Manners & Misdemeanors
Dear Truly Rich Lady: On Dating, the Joys of Singlehood, And Dealing with Legendary Exes
Should you call your ex? Should you choose between love or money? What's good about being single?
ILLUSTRATOR Rachelle Reyes
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Dear Truly Rich Lady,

Today, Valentine’s Day, I am going to wear my tightest jeans, place my iPhone in my back pocket, and move around a lot. It won’t be my fault if my butt accidentally dials my ex’s number. I should then talk to him because it is only polite. Good idea?

Bad idea. I mean, do you really want to put your cheek against that phone, knowing the dirty place it has been and the dirty thing it has done? But knowing you, you probably won’t mind, and I understand completely. Valentine’s, Christmas, your birthday, and random Tuesdays can bring out a terrible loneliness that often leads to an even more terrible desperation that is known as The Embarrassing Phone Call. I just hope that—once you’ve finished the call, in which he, bewildered and unamused, brushes you off—you finally realize how far you have fallen. I suggest partaking in the combination of chicken, Reese Witherspoon in both Legally Blondes and several vodka cocktails, and buying a sensible pair of pants to get out of your funk.

Dear Truly Rich Lady,

Should I choose between love or money? Can't I have both?

Well, the answer depends on your station. The hypothetical Truly Rich Lady, for example, is so financially liquid that she glides across life aboard a giant paper sailboat made of money. She does not need anything material. What she needs is someone who will accompany her on her voyage, sing her a sweet song come nightfall, and hold her hand in case the police come after her, because according to the Central Bank of the Philippines, transforming legal tender into a life-size boat is punishable by law.

What I’m trying to say is: What good is fortune if you can’t use it to have a good time? What good is a fat bank account if you can’t share it with someone you love? What good is a thick wad of paper bills if you can’t use it to sail into the sunset with your significant other? But if you don’t have any money, my lawyer, personal fortune-teller, and mother would advise you to choose cash over any prince. It is, after all, king.

Dear Truly Rich Lady,

I have an honest question: What’s good about being single?

I have an honest answer: very few things, at least for me. First, the bad: I don’t have anyone to accompany me to the movie theater. I don’t have an excuse to order three main courses at the restaurant. I don’t have a reason to dress up. And I don’t have anyone to drive me around in case my chauffeur is sick. Now, the good: I can finally watch whichever film I want without considering someone else’s taste or enjoyment. I have learned that it’s okay, even pleasant, to dine out alone. I don’t have a reason to dress up. And I hired a backup chauffeur.

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Dear Truly Rich Lady,

I really want to get back in the saddle. How do I accomplish this?

Well, you drive up to the ranch, have Missy Miss Demeanor saddled, and then, in one smooth motion, place your left foot in the stirrup and swing the other leg over. Don’t forget to use your abdominal muscles to hoist yourself onto the seat. And then ride, ride. Oh, wait, you mean dating. Well, everything that I just said also applies. Just change horse into man. As in: You get out of your house, approach the man that you fancy, and then, with a coy smoothness, talk to him. Don’t forget to pull your tummy in as much as you can when you do this. And then ride, ride.

Dear Truly Rich Lady,

My BFF reports that my ex has landed in Manila. I am afraid that I will run into him. I am very afraid.

Are you really afraid? I bet on my ability to create the perfect whiskey cocktail that you have already picked out seven outfits for the seven days that he will be here, figured out the exact moment when your paths will cross (while talking to Professor Plum, in the conservatory, with a candlestick), and have memorized the literary zinger to drop on him like a bomb: “I come here with no expectations, only to profess, now that I am at liberty to do so, that my heart is and always will be yours.”

I will now throw cold water on your plans for a dramatic reunion. The best course of action when dealing with an ex is to remember the three Gs: gracious, grateful, and good. As in: “Hello, Ex. I am happy to see that you are well. Thank you for everything. Goodbye.” Dispel all illusions that you and he will have some kind of epiphany that will quiet your heartache or, better yet, bring the two of you back together again. He is probably over it (that’s why he hasn’t called you in months). Lightning doesn’t strike the same place twice. 

Dear Truly Rich Lady,

We just broke up. Any good songs to recommend that will soothe my sorrow.

Confession: I am a secret fan of the musical stylings of someone called Beyoncé Knowles Carter. Her dipped-in-honey voice has told the story of my romance, from when I first fell “Dangerously in Love” with my Legendary Ex to when I had the first inkling of something fishy and had to “Ring the Alarm.” Between her second and fifth albums, we got back together, but then I became “Jealous.” This one line in the bridge, “I hate you for your lies and your covers,” still gets me, and how I wish I were Bey, in her crimson Burberry vinyl trench coat, running toward Jay at the end of her music video. To this day, I cannot listen to “XO” because the happiness it expresses is just unbearable. I also don’t have the courage to really mean the words in “Sorry.” Anyway, cue up the CD player. If that doesn’t heal your soul (are you a robot?), at least you will be dancing.

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If you have an etiquette question, please send an e-mail to C.C. Coo at [email protected].  

 

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