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My cousin is the closest I have to a best friend.  We have been classmates from nursery to high school, parting ways only when we studied in different universities and led different career paths.  Up to now, he visits my house whenever he can to play only games on my brother’s computer.  We update each other about our lives and support each other as best as we can.  Occasionally we have misunderstandings and conflicts, but these usually don’t last long.

The greatest surprise he has ever pulled out for me took place last year.  He asked me where I wanted to dine with our high school buddies on a Saturday night.  I mentioned Little Tokyo in Makati, and he agreed.  The night before the scheduled dinner, I felt depressed and informed him that I planned to stay home instead.  He insisted that I tag along, adding that the rest of our friends had agreed to show up there.  What kind of get-together won’t allow me to back out? I thought.  I quickly figured out that the dinner was a belated birthday celebration for me.

I had fun with my cousin and buddies at Izakaya Kikifuji that night.  We shared authentic Japanese food with one another and exchanged stories.  Then someone set the cake on the table.  Everyone sang Happy Birthday, and I blew the candles.  At the end of the dinner, my friends said good-bye.

Strong rains kept me and my cousin from going home immediately, so we passed time by sharing a bowl of kakigori (shaved ice).  He asked me why I had deactivated my Facebook account.  I told him I was suffering from Facebook envy.  He replied that this phenomenon is more normal than I think.  He said that our friends wondered what happened to me when my birthday came and they couldn’t see my profile on Facebook. I realized that I made others worry about me and that I’ll be missed if I disappear in their lives.

A few days later, I reactivated my Facebook profile and posted photos of our dinner.  This time, when I viewed my friends’ vacation photos and get-togethers, the Facebook envy no longer triggered.  Thanks to my cousin, I now had my own photos to remind me of the people who care about me.

P.S. If I were to win the BDJ Women’s Month challenge and receive a spare ticket, I’ll pay the good deed forward by inviting him to watch the Bruno Mars Moonshine Jungle concert with me.

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