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The Gonzalez method

By BARBARA GONZALEZ- VENTURA, The Philippine STAR Published Jun 06, 2021 5:00 am

This week began normally. I sat in my workroom making rosaries quietly. Then the next day, my brain packed up and left. I tried to make rosaries. Failed. So I went and watched Netflix all day.

See, last Monday I discovered The Kominsky Method, a lovely series about an old man, played by Michael Douglas, who teaches wannabe actors how to act and his best friend, an even older man (he’s 80) played by Alan Arkin, who is a casting agent, whose wife dies of cancer in the second episode.

I discovered this accidentally the day before when I decided to lie down, stretch my back after making rosaries virtually all day and watch Netflix. I had seen The Kominsky Method on my screen but never felt attracted to it like I was last Monday. I decided to check it out and found it utterly delightful.

It’s the story of two old, male best friends and basically how they handle their lives. Arkin has a 45-year-old daughter whom he has enrolled in rehab centers because of drugs and alcohol. He also has a grandson who is a Scientologist. He lives in a big house with a swimming pool, where once they think his daughter Phoebe is drowning, so they rush in to save her. She gets upset because she says she’s just floating. “With your face down?” Alan Arkin shouts. I laughed out loud.

Douglas, whose character’s surname is Kominsky, has an overweight daughter whose boyfriend is a retired (also overweight) teacher who wears his long white hair in a ponytail, and is close to her father’s age.

It’s a wonderful comedy series about what life is like for people today. I find it funny but also very familiar because my husband and I are their age and they talk about the things we talk about. Maybe that’s why I watched it all day —  I mean, to the point where Netflix asked, “Are you still watching?” and I had to fumble around to press the button that said, “Yes!”

I mean, I was watching it for a long time. I finished the first series and I think I must be more than halfway through the second series. But I don’t think I have time to watch any part of it today. Maybe that one day I spent just watching a series that highlighted the differences between generations in a way that made me laugh was just to prepare me for today, which I have to call my heartbreak day.

If you are a brilliant annulment lawyer, text me your credentials and how Annie can get in touch with you. Please do a good job because this is a very pretty girl who really needs your help. She is my goddaughter.

There I sat, making my rosaries, when my cellphone rang. It was an old dear friend who I had not heard from in maybe 30 years. “I found your phone number in your column,” she said. “Do you have a landline?” I gave it to her. She rang back immediately. 

“You have to help me,” she said.

“Why? Are you in trouble?” I asked, wondering, because we’re the same age, more or less. What kind of trouble could she possibly get herself into?

“It’s your goddaughter,” she said.

“Annie?” I said (though that’s not her real name.) “Why? Isn’t she married already?”

“Well, she was,” my friend sighed. “But apparently her husband has been fooling around, has more children with another woman than with her, has been mean to her all this time. So now she wants to get out of the marriage but she doesn’t know what to do. I told her I would ask you.”

“Are they still living together?” I asked.

“No, he apparently moved out. But is that enough? I don’t think that’s enough,” my friend said. “I think they should get an annulment. That’s why I called you. Do you know any good annulment lawyers?” she asked.

“Annulment lawyers,” I said. “Wait, let me think.” My ex-husband once invited me to breakfast and told me he wanted to get married again but needed to annul our marriage first. I told him to take care of the legal annulment — everything, including the payment. He did, and we got it, but I didn’t know his lawyer’s name. I used to gang around with a lot of annulment lawyers when I was much younger, but I think they’re all retired now. I thought for a while longer.

Then suddenly, I knew.

I could write about it — ask for a brilliant annulment lawyer who handles all matters, especially custody and support. And if I get any answers, I will forward them to Annie.

So that’s what this column is. If you are a brilliant annulment lawyer, text me your credentials and how Annie can get in touch with you. Please do a good job because this is a very pretty girl who really needs your help. She is my goddaughter.

I wonder if my Kominsky Method addiction was preparing me for this.