Thursday, October 29, 2009

My Voodoo Dolls

Ate came home the other night. She brings Christmas with her whenever she comes home. She brings us all these gifts, takes us to restos almost every night, and pays for our out-of-town vacations. I have serious doubts whether I'm going to be that generous if and when I ever get that rich. Hahaha.

On top of Yoshi's PSP and the Batman and Cookie Monster and Play Doh and 60 million other toys of the boys, plus Ches' gigantic Reese's box, I got the usual lovely Hello Kitty stuff, VS lingerie, make-up, bag, slippers, year-long supply of chocolate, toiletries and canned goods. The run-away winner this year for me tho is my Disney Princess dolls.

There are seven of them – Ariel, Mulan, Princess Jasmine, Snow White, Belle, Cinderella and Princess Aurora – and each is exquisitely made, with their sparkling hair and eyes, satiny dresses, delicate shoes. (Ironically, tho, Cinderella's right glass slipper doesn't seem to fit and keeps falling off.) They're the size of Barbie, and I love that they're not all the same height, that the non-Caucasians Mulan and Princess Jasmine are shorter and more petite in their built. Ariel is the smallest tho, in height and features. Princess Aurora is disturbingly tall, and her face is also much bigger than the other girls'. So I text my sis: Princess Aurora is so tall and big, she looks like a bakulaw next to the other princesses. Her reply: Maybe she's a transvestite! Hahaha.

I put them up beside my Ashton Drake ballerina and bride. I report to Randy that I finally have my long-awaited Disney Princesses and they're every bit as beautiful as we imagined them to be. I told him about the dolls around the time we were fixing up the house, and he knew instantly that they were going to be so special that even then he was already thinking of where we could put them. (This is why Randy is one of my best friends ever. He knows the deepest, darkest recesses of my heart. He's the same guy who let me keep my old, old Barbie dolls, even when Mom herself was badgering him to make me throw them out already.)

I do realize I am too old for this kind of thing, and not to mention, I am more the villain Ursula/Cruella/Maleficent type rather than the heroine/princess type. It would be so much more consistent with my character if I collected voodoo dolls instead. But how can anyone resist a thing of beauty like the Disney Princesses? How can anyone ever outgrow them? (Which brings to mind that time when this mommy in the office saw my Hello Kitty purse, and she told me her daughters also went thru a Hello Kitty phase but that they have outgrown it. I asked her how old her daughters were, and she said 6 and 8. Groan. I should've known not to ask. In fact, I should just shut up for the rest of my life.)

These dolls are proof that I am loved. It's like when someone's really evil and everybody hates her, but then you find out she has this nice bag or something that was given to her by a cousin or whoever, and you realize that, for somebody to love her that much to get her something really nice, she might not be such a bad person, after all, and she might have some saving grace left in her yet. So then you think twice before dismissing this person as a total loser. And this is exactly what the dolls are going to do for me – show off to everybody that I am loved and may not be all that bad. (And I love you back, Ate! I love you forever. And not only because of the dolls =)

I read that we should get rid of anything that is not useful, joyful or beautiful. For useful, I have my family and friends (hahaha). For joyful, I have my three boys. For beautiful, I have my Disney Princess dolls.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Tale of the Non-Pregnant Waitress

Regina and I had lunch in Serendra the other day. I noticed that our waitress was pregnant, and was happy that Regina left a generous tip. To my credit, I did ask him whether the waitress was in fact pregnant, and he confirmed it. (Yes, Regina is male. He's Ches' best buddy in his former office. I call him Regina bcoz he can be such a girl sometimes. Long story.)

On our way out of the resto, the waitress stood by the doorway with a big smile. And me, I try to be friendly with everybody as usual, so I rub her distended belly and say, “For good luck”. She looked at me all confused and kind of ... violated.

Three steps away from the resto:

R: “Wtf?! That wasn't the pregnant waitress!”
Me: “Yes, she was! She had a big tummy!”
R: “She was just fat! The pregnant waitress was inside!”

Groan. It was one of those times where your only glimmer of hope of saving yourself from further embarrassment is for the ground to open up and swallow you whole.

It's not like this is my first pregnancy-related blooper. To be completely honest, this is not even just the second.

The first time was at Rhoel's passing-the-Bar blow-out party, where Ches and I were one of the first guests to arrive and I was forced to make small talk with this girl from law school who's been married a long time and who looked to me like she got pregnant since the last time I saw her. I asked her not only once, not only twice, but a grand total of three times whether she was pregnant. And by the third time she had gotten so pissed off at me that she ended up shouting at the top of her lungs: “HINDI. AKO. BUNTIS!!!” (Check out my Blooper Girls blog in 2005 for further details.)

Groan. That remains as one of the scariest moments of my life.

The second blooper involved another UP familiar fixture who was pregnant the last time I saw her. She still had a big tummy when I saw her again, so me, ever the ditzy girl, I asked her: “Kelan ka manganganak?” And she replied, with nary a smile on her (still chubby) face: “Nanganak na ko three months ago.”

Groan. I suicide (as Regina and his gang like to say).

Regina, Ches and I cannot stop laughing whenever we talk about this latest tale of the non-pregnant waitress. I accuse Ches of falling in love with me all over again because of this. He calls it another Jewel classic. He shakes his head and says: Only you, Jo. This could've happened only to you.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Packing in the Palace

It just so happened that Ches works in the palace and his office was tasked to oversee the relief operations for typhoon Ondoy victims. So I tagged along and did what I could.

The first time, it was putting noodles, sardines, crackers and water purifier into bags filled with rice. I didn't even know until then that there was such a thing as water purifier. Not all bags got all of the items. Some had only rice, water and sardines, others had rice, 2 packs of noodles, 2 packs of crackers, depending on what was still available from the boxes of relief goods the Army and DSWD guys were guarding outside Kalayaan Hall. It was sad thinking of the calamity victims who would get less items in their bags.

The president's daughter was there that first night, together with one of the daughters-in-law. One of Ches' friends (who shall not be named for his own safety and well-being) called the event packing in the palace with the president's daughter. Hahaha.

Another time it was packing rice with wives of the presidential security group. They were loud and wild, that group. Somebody was shamelessly flirting with one of the hunky cops carrying the sacks of rice. Another was giving a blow-by-blow account of the time she joined Wowowee, back when the game was still Pera o Bayong. She remembered every single detail – from the date to the multiple choices to the colors of the multiple choices. She chose green, letter C, and was booted out.

Every so often someone would worry about how they were all going to get home, considering it was already late at night and they had no ride from the palace. But then when one woman called their barangay leader or something to send them a ride, everyone protested bcoz it was only 9 PM and they should stay and pack until at least midnight. Someone even suggested they should stay until 4 AM, so when they get home it will be time to cook breakfast for the family already.

I'm so not worthy.

Another time I quietly packed sardines (two green and two red cans per pack) in Heroes' Hall with two nuns who were nice to me and amirably did not comment on my halter top. (Isn't that so me - the one time I show up in a non-corporate, not exactly decent attire, and it had to be the time when I get to work with the religious sect. Groan.) They have been there the whole day, and promised to come back the following day, assuming they could still stand up. (Hahaha. I love religious people with a sense of humor.) When they left, I was joined by the usual students from CEU, San Beda, PUP, UST, etc.

Oh, it's not all the good deeds it is hyped up to be. Relief bags are labeled either regular or premium. The premium bags contain more stuff - more rice, more canned goods, with mats and blankets to boot. These are the bags that would go with her who-shall-not-be-named when she visits the evacuations centers and personally distributes the relief goods. How seriously sick was the person who thought of squeezing media and voter mileage out of an exercise that is supposed to be all pure and noble. Tsk tsk tsk.

On the bright side, it was heartening to see that one week after the whole relief operations started in the palace, the boxes of goods were ever taller, and volunteers - mostly students - continued to swarm the place even after the schools re-opened. And I always got my kicks out of watching serious-looking military types carrying sacks of rice on their heads or backs or shoulders with no hands.

My back hurts and I still can't sit properly on my butt and I have blisters on my hands from tying up 60 million plastic bags and I got allergies from the rice mites or whatever they are. But gosh, it was the least I could have done and I did so little in the grand scheme of things.