I think it was in 2011 when my former housemate introduced me to the phrase ‘dedma to the world.’ It has been one of my guiding ‘philosophies’ ever since.
Perhaps the millennial equivalent of this concept is “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck” by Mark Manson.
But what is ‘deadma’?
Jessica Zafra, in her Deadma 101 post, describes deadma as the attenuated form of the English words dead malice. Dead malice, in turn, is the literal translation of the Filipino term patay malisya. Zafra further states the term can have different meanings:
- To completely ignore/feign ignorance of the existence/presence of someone/something, e.g. Dinedma ni Inday Badiday si Kris Aquino. Dinedma ni FVR si Pavarotti.
- To snub, reject, or toss in the trash, e.g. Dededmahin ni Angara ang unicameralism bill ni De Venecia.
- To pretend deafness or blindness in order to escape a sticky situation, e.g. When Vina saw Robin with the mother of his children, dedma siya.
The classifications of dedma
Dedma, according to Zafra, has three calssifications:
Accidental. Sometimes, without meaning to, one applies this useful skill. This occurs through sheer absent mindedness, naivety, natural ignorance, or failure to put on one’s contact lenses or hearing aid before leaving the house.
Practical. There are occasions when the best way to deal with a problem is to pretend it doesn’t exist. On such occasions the practical thing is to practice the art of dedma.
Malicious. Ignore the oxymoron: dedma may also be used to inflict pain. When properly wielded, it implies that words are useless, explanations are futile, and you had better get out of my face before I have the guards drag you out.
Dedma-ing the world
The world is a harsh place. In the midst of this harshness is where you develop your own way to cope. While some people deal with the world head on, introverts like me would rather ignore things and let things be. By doing so, the time and the energy can be used for better, attention-worthy things.
Why bring this up?
Let me tell you a story. In that same year, I met a guy whom I thought was charming and affable. We hit it off quite well. We hung out after work, and we have also been intimate. It wasn’t hard not to fall, but it took me some time. I really thought he was the one.
A few months after, we stopped communicating. Rather, he did. I found out that he was in a relationship that is too complicated to explain. In short, we haven’t spoken that much in over a decade. So, it came as a surprise when he contacted me early this year. He said that the relationship was over.
We did meet but nothing happened. We were getting along quite well again, or so I thought. Our chats became far and few in between. I tried to understand that he was still hurting from the break up, therefore I gave him space. But he knows what I feel for him.
Recently though, on his Facebook post, I saw him together with this not-so-likeable chubby guy. The problem with that is I have anonymously chatted with NSL guy around four years ago. I concluded that he likes younger guys, like the twinky barely legal ones. Honestly, I can’t fathom how could they have liked each other, but it wasn’t my business anymore.
I decided then and there to cut off all ties with the guy that I liked.
I guess it’s futile to pine for someone who barely acknowledges you. I have also learned to accept that I’m not physically his type. As the song goes, “I’m not the one you needed.” He needed someone to make him feel good and pretty, which I cannot. That’s not who I am.
And so I say, dedma to him and dedma to the world. I’ve recently removed him from my friends list. Surprisingly it felt good. I hid all the photos and the chat we had deep into my files. I don’t want anything to remind me of him anymore. It’s actually liberating.
That chapter is closed, and there’s no going back. This post may have answered some questions of my friends.
Listen to the podcast episode here.