Love in the time of the Beatles
Babeth Lolarga (The Philippine Star) - September 14, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Masarap i-good time si Rolly — that’s what I can say after being his girlfriend for five years, his wife for another 30, with gaps in between since ours is a continuing long-distance liaison amoureuse. By “good time” I mean pulling a surprise or a prank. But last year, I told him after another surprise birthday party when he turned 63 that I’d stop, mainly out of concern that his heart might not be able to withstand another one of my exercises in what he terms “mischief.” Every time he sees that picture of mine as an eight-year-old kid, he always points at the black and white portrait subject’s eyes and says, “Maliit pa lang, kita mo nang mischievous.”

I will take mischievous any day, not malicious, or worse, evil.

So on this day, as his phone pings and toots to announce an SMS from another greeter, I sing another old song whose lyrics I’ve adjusted (mangled?) with hopefully witty asides to suit Rolly’s/Tatay’s/Tats’/Sir Rolly’s/Kuya Fern’s age as of 12 midnight Sept. 6, 2014. Thank you, Beatles, for providing a soundtrack for every milestone in many people’s lives.

When you get older losing your hair, (the Good Shepherd Convent’s gugo shampoo has guaranteed haba ng hair mo!)

Many years from now, (not yet bokalites, I hope, by age 70)

Will I still be sending you a Valentine (of course naman po)

Birthday greetings, bottle of wine?

If I’d been out till quarter to three (which I can no longer do, I’m asleep by 10 or 11 p.m.)

Would you lock the door? (oh no, you won’t, because our daughter Kimi has the extra key, and I can always wake her up with a call)

Will you still need me, will you still feed me,

When (it’s my turn to be) sixty-four?

Oo oo oo oo oo oo oo oooo

I’ll be older, too,

And if you say the word,

I could stay with you. (pa hard to get muna, delaying tactics, including part-time teaching and projects here and there that require a presence in the lowlands)

You could be handy mending a fuse (with help from the village electrician)

When your lights have gone.

I can knit a sweater by the fireside (no, I’ll just order from Martina Knittera a.k.a. Martin Masadao)

Sunday mornings go for a ride (except that you’re so tamad to get out of the house when it’s a Sunday and it’s your day off)

Doing the garden, digging the weeds, (you’re so good at that)

Who could ask for more? (no more, but may I request daisies instead of anthuriums)

Will you still need me, will you still feed me,

When (it’s my turn to be) sixty-four?

Every summer we can rent a cottage (no, the tightwad in you will protest)

In the Isle of Wight, if it’s not too dear (Panglao, Bohol, is just about right soon, mah deah)

We shall scrimp and save (you do this, I’m terrible with any form of budgeting)

Grandchildren (Kai/Butones) on your knee

Vera, Chuck, and Dave (Kai, Kai and only Kai)

Send you a postcard, drop you a line (I still patronize the postal office and SMS you daily)

Stating point of view (I always lawyer for myself, nobody else will do this for me)

Indicate precisely what I mean to say (very concrete and specific, we both trained to be journalists)

Yours sincerely, wasting away (not exactly wasting away, just getting rosier and a little less chubby)

Give me your answer, fill in a form (FORM?!!!xxxx I’m a content person)

Mine for evermore (we don’t need pieces of paper, do we?)

Will you still need me, will you still feed me,

When (it’s my turn to be) sixty-four?

Whoo! (Dial 1-4-3-4-4!)

GOOD SHEPHERD CONVENT IF I IN THE ISLE OF WIGHT KUYA FERN MARTIN MASADAO MARTINA KNITTERA ROLLY SIR ROLLY STILL WILL I
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