Gollee, Jesus Criminey

I spent the past week in the company of people from middle America. Conservative Trump supporters with hearts of gold. Company I am not familiar with.

I am a liberal. Not die hard but I lean towards that. The past week though, in the company of conservatives, I saw a different America. I saw an America that was willing to die for their country. An America that was wary of anything beyond black, white and grey. An America that is respectful of authorities. An America that is unfamiliar with most of the world.

I enjoyed their company. Simple needs. Simple wants. Enjoying nature, enjoying their brand of humor, enjoying their music, their repartees, their gripes. No affectations and no double entendres. It was refreshing.

And I realize that I am like them too in their basic desires. And you realize that people are beyond labels. And you realize that the liberal media is doing them a disservice by looking down at them and criticizing their choices. Isn’t that what being a liberal is after all? Allowing people their choices, not ramming down a decision down anyone’s throats?

It is a polarizing world.

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Heartwarming

The other day, a familiar face smiled at me at a school activity of my son. I smiled back not recognizing him. Then he said that his son Mike, our former scholar was now in Manila. I immediately put a surname to his son. Gosh that was so long ago. I smiled and made a guess as to his grade level. I was off by 2 years. So now our former scholar has graduated college and is now an accountant. Amazing. His dad called his wife and pointed me out to her. Short chitchat. They were picking up their younger daughter who is a classmate of my son. I thought that if they no longer applied for a scholarship then that must mean that their business is now doing ok.

I remember the circumstance of the scholarship application. It made me happy that our Second Wind Program has indeed given them a second wind in this marathon called life. I was buoyed by the fact that our small help had eased their problems a little. That happiness suffused my whole being and put a smile to my face everytime I think of the encounter.  Two days hence, I still feel lighthearted.

Those incidents are the reason we continue on with our Program despite minimal cooperation from the school. I have to prepare the application forms, put up the posters/notices for the program (do the marketing) and interview the very few applicants. Four years ago, I almost stopped the program owing to the lackadaisical response from the school but I am glad we continued. If only for moments like those, I am glad that we are making a difference.

Acceptance

The hairdresser commented how my hair is so straight and that a lot of women really aspire to have straight hair.

Funny, but for the better part of my life I have always looked with envy at people with natural curls or with more body in their hair. I used to have my hair permed every 3 or 4 months. I don’t know what happened but 10 or so years ago, I finally decided – to hell with it. It is just too time consuming to have a perm. And so I stopped. I embraced my straight fine hair and I guess now that it’s chemical free, my hair looks healthier.

And my full lips, how I hated that all through high school and college. That was the time of thin lips. Until Angelina Jolie came into the scene and suddenly my full lips was “in”. And there is my round face, which now in my 4th decade, makes me look younger with the extra fat on my cheeks.

Funny indeed how acceptance has made my life more serene and stress free. It is true that we become more free in our 40s onwards. Because that is the time when most people are finally accepting of how they are, perceived warts and all. 

And I used to rue how I look. Well it really tickles my funny bones when people say I am pretty. 

Passion

I love dancing. I love flamenco. Technically I know I am good but sadly, I don’t quite have that passion yet. I have seen many flamenco shows both actual and in videos. I know it is a passionate dance but I understood for the first time what the dance is all about. 

In Seville a few months back, i watched a tablao performance of flamenco in Casa del Memoria. Not the balletic flamenco of Sara Baras. Not the explosive flamenco of Maria Pages. But the the passionate flamenco that comes from the soul, the flamenco that has duende.

It was absolutely so frenetic, so passionate, so hot. I was horny watching her dance. I imagined her naked and writhing in bed. And the man – he was smouldering and so full of vitality. You imagine how the lovemaking would be like. You imagine splayed legs and thrusting hips and tongue all over. Hot and heavy.

Coupled with the wine, it made me heady. Good thing I was with O. If it were another I might have agreed to a one night stand. *wink*

And I thought about it. Could I do that? Could I dance with abandon? Could I shed my inhibitions? Yet, that is the part of me that I try to bury in order to succeed in this life. I am afraid to let go. I am afraid of the consequences.

 

Introvert

Yesterday was networking time; catching up with old acquaintances and making new acquaintances. It was fun, heady and interesting. But by mid afternoon, my head was starting to throb, my face starting to tire from all the smiling and being animated.

Dinnertime was spent alone. Despite the lousy tenderloin and wine, I thoroughly enjoyed the solitude as I took stock of the day. It rained hard in the middle of my dinner, but I was not worried. And by the time I had finished, there was only a slight drizzle. It was a nice walk back to the hotel.

I enjoy meeting new people and exchanging ideas. Starting a conversation is never a problem for me. Approaching strangers at a party is also not a problem. I truly enjoy getting to know people. But at the end of the day such interactions sap my strength and I need the comfort of solitude to replenish my energy. Alone in my hotel room, I watched the news and stared at the ceiling. I slept relatively early at 10.30 and woke up around 6.30 feeling refreshed despite the lumpy bed and pillow. I was amazed at how energetic I felt.

It is true, I am an introvert. Being alone with my thoughts feeds my soul.

 

The Reality

I was at a party. This couple joined our table. The wife is supposed to be pretty but on that day, i didn’t see the beauty. Her caky foundation spoiled her face. The kind of foundation I usually see applied to a dead person, very pale and splotchy. Her eyebrows were so obviously painted on. She is not fat but her choice of attire did not do her justice. Her big arms were highlighted and her waist hidden. O told me I looked younger than her. And she is a good 14years younger than me.

That night I saw her post photos from the party. Lo and behold! Her selfie showed a porcelain beauty smiling beguilingly at the camera. Her face was flawless and she looked like she had no make-up on. Even her eyebrows came out natural looking. And the angle of the selfie made her lose inches on her arms. Slim and beautiful, I could not reconcile what was on Facebook and what I saw in person earlier.

Goes to show that photos posted online are not reliable.

Alone

You are one of the top personnel of a successful company. Many outsiders attribute the success of the company to you. You start to chafe at the company policies being implemented. You believe in yourself. You know you can succeed on your own. So you quit.

But no financier will back your idea. And many competitors will not touch you, seeing your actions in quitting the company abruptly as dangerous. None in the industry will deal with you.

So what use is independence if nobody recognizes it except your family and immediate circle of friends? What use is independence if society ignores your declaration? And if you persist, down the line, who will trade with you? Who will establish relations with you? How will you survive?

Following a dream is heady but following a dream without being realistic – I don’t understand. I am being practical. How will this autonomous government who longs to be independent and has in fact declared independence survive without the acceptance, recognition and support of the region where they are located? If the big businesses move away from its territory, their tax collections will be affected. Which financial institution will accept their bonds and guarantees knowing at any time the territory could be dissolved?

I understand people have dreams and desires but I am practical and survival trumps the fulfillment of airy goals for me. If I choose to live with humanity, then I must adapt to its rules.

The First Thought

And we thought that the Visayas Bikers’ Unity Ride went without a hitch. This morning the last group on their way home met an accident. One of their riders hit a small bike making a left turn in the highway. Rider and his wife were injured. The motorcycle sustained major damage.

And as biker was coherent enough to talk, the first thing out of his mouth “How’s the bike? What’s the damage?” And three more questions pertaining to the bike. And then he remembers his wife -“How’s the wife?” Upon being told that she was ok and had only cuts and bruises, his thoughts revert to his bike and accessories. He worried about his helmet and his Xena (communicator). Of 10 questions he asked before being wheeled into the hospital, 9 were about his bike.

It is as expected. We biker wives understand that.

Rider had a broken clavicle but on the whole, they are ok. They are still lucky it was nothing major. And he had just taken an OD insurance and put in crash bars.

One Sided

How come I haven’t seen memes about sons finding wives who will support and respect them? All that I have read is about parents praying that their daughters find a man who will treasure and respect them. And articles about rearing boys to grow up to be men who will respect their partners.

As mother to 3 boys, I find it all one-sided. Especially as a cousin bewailed how her daughters in law run roughshod over her well mannered boys. She told me that having good boys will mean you will lose them to daughters in law. It would have been ok if daughters in law took care of cousin, but no. Daughters in law are still very close to their own mothers and cousin does not feel the love from these daughters in law. Wala nang daughters-in-law, unti unti pang nawawala ang sons.

We raise our boys to be respectful and supportive of their wives but are the girls being raised to be supportive of their husbands too? Daw one-sided haw?

I remember what the comelec chairman’s mother in law said: (paraphrasing) Andy was the son in law I prayed for. Everything that I hoped for my daughter. 

So there you go, you pray that your daughter finds a gentleman who has principles, character, who will love your daughter and support her ideas, who will respect her person etc etc. But did you train your daughter to be the kind of wife too who will have principles and character, who will love her husband and support his ideas, who will respect her husband’s person etc etc? It works both ways.

Maybe my boys shouldn’t be too nice.

I Don’t Think I Should Worry Too Much

Well, what do you know … the baby of the family is not that baby anymore. He actually is starting to be responsible and able to think for himself. And here I was worrying when he’d be more mature. And when I wasn’t looking he surprised me.

It started with his application essay. I thought I would have to make a lot of corrections, but no – it was well written with just enough touch of “bola” to make the intended party smile.

And then he had sense enough to ask permission from his teachers for him to wear crocs since he had a toe infection. Without me telling him.

And now, papa O is away and he successfully turns on the genset despite the wrong instructions I gave him. He ignored what I said and did it his way. 

Well, what can I say. Nothing but smile