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This morning, I got a call from my mother, in Gubat:

     "Did you see the news? Nag-erupt na ang Bulusan!"

     "I'm doing the shopping, ma. Hasn't it been erupting for the past few months na?"

     "Well, yes, but it BLEW UP!"

     "WHAT?! Crap! Does this mean our flight this Wednesday's cancelled?"

     "Don't worry, the wind's blowing the other way -- but WE CAN SEE THE MUSHROOM CLOUD FROM HERE!"


     "Ooooh! Tita Betsy took pictures!"
wheresmycow: (sarcastic)
Pam Pastor's little rant column "The next person who asks me when I'm getting married will get punched in the face" posted in the Inquirer this afternoon was quite interesting and illuminating, not just for its content but also for the varied responses to its content. In it, she describes in horrifically accurate detail what single women like myself are subjected to, not just during the holidays, but during almost every single family gathering.

I am, like Pam, also 30 (okay, 31) and not even the fact that I have two older unmarried sisters can insulate me from the inevitable questions and the consequent looks of pity. Just this past Christmas, at one of those aforesaid family gatherings, I was just sitting on the couch minding my own business when one of my older cousins sidled up and whispered, "O, ikaw, kailan ka naman ikakasal?" ("So, Mary Ann, when are you getting married?")

If she thought it was an ideal conversation-starter, well, it wasn't. If you're single and unattached and with no desperate immediate plans to rectify that situation... what do you say to something like that? I admit, a slew of responses similar to and yet more uncharitable than Pam's did go zip! like a bunny in my head. What stopped me from unleashing the full force of my withering sarcasm, though, was the tiny yet shrill voice of my conscience screeching "She meant well! She meant well!"

And that's the trouble, isn't it? Most people who ask this question always mean well. They genuinely are interested in and worried about your future. I remember staring at my cousin for a full five seconds, searching for some sign of malice aforethought in her face (Alas, there was none. She's from the branch of the family that wouldn't know deadpan irony if it goosed them on the backside. She honestly believed that this was The Right Thing To Do) before smiling awkwardly and saying "Walang oras, alam mo naman, laging busy." ("Oh, you know how it is, no time, waaaay too busy.")

And that would have been the end of that, if she hadn't added, "Oo, kasi para habang pwede pang magka-anak, di ba?" ("Oh yes, you should get married while you can still have babies, right?")

Goddammit so much.

You know what really irks me about questions like that? It's the assumptions inherent in them. The state of matrimony and motherhood is apparently the Holy Grail of being a woman, and anyone who makes the conscious decision to either postpone or completely write off one or the other is apparently someone that needs to be saved from themselves. And any protest, however mild, is looked at as hurtful and offensive towards someone who only wants what's best for you. Looking at some of the comments left on Pam's article certainly cements that impression.

(Some people on that comments board do make the point that it's part of Filipino culture, this intrusive questioning. Oh yes, it's right up there with "near-non-existent grasp of irony" and "no concept of personal space". To people who try to excuse that behavior by saying it's "part of the culture": Screw you. It's annoying in every culture.)

Here's the thing: Yes, I am single. No, I am not seeing anyone at the moment, but even if I was it sure as hell wouldn't be with the intent of dragging him down the aisle lickety-split. Quite frankly, dearest cousin, I'm really not interested in getting married at this time because 1) I dislike fuss and weddings are the very definition of fuss; 2) it will inevitably lead to questions like "O, kailan ka ba magkaka-anak?" ("So, when are you having kids?") or, more rudely, "O, buntis ka na ba?" ("Aren't you pregnant yet?"); and 3) I have no interest in enabling your self-validation.

If and when I do decide to get married, it won't be because there's this societal, cultural need to do so before the age of 40; quite frankly, I'm quite open to the idea of--dun dun dun! LIVING IN SIN--provided it's with the right person. I will get married because I and whoever I choose want to. And if that happens when I'm 55 with no possibility of having kids, well, that's fine.

Don't worry, I'll still invite you to the wedding. Don't be scandalized if I don't wear white, though.

WERE YOU AWARE OF IT?: The Philippines is one of only TWO countries (the other being Malta) where divorce is illegal. So basically (except under extreme extenuating circumstances): you break it, you bought it.
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So a week or so after my bout of pneumonia (and a bit of dengue fever scare -- honestly, that rash!) my nephew and my sister are now feeling poorly themselves. Uh-oh.

Meanwhile, gave yesterday last Monday night's GeekFight! a miss. Naturally, am now a bit leery of crowds.

(also wasn't pleased that the last one started TWO HOURS LATE. Susmariosep talaga.)

Do I want to go to this?

Click to embiggen

David Henry Hwang! On a Thursday night! At the Ayala Museum in Makati! Filipinas Heritage Library pala. Still, in Makati. And near Ayala Avenue anyway.

(Ugh, Makati. Loathe the place. It's a corporate behemoth.)

On the one hand, need to polish my now-admittedly-rusty English Lit. major skills. On the other hand, baka tamarin ako. Le sigh.
wheresmycow: (Default)
I'm back. The pilot for my plane back to Manila is apparently a speed demon, because even accounting for tailwind he squeezed a 70-minute flight into 25 minutes. My mother felt oddly cheated.

Anyway, I met a bunch of new relatives -- my grandfather's family. They're all awfully lovely and funny and nice and madder than a box of frogs and so very, very Waray. Fortunately my working knowledge of Bicolano (which is a pretty closely-related dialect, and one I was exposed to very early on thanks to my grandmother's family) served me well. Still, felt a bit like an interloper at times. Which is only natural, I suppose.

Reunion is still in full swing back there, however. I think it's a dinner-dance tonight.

*should've used a River Song icon. Why don't I have a River icon?
wheresmycow: (Default)
I'm off for the next few days -- family reunion in Tacloban, Leyte. I personally prefer not to go at all, but there is absolutely no way I am letting my mother toddle around in the wilds of Leyte all by herself. She might get lost. Or set something on fire. Possibly both.

I'll be back to play catch-up on Sunday. Tootles!
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I was doing my laundry and I turned around and got a faceful of fried spinach.

It was good. Unexpected, but good.

I wish my mother would stop these ambush force-feeds, though. She's like an overexcited Luftwaffe squadron jumping the gun on the Blitz.

(At least she's stopped looking at me as if I was about to keel over. I'm fine, Ma!)

Anyway. Today's Sherlock recs are two very well-done adaptations of the classic ACD stories "The Adventure of the Speckled Band" and "The Adventure of the Copper Beeches" by [livejournal.com profile] buffyaddict13:

The Adventure of the Spotted Ring, Part 1 and Part 2

"I was wrong," Sherlock said. "This is more of a two patch problem. We have several clues to focus on. The whistles, the fact Doctor Roylott doesn't want his stepdaughters to marry, the sudden house repairs, various homeless people traipsing about, not to mention Julia's reference to a ring and the fact Helen heard a metallic clang the night her sister died." He stabbed the air with a finger. "Maybe the noise was a shutter falling back into place."

"Or a murderous robot climbing down the chimney."

Sherlock looked at me, confused. His face brightened. "Oh. You were joking."

The Adventure of the Girl in the Attic, Part 1 and Part 2

Sherlock pushed himself into a sitting position. He pulled his dressing gown closed and regarded me with a look that said I was to be pitied.

"The days of my great cases are over, John. The criminal element has lost all ingenuity. Even Moriarty has let me down."

My eyebrows lifted. "You consider
that a problem?"

Sherlock ignored me. "Any day now,
The Science of Deduction forums will be rife with nothing but questions from hapless teenagers who have misplaced their iPods and mechanical pencils. From little old ladies who have lost their Siamese cats and reading glasses."

My friend's head rested on the back of the couch, he stared blankly at the ceiling. "I'm telling you, John. You are, right now, witnessing my final descent. I can already feel my brain atrophy. I am in the depths of endless boredom and despair."

He was certainly in the depths of

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