Archive for February, 2009


did i ever tell you about the time i had a secret admirer?

23 February 2009

Picture it: Los Angeles, CA circa 1992. I was 15 years old (or 16?) and I had just started my sophomore (or was it freshman?) year at this tiny private school called Pilgrim. Population: 640 students. From kindergarten to the 12th grade! Almost everyone in school already knew each other and I was still the “new girl” for the most part. I was still getting acclimated.

So this school had a Valentine’s Day tradition (or was it Christmas? I really can’t remember the details anymore) of having “secret admirers.” That is, you participate in putting your name in this pot of sorts, then people pick your name and they have to give you small gifts for that week, culminating in a big present on Valentine’s Day itself. Unbeknowst to me, this guy who was a senior purposely picked my name and started giving me gifts. Most people got your run-of-the-mill Valentine’s Day gifts. You know, balloons or candy or whatnot. I, on the other hand, got some very interesting and lavish gifts.

I remember one day, I got a big-arse basket of Sanrio goodies (Sanrio, as you know, makes Hello Kitty, etc.) I was not a Sanrio girl as most of the school knows. I usually wore all black clothing and was dubbed a “goth” (and by some not so nice people, a “poseur”), so me getting a basket of Sanrio goodies was a bit strange. I remember giving a lot the items away, though I did keep a pencil box and I remember covering it with stickers of the bands that I liked.

On another day, I got a dozen roses. I have never before in my life, gotten any bouquet of flowers from anyone so that was a rare treat. I was very embarrassed but secretly flattered. I still didn’t know who it was from and I had liked to think that they came from my boyfriend (oh yeah, I had a steady boyfriend at the time who knew I was getting these insane gifts), but I knew they weren’t from him. I wish they were though!

On the last day of the gift-giving extravaganza, I got a gold bracelet. Come to think of it, I may still have it somewhere. It came in a nice velvet box all wrapped up.

By then, everyone else in the school knew who my secret admirer was, and they told me. His own younger sister told me although I didn’t quite belive it! It turned out to be this boy named Yun Kim –he was the editor-in-chief of the yearbook (or was it the newspaper? Again, I don’t remember), and an all-around decent guy. I think he was on the football team as well and he was definitely the in the Top 5% of his class. (Since our school is so small, the students are well-rounded in that the valedictorian and football quarterback and drama star are often one and the same person; no typecasting here).

I knew Yun Kim had an “interest” in me, but I was definitely not interested in him and he knew it. I told him about my existing relationship many times. He had already talked to me over the phone here and there and had already invited me to all sorts of platonic outings (although I think we both knew they would be considered “dates”). We did go to see a band before –I told him I liked this band called Lush and he got me tickets. He even went so far as to come to my house and talk to my parents about taking me to this show because I told him my parents were super-strict. They gave me permission to go! And let me tell you, this was a rarity! I think my parents knew that I wasn’t into him that way!

So of course at the end of the week, he told me that he had been giving me these gifts. I asked him why he had been so extravagant. He was honest with me, and said that he had feelings for me. He said he hadn’t met someone in a long time, and that he was attracted to me and though I was special because I was so smart, intuitive, pretty, sweet, etc…He said he could always have an intelligent conversation with me. And no, I’m not tooting my own horn, he really said that! I really didn’t know what to say except that I was very flattered he thought of me that way, but that I was going out with somebody already and we were very committed to each other. And that was the truth. (My high school boyfriend and I met in early 1991, and broke up in 1996 –so that’s a pretty long time).

He said he understood, and that he though he could show me how strongly he felt about me by giving me all these gifts. I offered to return the bracelet but he declined and said to keep it. Afterwards, we never really talked to each other anymore and then a few months later, he graduated from high school. I think he ended up going to either UC Berkeley or UCLA.

When I remembered this incident, I googled him and found out that he works for Enron in San Francisco, CA.

I bet he won’t remember this incident at all.

* * * * *

On Friday, I’m flying to Los Angeles, which I consider my second home. As most people know from this blog, I grew up there. I lived there from 1989 to 1995 and that’s where my family first moved to after leaving the Philippines. I have a lot of acquaintances there, and most of my high school friends still live there. A trip back there always triggers a bit of nostalgia.

I won’t be there that long –only for the weekend (I won’t be bringing the kids and I won’t be able to stand being away from them that long) and I’m trying to see as many people as possible! If you’re in the area, and you want to meet up, let me know!