For All the Lives You Lead


An advertisement for a cellular phone struck me when I saw it because of its claims of superior multitasking capabilities. As an eternally restless kid, I thrive on carrying multiple roles that require results in rapid succession.

One time, I was eerily reminded of the ad. It happened on a Saturday morning, which was not my sharpest time of the day and of the week. I had to attend a seminar at the law school, and I was specifically told to wear business attire as my picture will be taken for the Faculty ID card. So I took out my favorite power suit, blow-dried my hair, and carefully applied makeup.

I always store workout clothes in the car just in case Nike the goddess of fitness decides to descend upon me and motivate me to do some rounds in UP campus. Workout clothes, Skechers walking shoes, check. Check.

I was going to meet my friends at Mr. Jones after the seminar so I packed casual weekend clothes as well. I was going on my first round of Christmas bazaars so I packed my updated 2009 Gift List too.

I also keep a spare pair of flip-flops in the car for floods, pedicures, and other eventualities.

I zoomed from Quezon City to Makati and miraculously made it on time. When I got to the Lyceum parking area, I stopped the car, and as had been my practice since ruining two perfect leather shoes early this year due to driving, reached for my black pumps to replace my Crocs. To my shock, my shoe bag was not where it was supposed to be. It was inside the bag containing my Saturday shopping clothes. Both bags were, unbelievably left in my bedroom.

In my haste and confusion, I arrived in business attire from head to… above the foot. I pictured myself entering the august halls of the LPU library, with my colleagues admiring my corporate appropriateness, eyeing me from head to… Crocs! I panicked. I contacted all my friends in the general Makati area, and at 8 a.m. on a Saturday, I knew I must have deprived some of their beauty sleep. I needed office shoes that would fit my feet and my outfit, and I repeatedly banged my head (lightly) on the car window for my stupidity. All the Crocs, Skechers, and Havaianas in the world could not fill my need at the moment.

Finally one of my BFFs woke up and generously offered to lend me a shirt (for later) and the requisite shoes. Thank God she’s almost my size. I would have worn a size 7.0 if that was the only pair available. I had to drive to Taguig to fetch the loaned goods, however, and thus missed the first part of the seminar. My priorities showed, but shoes complete the outfit!

Later, I credited this confusion to my desire to lead many lives. I had two jobs and three phones, two home computers and an office computer, multiple email addresses and blogs, a virtual life and a real life. I realized that I had to pull myself together and be consistent, since perfection was obviously unattainable.

A high – profile lawyer told me a couple of days later that she left her heels at home and was grateful she had left her weekend shopping shoes in the car, and that they happened to be black. The shoes went well with her suit and I complimented her for it. I did not tell her of my similar, in fact worse, experience. But I had to smile that I was not alone in making that mistake. The only problem is: she’s about thirty (30) years older than me.

I therefore conclude that this multitasking thing is speeding up my aging process. I had better get grounded and organized. Soon.

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