some of my contributing editors at Travelife Magazine.

Some of Travelife Magazine's great contributing editors...


COULDN'T SAY NO TO A FAREWELL



Then I received an invitation from an ambassador for dinner at his home to say farewell to another European ambassador whom I'm quite close to.

This was just about the last time to say goodbye to him in a rather personal setting, rather than at a cocktail party with hundreds of other people.



We were to be only 8 at dinner.

So one night I messaged Mr. Jaded my dilemma, and then I literally asked him to toss a coin for me: should I go or not, to dinner #1? You choose, I told him.

TRYING TO HAVE IT ALL


I'd even said to him: "As usual, I want to try and have everything in life..."

Then my conscience got the better of me. I couldn't possibly come late to a dinner I had helped plan.



So just before turning my computer off and going to sleep at midnight, I'd sent Mr. Jaded a follow-up message: "Please disregard my previous message. Of course I should be at your dinner the whole time as we basically planned this together. I'll be there early in case anyone comes on time."

AN ANSWER FROM THE JADED

The next day, I woke up to see a message waiting for me from Mr. Jaded on my computer.

In his usual cut-and-dried manner, he replied: "Life's short so we should do what we want. It's probably my jadedness, but I'm actually used to people doing this sort of thing."



I usually don't "do this sort of thing," but I needed to do it last Friday.

I smiled when I read this, and then I sent an RSVP in for dinner #1. If I played my cards right, everything would work out just fine -- especially as the two dinners were just minutes away from each other.

This was one of the few times I was glad he was so jaded, in my never-ending, and never-endingly eventful -- and usually never jaded -- Travelife.





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