, October 21, 2021

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Thank You, John Travolta


  •   2 min reads
Thank You, John Travolta

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash


‘This morning, like all mornings, I woke up greeted by the sun and the usual reminder from my internal stoplight - Stop. Breathe. Slowly stand up from the bed and stagger to the bathroom’

By Toots Ople

Remember those days when John Travolta had lots of hair and would strut like a drunk peacock with greasy hair to the tune of “Staying Alive”?

Way before that, remember when he lived in a plastic bubble because germs would kill him and yet, somehow, he still managed to find love?

In more recent times, remember when John the hunk transformed himself to an adorable singing chubby mommy with a philandering hubby in “Hairspray”?

Of course, Travolta has done more films that were too violent for my taste. His high school sweetheart, “Sandy”, would certainly disapprove of him taking hostages or switching faces.

This is where I go to, wandering about my memory bank, while trying to endure another quarantine day. Thinking of old, favorite movies bring me back to the more carefree days of youth, when I could eat popcorn slathered in butter without guilt, or play basketball and volleyball with kids my age.

I recall the clothes I wore, a red shirt with sequined elephant design combined with checkered pants that were so comfortable.

There’s a reason why we keep referring to the past as the “good, old days.” In those good, old days, we were younger versions of our arthritic selves. We’d wake up, spring to action, and jog our way. Today, we try our best to keep still and jog our memories.

This morning, like all mornings, I woke up greeted by the sun and the usual reminder from my internal stoplight - Stop. Breathe. Slowly stand up from the bed and stagger to the bathroom.

Do I sound like growing old is depressing? Well, it kinda is, but here are the upsides.

John Travolta did lose his hair but gained two private planes in his driveway.

I, on the other hand, recently lost a breast to cancer but gained a new appreciation for life and how much it matters. No private planes except metaphysical ones.

To young people reading this, I say don’t let timidity get in the way of creating as many fun and loving memories as you can.

To people my age reading this, I ask, which Travolta movie did you like the most?

In the end, we are our memories. And, memories have no curfew.


Susan Ople or "Toots" to her friends writes a weekly column for BusinessMirror. She also heads the Blas F. Ople Policy Center, an NGO that helps distressed OFWs. She was recently appointed as a Trustee of the UN Voluntary Trust Fund to Help Victims of Human Trafficking. She is also active in raising awareness about breast cancer, as one of its more recent survivors. Toots is the youngest daughter of former Senator Blas Ople.


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