My version of Ted’s 17 voice messages

If a picture paints a thousand words then my uncle firmly believes that a video clip can paint a thousand pictures.

Being a file-freak, I almost always have a high resolution copy of our pictures and videos from the past so when a friend asked me to give her a copy, I gladly obliged. Even though the pictures were enough to induce a fit of nostalgia, I couldn’t help but play some of the videos while browsing the folders (to delete any unnecessary selfies).

First video. Unfamiliar song. My friends are singing (well those who knew the lyrics are). Basing on the angle of the video, I’m lying on the bed. Then R put a pillow on my face while jokingly saying “do you wanna die?”. Everyone started wrestling on top of me and it feels like I’m the one who has the ball during an American Football game. The video ends with everyone laughing.

Second video. The music playing is Parokya ni Edgar’s Silvertoes. It was so funny. We all sing “Siguro nga naman ay may mga mas pangit pa sa’yo…” while simultaneously jumping. Everyone is having a good time. Someone asked, “Hindi ba tayo naririnig dito?” to which I answered “rinig na rinig”. But the owner of the place assured, “ok lang yan”.

Third video is another couple of seconds of laughter and singing and generally fun.

Fourth video. The song playing is “Teach Me How to Dougie”. We changed the lyrics to “Teach Me How To Nose-y” teasing one friend who apparently has bigger-than-normal nose. Everyone was witty and contributing their share of adlib lyrics. This is the most hilarios I’m literally laughing out loud just watching it. And then towards the end of the video, the owner of the place shouted “hoy magwalis naman muna nga kayo” (because apparently, we are sleepy but I remember not hitting the bed till 3 AM).

The voice behind the camera replied, “Wag na bukas na. T*NGINA naman eh”.

The way the cuss word was said is so crisp and full of conviction.

I am dumbfounded…because I recognize the voice to be mine.

It’s uttered in a way that my parents would not have believed in a million years that it was me. Heck, up to now, as I am writing this post, I still have a hard time believing that’s how I sound when I curse (because I am aware that I drop bad words here and there). Maybe I have this delusion that the way I say these things are so mild they appear harmless, just the usual words that come out of the mouth of a 21 year-old lady.

But no, it’s the same (if not worse) than when I hear high school students and even younger children embellish their sentences with a million curses and words they are ignorant on the real meanings of.

I watch other videos from other dates and the reality of my carelessness punched me hard in the gut.

Even the way I say “Tanga” sounded unreal. It embarrasses me. It embarrasses me because my parents didn’t raise me that way. I did not learn from them. The closest I’ve heard my father curse is an unfinished “Gago”, able to stop himself even before uttering the second syllable.

There’s even one where we make fun of a friend because of his religion (i.e. “You Fucking *insert religion here*”) and maybe, in our drunken state, it was entertaining. But seeing the videos now, I can’t help but instinctively cover my eyes and refuse to hear. To no avail of course because it will not change the scene playing before me, the scene that I have watched a couple of times and worse, the scene where I am one of the eager participants.

These are videos that are generally or supposedly funny but I’m not laughing (Well sometimes I still do but something stains the experience).

Oh my God! Is that video still playing? I’m so ashamed of myself”, I hear myself musing in one of the files and watching it now, the feeling couldn’t be any truer.

I’m torn between deleting every trace of them but then, you can’t really erase anything completely in this world. Besides, removing their existence might make me lax since I might kid myself into thinking they never happened. So I decided to just save a copy. At least, just in case I want a reminder of how embarrassing I can become and as a motivation on why I want to improve and be better, I can always re-watch them and re-visit the horror.

It’s just weird because I don’t remember being that. Mine were generally fond and wholesome memories.

What if? What if we tailor these clips from our past to our liking? Maybe. Maybe we either consciously or unconsciously remove the negative things so that when we recall about a certain night or a certain party, all we have are the kind which makes us nostalgic. So it’s nice to be reminded of how we really acted complete with solid proof.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t regret the things I did and the words I spoke (well, a little but hey, let us not start to regret regret shall we?) and I sure as hell still believe that those nights were “hella fun”. It’s just that I want to act more properly the next time. What’s the purpose of experience if we don’t learn from them right?

All of this hullabaloo reminds me of an HIMYM episode. In it, Ted went out with Barney on St. Patrick’s Day with the thought of “No Tomorrow”, acting as if it was their last night on earth. He wakes up at home the next morning with a black eye and very fond memories, happily narrating to Marshall the events of the previous night. However, Marshall is far from impressed and he reveals that Ted had accidentally pocket-dialed his phone the whole time. Seventeen voice messages were played and they reminded Ted of how he abandoned his date at the door, ordered champagne on another person’s bar tab and wanted to sleep with a woman with no intention of seeing her again (all while extremely drunk). Ashamed of his behavior, Ted thanks Marshall for confronting him with the hard truth.

Just like what the Narrator Ted said, “Some things you don’t notice until they’re pointed out, but once you notice it, you can’t not notice it.

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