A Candid take on Pregnancy

Announcement: We’re expecting a bundle of joy next year!

The Story

During the last leg of our honeymoon, there was something terribly strange about me – physically, emotionally and psychologically. I was nauseous all the time but I never vomited. The nausea would only stop after we ate something – whether it was gelato or cold cuts with cheese. Even if we were eating, I was always tired. We were going through the gorgeous Duomo of Siena and I just wanted to sit down on every bench while my husband was practically jumping around the place in excitement. My emotions were high and low and it was noticeable.

My tiredness was at its peak when we were on our way home. It was a 3 hour bus ride from Siena to Rome, a 45 minute cab ride from the bus station to the airport followed by an accumulated 16 hour flight from Rome to DOHA and DOHA to Manila and finally another 45 minutes from the Clark International Airport to the house. I dropped dead tired and until now I recall the feeling of being stuck in bed and not wanting to come out for days!

With all the craziness that was going on with me, I just knew it. I knew there was a person inside of me trying to get my attention and telling me “Hey, Mommy, I’m right here. I’m trying to get comfortable and grow. Sorry for making you feel sick all the time but I promise you it’s for my own good!

I went back to work a day after we arrived. After work, my best friend was my bed. Finally, Lance wanted to have peace of mind so we decided to buy a pregnancy test from the drug store. The result was POSITIVE.

The moment when the two pink sticks came out was when Lance was screaming, sweating and jumping in excitement and sheer bliss. I, on the other hand, had a silent experience with myself in an almost panic. There is a human being and he’s really in me. Well, I don’t know anything. How am I going to take care of myself since we haven’t exactly started our new life yet? How am I going to manage everything at home, taking care of a baby in my womb and working at an eight to five job? 

I’ve never in my life been so enveloped with worry and distress. The reality hit me big time. Albeit it’s natural. At the same time, there was a lot of relief that what I initially just knew was actually true and I could lead my life aware and ready to take care of the growing baby.

If my life were centered around myself and what I could do, I would forever be worried… thank goodness we started this relationship with God at the center of our relationship and until our married life. Putting back all the worry, this baby is the ultimate gift to our small family. A friend of my husband even said: “Isn’t that amazing that the love of your marriage has this as its fruit?”

Motherhood and Marriage

There is a pervading thought in this day and age that mirrors itself in media and common societal dispositions and its the “Me Mentality.” I have to reach this to be able to do this I need to build a business to be this Me. Me. Me.

Because it’s so common, I can hear the thought about newlyweds speak clearly in my mind: Didn’t you guys want to just enjoy each other first before having kids?

The tough part is that it isn’t impossible to start considering it as your own thought. Judging from the sound of what that question implies is that a couple should be selfish with one another first before considering having kids. I understand that many newlyweds may want to wait it out because of financial issues. But let’s be honest, who knows when a married couple is financially ready to have kids?

There are way too many statistics out there calculating how much a child would cost to be raised in this day and age but no statistics can be made of the miracles that may happen when they love the life they allow to live. Neither is there any statistic for the creativity and willpower parents will have to find ways to make ends meet.

The beautiful part about this pregnancy is that I am reminded that I’m not alone and my primary caregiver is my husband. He knows so well how I can get caught up in my own thoughts that one night he had to look at my eye and say: “I am not allowing you to go through this alone. Trust me. I’m here.

That’s when I knew I was really married.

Baby: The Real Deal

A few days later, we visited the OB-gyne and I got an ultrasound.

On the black and white screen, I saw the matchstick head sized baby in me. Besides just seeing, the most spectacular part about it was that the doctor recorded his heartbeat. My baby is just a month into life and he/she has a heartbeat that technology recorded. Please tell me that that is the clearest sign that this baby is a human being. PLEASE.

I was just reading a comment trail on a blog entry about how a lady shouldn’t push through with her abortion and so many of those comments were telling the blogger that it’s her choice whether to have a baby or not. One comment even implied that it shouldn’t be anyone’s business because abortion is way too overrated to be cared about. They were bantering back and forth about scientific data of fetus development yada yada yada. As a soon-to-be mother, my eyes just widened.

I know that that baby is a baby with a heartbeat. Isn’t that enough? When a person is near-death, the medics check the pulse of the patient and revives them with a defibrillator! I can’t imagine the kind of conscience a person who could end any person’s heartbeat – whether pea-sized or what society implies the right age to die. What makes this argument worse is that women are defending their “right to abort” while there are men willing to risk their name for abortion to end. This women’s right to abortion is defended with “I” “Me” and “Mine” statements. That says a lot about women’s purpose in life.

Since this is becoming a rather long update, I want to end it on a happy note. 🙂 Nowadays, it’s hard enough to inspire couples to get married but where life is concerned, I sure hope it won’t be as tough as a decision to keep life.

There is so much happiness in new life. I noticed that as days pass by the people around me are more and more concerned about my (rather, our) health and even get out of their way to make the simple things easier for me to do. Maybe other moms don’t have the same good fortune as I am gratefully receiving but I’m sure that one bad experience doesn’t and couldn’t possibly outweigh the good and happy experiences they received from those around them.

New life begets a new love.

A Day for Forever

only a dream

only a dream

Getting married is an absolute dream. It’s only been nine days since the start of our married life and I am ever so slowly leaving the memories and feelings to fade into the background of our photographs.

As I recall, it was a perfect night.

The imperfections made it all the more perfect – at least for me.

To name them: In the middle of the day, the rain poured HEAVILY. When I was walking down the aisle, my wedding gown snagged at the bottom and hit the points of my stilettos that I had to kick my dress to be able to walk steadily down the long aisle of our parish church. I didn’t read our vows well that I went onto saying “Yes, I do” before I should have and it was caught on video… See our on the day video by the great Bob Nicolas here.The reception program was already delayed and it was delayed even more because of a MAJOR glitch in the lights and sounds system.

It may sound like any bride’s horror story but the bounty of love and happiness overshadowed and covered all of the pains of the day’s apparent mishaps.

To continue: When our photographers saw my worried gaze at the intense rain, all they said was “This will work for you.” I put my trust in them and now that the photographs are out (by the uber talented team of Toto Villaruel), the day looked beyond beautiful in the photos. It looked as if it didn’t rain at all.

The dew drops sparkled for us.

In the bridal car while I was waiting for my turn to march, guests saw me and greeted me. One of them took time to whisper that this weather couldn’t have been more perfect. While I was tripping through the aisle, all I saw was Lance’s look wanting to give me a bear hug.

After making our vows and our priest declaring our marriage, Lance and I looked behind to see the parish almost full with our family and friends hooting and cheering. It was the most spectacular sight I have ever seen.

Finally, the major glitch in the lights and sounds system turned out to be a moment for intimate conversations between our guests and the roving bride and groom. After around thirty minutes, the lights and sounds miraculously went back on.

The program was knotted with the feeling that I wanted to bring to our guests – filled tummies, happy tipsiness and unending laughter. Most of all, I wanted the guests – even if they have never sat and chatted with us – to feel like they have gotten to  know Lance and I in our celebration! All thanks to Lance, his best man and my maid of honor who dedicated their time and effort to surprise me with the spectacular reception program.

Until now, I still cannot get the wedding out of my head. All the more since I wake up with the man I got married to everyday now. I am filled with boundless gratitude. I even told Lance that one of the best things about being married is the relief that it’s done and we can move on with married life! Call me traumatized but with all the crazy natural calamities and wars around the world, I now have such peace that I’m married to this man.

I know the high will fade into the oblivion of married life. Lance reminded me yesterday of this when we were talking about the unsexy topic of finances, he said: “Let me look into the future for us, my love…” While he does that, I’m still flipping through our wedding photos and repeatedly watch our wedding videos until both websites hit its fifteen thousand view.

Sharing with you my man’s ultimate surprise video during the reception that I cannot get enough of.

I don’t know how I will tread through married life but I’ll probably take from our wedding day – do my best and have a lot of trust in my husband, most especially in God who made His presence felt in the Sacrament of Marriage and who allowed the imperfections to happen for the beauty of real love to shine.

The Glamour of Weddings and the “Tipid” Bride

The glamour of weddings is in the bride being the center of attention.

She dictates the mood and decorations from what hangs on the ceiling to the mini donuts that will be served after the reception proper – oh, and the little flag with their monogram that will adorn the donuts. Admittedly, it’s exciting to get emails from suppliers about the bouquets or the mock set-ups and to attend bridal showers.  Yes, that pinterest board gets the limelight too.

Unfortunately, most pinterest boards, if followed photo by photo into an actual wedding will cost millions and maybe a billion Philippine pesos. I’ve heard of a couple who delayed their wedding for two years just because they wanted to save up for the best suppliers in the business. You can already guess that weddings around the world – including the Philippines – is an incredibly lucrative business. A friend of mine described most bridal blog features to be weddings that have no budget.

I want to be really honest. In the wedding industry, I’ll be exposing the unspoken categorization of the kinds of suppliers based on pricing. You have the High-End – a la Louis Vuitton and Prada kind of pricing, the Mid-Range – a la Kate Spade, Kenneth Cole and Lacoste pricing and the Low-End – a la fast fashion pricing: Zara, Promod and even Forever 21 brands. This is merely based on experience upon checking supplier prices and comparing bridal fair price listings. 

I might start to sound pretentious and even jealous of those who bag the high-end wedding suppliers because they can but… there is NO NEED. Getting them is not the point of having the perfect wedding. No matter what wedding blog supplies you with that kind of information is NOT TRUE and even if you can, it shouldn’t even be the point. I truly believe that anyone can have a beautiful wedding without drilling a hole into their wallet just by being very creative, resourceful and practical and sticking by those three values that will undoubtedly be brought to married life (which is the most important thing.)

I also see why most wedding blogs only feature the best wedding suppliers around.  Maybe it’s to set the standard for suppliers to have an excellent quality wedding and to set a standard of refinement and elegance for the brides-to-be of what a wedding should look and feel like. But let’s face it…

The best weddings are the ones you know were so well thought-out to the point that each person who attends feels like they’re truly part of a love story. 

Besides that, in the Philippine context, most complaints I get involve comfort of the attendants such as how the height of the decoration piece shouldn’t block the view of the other tablemates, shorten the program of the wedding (including the length of the speeches) and MAKE SURE THERE ARE COCKTAILS (I don’t know how many times I got this piece of advice.) Wedding blogs don’t talk about that that much.

Being from a country where we come across the less fortunate everyday in all its forms, I consider it unfair that more than a fraction of our yearly hard-earned salaries should go to a one-day event that will hardly support our forever or our future children or let alone, insurance.

It’s a far dream of mine… but I someday hope to put up that wedding blog that teaches brides how to be very creative, resourceful and practical and even to some extent philanthropic. I want a blog that will help brides focus on what is truly important – their life to come with their husband. A blog that isn’t so much about the fanfare but more about the values and virtues that can be learned by the couple from preparing a wedding sort of how to use this wedding as a fertile training ground for married life. A blog that will guide readers through the different suppliers and how to speak and deal with them. I want to still be able to talk about the trends of blogs but also how to get them at a discounted price and how other brides were able to stay practical. I hope to have an advice portion where brides can talk to other brides about their special circumstances and get an answer from a warm columnist.

And I will call it the Tipid (Thrifty) bride.

UPDATE: Here’s a link to How Much Do Weddings Cost in the Philippines just for you to have an idea of the range of how much a wedding would cost.

Confessions of a Shopaholic: Rehab

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Now that it’s sale season, I am possessed by all the shops with markdown prices. Is there a woman magnet in there or something? I make up dumb excuses just to enter the same shop I’ve been entering everyday for 3 days in a row. My eyes have some sort of “shopping mode” so when it detects something cute and cheap – the information suddenly registers into my “shopping thoughts” until it consumes my day and all I think about is that pair of shoes until I’ve come up with absolute every excuse to buy it and then I’m convinced.

The next memory is me walking out of the shop, I am also breathing normally because I’ve finally freed myself from the torment of that item. Then I go back home with a brand new item to pair with all my existing clothes. I try them on. Dance in them and sing in them and feel like I’m new!

Sounds familiar? You can bet that when I watched the Confessions of a Shopaholic, I was able to relate with her immediately. It was the way that the mannequins gestured for her to buy and the sparkle in Rebecca Bloomwood’s (Isla Fisher) eyes when she got her hands on a deal. I wanted to be her friend so bad because I knew in days like these… she would be the only one to understand me.

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Admission into Shopaholic Rehab

I am a shopaholic. I knew I had a problem when all I could think about was that thing I pined for for weeks until I finally bought it. It never came to a point that I overused my credit cards to their limits. Never. But other signs showed that I needed this rehab: when I would give myself reasons to buy things when my closet doesn’t need anything new anyway, when I would buy something that I would end up never wearing because it didn’t match anything in my closet until one day it would break and when I would buy the wrong size just because it was the last piece (and it was just the cutest).

Awareness: the reason for these mishaps can be summarized in 3 (technically 4) words: whims, peer pressure and SALE.

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Shopaholic Rehab

There is a way out of this and it involves really thinking before purchasing anything and believing that you don’t need anything new.

In the days of my rehabilitation, I’ve come up with this:

Prudent Shopping Tips

Although I wanted to call this the “No Shopping Tips,” shopping can never be removed from our human actions until there are still businesses around. These tips are to help the shopaholic rub off the crazy voice in her mind and ease her into creating intelligent spending habits.

Guideline Questions when face-to-face with a super cute item

Note: The relevance of the questions differs from person to person.

  1. Is it a need or a want?
  2. Can you afford it with your current budget or will it delay any savings you are planning to make for future travel or investments?
  3. Is it worth the price tag? Do a quality check.
  4. Is it a versatile piece that you can wear with many other item in your closet?
  5. Do you think you will be using it repeatedly?
  6. Do you have something like that in your closet already?
  7. Does it look and feel better than the item you’re currently wearing or have in your closet?
  8. Think about donating.

Some Specifics

On Online Shopping: Always try on clothes before you buy them. Yes, buying online is a gamble. View items in physical stores first before taking the plunge.

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On Outlets: Most outlets carry items that are so old. If the outlet itself is very dusty (that you notice yourself sneezing), chances are, anything you buy from there will be broken in an instant.

On Sales:

  • STOP ALLOWING SALES TO DECEIVE YOU.
  • NEVER HAUL.
  • Not buying on sale doesn’t mean you’ve lost everything – your closet didn’t have a major meltdown, it will stay wonderfully the same. It’s OK.
  • Only buy ONE THING of something (that you need and want) – no matter how ridiculously awesome the promo is.

On making new purchases:

  • Buying the same style or color that you know flatters you is not always the case.
  • If you’re buying to replace an old favorite – try buying on trend to challenge your current wardrobe.

 

 

Love More with Your Head than with Your Heart

I was struck when my mom told me that a friend of mine loves more with her heart than her head.

All of a sudden a spillover of cartoon illustrations of couples in thought bubbles started to pop up in my mind. A huge heart that overpowers the brain when she sees her crush. Her almost drunk-like state in his presence. Her willingness to sacrifice everything for his sake! The images are a bit much but the truth is that this is something very real for us girls.

I was quite the opposite when I was in my teens so much so that I brought my “objective” mindset to my one and only relationship. To illustrate my point, I once (proudly) told my fiancé: “In our relationship, I’m the cerebral and objective one while you are the emotional and subjective one.”

I believed 100% in this. I badly wanted to contradict the popular belief that the One will ‘just come’ and I will fall madly in love with him and I’ll just have to “follow my heart.”

Lies, I tell you.

What is true about catching the One? All you ladies – Independent. Throw your hands up at me.  I’m not referring to the making money and buying my own diamond rings bit of  Destiny’s Child’s independence. I’m talking about the quality of independence in knowing what a girl wants and deserves and working on and for it. 

Why was I like that in my teens already? You can say I was way too busy working on my self-esteem to even think of guys –  let alone welcome a relationship. Now that I look back on those years, I was unconsciously working on myself for him and while I was meeting boys I already started to come up with a formula of  who the One was for me.

I didn’t have 50 boyfriends and I certainly didn’t need to test drive any man to know if we were compatible in a relationship. Neither did I have to party every night to meet men. I never dressed to reveal and shock any man just to catch their attention – if I did, then I probably didn’t know any better.

Here’s my formula. There were only five things that would run through my mind and work on overdrive to analyze a man I would meet for the first time and even more to the guys who were already my friends – granted I was also working on perfecting these qualities myself.

  1. He has a vision of who he wants to be and is trying his best to follow it. He can humble himself to know God and to trust in God’s plans.
  2. He knows how to treat a woman. He knows and shows me what I’m worth. With acquaintances, this means I don’t need to call or text him first and I don’t need to catch his attention any other way other than trying to get to know me as a person.
  3. He teaches me new things and is open to learn new things from me. (this usually comes after being #1 to begin with)
  4. He makes me laugh (not roll my eyes.)
  5. He’s genuine. (just to echo #2)

These qualities are difficult to detect when emotions of wanting that cute guy to like you are in the way. It’s even more difficult to deal with this when he’s desperately trying to be the guy with all those qualities – but is not. This next thing I’m about to say is also rather difficult to do when you’re a teenager and you question your self-esteem day in and day out while in a relationship with a teenage boy.

Here I go.

I made sure, I was not afraid to get disappointed. In short, I never settled. I didn’t mind getting disappointed one guy after the other if I knew there were red alerts pointing to problems, I might encounter in the future if we did end up in a relationship. I was always the forward thinker and in the end was completely disappointed in myself for being way too picky. Eventually I stopped being afraid to get disappointed in myself because I knew I didn’t want to be in a relationship for the sake of being in a relationship — which was sometimes so hard admit.

For a while, I believed that I was a solid rock and had no romantic feelings at all  even when I was slightly considering a possible relationship with a guy. I made sure I didn’t feel any butterflies and rainbows when a guy was so obviously showing his affection towards me. Obviously, I took every relationship – even the hypothetical ones – very seriously.

All for the good.

When the One arrived, I was on my knees in front of God everyday asking Him WHY? Is it him? Is it really him? In the equilibrium of my mind and emotion, God reigned and said: “Well, yeah, aren’t you happy? I want this and I know that this relationship you will have with him for the rest of your life will not just be good for you but the best for you – the both of you to get to Me.” Awesome.

Thank God, God gave us both mind and heart – He lives in both. But see, the great thing about God is He wants us to know before we love and know while we love. That’s why ladies, please, when you love, love more with your head than your heart.

Yup, ditto to the quote below:

ditto

ditto

Young Love, Old Love

I was amused to read this from my friend’s Facebook wall:

Spent today with le Chinese elders… One lady in particular amused me *she’s old and spoke in Chinese*

“Rich?! Who cares about being rich? As long as you live a life that makes you happy, then you are rich! When my eldest son was born, all we could give him was Carnation milk! A little Carnation, mix it with water! Pity! Sometimes, we didn’t always have food, so what did we do?! Did I fight with my husband?! No! I just looked at him and I was happy. We loved each other. He worked hard, and that’s why I didn’t mind the money. Money does not matter. You think money matters? No. Money does not buy you over 60 years of marriage, LOVE does.”BABAM!!!

Love is abound! When has it not been? It’s all the more evident now that the summer revealed its sweltering days. Oh gosh, the heat is insane in the Philippines. I mean, I nursed a headache with coffee this mid-afternoon because of the heat. (I really don’t know why but coffee has that effect on my migraines.) Love is like this immense heat! It affects everyone.

But there’s a quality of love that we long for. It’s the kind of love that lasts forever. I’ve talked about it before in this post and I can’t help but bring it up again in even more anecdotes about old couples. I know that not a person with a heart can resist videos or stories about couples who have been married for 50-80 years and still show how they are madly in love with each other. The quality of their love is so much like good wine and aged cheese that their constancy has made their love so compelling and has gotten journalists to talk about them. The way they have grown together gives their relationship such a distinct personality that compares to no one and at the same time shares the same three-fold meaning of marriage which was that they had children together, between a man and a woman and they are clearly in it for as long as they live – sometimes even beyond the lifetimes of their spouses.

One such story is in this very charming Humans of New York video of Shirley and Moe. Watching this video brought tears to my eyes when I saw Shirley’s look of distant memory as she was trying to explain to the camera about the final days of her husband. With her raspy yet strong voice, she told the camera about the conversation she had with him when she asked “What would I do without you?”

And he gathered up all the energy he could and said: “Take the love you have for me and spread it around. A love spread around there beauty is found.”

I don’t know about you but that’s the kind of stuff that romance script writers rack their brains out to come up with.

Sometimes, these couples were made so much for each other that the world cannot bear to see them separated. That’s exemplified by this headline that reads Married Couple for 70 Years, Die 15 Hours Apart. Many other elderly couples have died the same way throughout all human history.

Everyone wants this kind of love – precisely because we were made from love! On the eve of St. John Paul II and St. John XXIII’s canonization, I would like to quote St. John Paul II’s insightful and understanding perspective on the search for love from his book Crossing the Threshold of Hope:

Young people are always searching for the beauty of love. They want their love to be beautiful. If they give into weakness, following worldly models of behaviour…in the depths of their hearts they still desire a beautiful and pure love.This is as true of boys as it is of girls. Ultimately, they know that only God can give them this love. As a result, they are willing to follow Christ without caring about the sacrifices this may entail.” 

In this quote, I’m particularly moved by how he addresses the youth. I would guess it’s because of our tendency to understand the mystery of life in all its colors – the black, the gray, the white and the mesh of every color. It was his way to tell us that hey, I know what you want, I know it behind your confused eyes. I know it behind the urges of your passionate soul.I know what you want because I wasn’t just in your place. I am still an adolescent well, an old adolescent to be exactly, but I want exactly what you want too. I know where it lies and best of all, He wants us more than we want Him. Please don’t wander off another way because your search will just go awry. I know love in its truest color and it’s more beautiful that your mind can ever imagine…

It’s true. We’re always confused about why things happen. They say you have to go through something life changing to be thrown out of our horses all called pride. They say we have to love ourselves first before we get into any serious relationship. What does that mean exactly? Loving ourselves isn’t the kind the succumbs to comforts and likes 24/7 that this world subscribes to. It starts with the gratefulness of the love we already have.

I realized this after my dad passed away. Although I didn’t understand why it had to happen… I think about him everyday. I sought a father. If not a biological one, I searched for the man who loved me more than I can ever know. I didn’t know it at that time but I met Him everyday when I went to daily mass. There I realized more and more God’s immense love for me. All the good present in my life was made clear amidst the misery of no longer having a father. More than that, I saw God’s intense love for me that through a desperate situation, He asked me to look at and know Him.

Out of all the love stories born out of the heroic elderly couples, the oldest love would be God’s love for us and its constancy is present until this day.

Christian, non-Christian of all colors and races, we all know the power of old love. Even if some of the youth seem to be hopeless, they know the profundity of old love only, they don’t know where to seek it or how – but it’s possible really, I was only sixteen years old when I found that peace, in the oldest love of all.

The Perks of Wearing Sleeves and Other Coverups

This “wardrobe malfunction” is amusing. I’ve heard of toasters, washing machines and computers malfunctioning but a wardrobe or rather an outfit malfunctioning? It’s kind of unreal.  Well in colloquial culture, a wardrobe malfunction occurs when a dress or any other article of clothing reveals parts of a woman that shouldn’t be revealed due to unforeseen circumstances or situations. More often than not, the outfit in itself barely covers up the woman to begin with. To me, no matter what kind of effort the person gets into just to conceal what should be concealed – may it be hours of scotch taping cloth to skin, an outfit just covers up or doesn’t.

To go a bit further, if a woman deliberately steps out of her house in anything that remotely looks like intimates is a malfunction all-together.

This term needn’t be used in the first place we just find and decide to wear clothes that cover up well. But for a woman (like me), oh and in this day and age, it’s difficult to grasp why there even has to be limitations with how much we should wear.

There is a rather metaphysical reason why covering up is the better option when buying clothes. Let me try to explain the overriding idea by telling a simple story.

Here it goes.

In line with my personal effort to be a neater person – not just in my appearance but even with how I take care of my things. I realized that all my things are extensions of myself and my character so if any of my things don’t reflect order or a level of neatness it says a lot about who I am.

So I recently bought a laptop case that looks like a folder from the outside but encases the delicate hardware from the four edges so that I can still be able to work with the sleeve attached. The problem with this case is that its light pink leather dirties easily. I would have to exert extra effort and time just to make sure it remains in its pristine condition. Not only do I carry around with my laptop with its case, I’ve also made sure to bring its place mat along with it everywhere I would take it. It sounds a little bit obsessive compulsive but it makes me think, if I can think of keeping this important hardware clean for it to avoid any malfunctioning… how am I applying the same principle to my soul’s earthly home?

This question leads to very practical answers. There are the Qualities of Modesty that should be avoided: sheerness, lowness, tightness and shortness. But besides these qualities, there are the straightforward Particulars of Modesty:

(1)  Opaque fabric. Sheer fabric is an enemy against covering up, simply because its sole purpose is to be transparent and to act as a visible x-ray to your beautiful body whether it is unintentional or not. When I go through stores, I often put my hand behind a shirt or a skirt to check how opaque the material of a piece of clothing is. There are some sheer pieces that are so cute. I would have to wear an undershirt (spaghetti strap or a tank top – that inherently are not too sheer, low, tight and short).

Another tip is to be aware of how the sheer top paired with the undershirt cling to the body while carrying a bag. It’s a disturbing sight to see the undershirt deforming on a woman while wearing her bag.

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(2)  The Back Side. It’s not worth it to purchase a skirt or a dress that does not have lining. Trust me. I’ve been there. I once wore a brand new skirt out only to get home and find out that that new skirt was revealing the lining of my undies. The thought of how many stares it could have caused makes me cringe. Truth be told, I just forgot about my backside. I forgot that it was important at all. I would think that many women forget about it all the same so, wear lining. Just think, those behind you might just see and know you for just your behind – be decent.

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(3)  Sleeves. What’s wrong with no sleeves? There isn’t anything wrong with sleeveless attires. I was personally all for such a fresh style until very recently. It was when a friend  mentioned that she was discouraging her sisters to wear sleeves. At that point, I was sick and tired of hearing why we shouldn’t be in sleeveless attires. But she pointed out well and clear that when you lift your arms… the arm holes can either give a sneak peek to the side of a woman’s chest or… more. For a carefree person like me, I would rather feel free to move my arms up and down than be the servant of my sleeveless attire. Besides, I have observed more and more the sleeved dresses and blouses exude a lot more elegance than the sleeveless ones because they are more formal than the latter. When the getup is more formal, the more respect the wearer gives to those she encounters within the day.

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Although these restrictions may sound like STOP signs for the stylish ones who can’t let go of their skin, they’re more of GO signals to dress with loving thought of one’s own refinement and are moreover for others.

Admittedly, it’s difficult to reach that healthy mean of “loving” oneself and respecting others since there is deep feminine desire to have this beauty  affirmed of. There are perks to wearing sleeves and other coverups. Let me go through them quickly.

(1) Instead of fussing over what feel good and nice and sometimes even right, why worry about anything? Wearing a good undershirt, skirt lining and sleeves (granted they are well-within the qualities of modesty) will not even allow worry to pass through a woman’s already heavy load of feelings. We have way too many feelings to deal with and why does worrying about our OOTD have to be one of them? Wearing sleeves and other coverups definitely does not need you to worry about anything.

(2) There are two luxuries on earth: money and time and these modest particulars save both of them. How? First of all, because you don’t have to worry about anything, your time for worrying is cut short. You also end up saving from buying any sort of adhesive or new piece of coverup clothing if you are already well-covered.

(3) This is by far my favorite point. The best perk to wearing sleeves and other coverups is that it’s incredibly stylish and fashionable – more so than wearing less. Like I said earlier, wearing more brings your look and others’ perception of you to a higher level of refinement especially if you are styled very well. I’ve never had to be distracted by an unprecedented show of skin when I dine with a well-dressed person and I’d like to do the same for others.

 

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