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Monday, November 07, 2005

I have developed a new fear.

A fear of becoming my mother.

Now now, don't get me wrong...while I love my mother to bits, we don't always get along. I used to think we were completely different--when it came to clothes (she forced me to wear shoulder pads when I was younger and c'mon, my shoulders are broad enough. No use trying to make me look like a quarterback), opinions on religion, the career path I should take, men (Oh God, when I was younger, she was trying to set me up with a family friend's son who was my type),etc. And those are just a few of our irreconcilable differences.

So that's why in some ways, I don't want to become like her because we're just not alike. But recently, I've been unwillingly discovering that I am slowly, without my knowing it or doing it deliberately, becoming a little bit of her.

It would be impossible to count how many times we've argued over the years. In fact, when I get annoyed at her, I usually just say, "Mama, naiinis na ako, baba ko na muna phone." and then I hang up. And I would regain my cool and call her again.

But despite our differences, I look up to her. She's a strong woman who has sacrificed being with her children just so she can give them a good life. She's so amazingly strong that I wouldn't mind becoming half the woman that she is. And the thing is, I think I am slowly becoming her. To start off, my mom and I are both very stubborn which I think is the main reason why we always clash. stubborn mother+ stubborn daughter+ different views = chaos. Another mommy trait that I am slowly acquiring is her thriftiness. I know my sisters can attest to this. Since I handle the finances at home and submit an expense report to my mom at the same time (reports na nga sa office, reports pa rin sa bahay), I've learned to budget everything, to prioritize what is needed and what is not, and I've learned to distinguish what is expensive and what is reasonable.

All these responsibilities stress me out sometimes because I never get to talk to my mom about personal stuff. Not that I have a lot to share but sometimes, I would just want her to call me to simply ask me how I am or what I'm up to. For once, I'd like her to call me without asking me if I've done what she needs me to do. For once, I'd like to have a conversation with her sans the nagging and the sermons. Kwentuhan lang. I don't mind the responsibility. Really, I don't. It's just hard because I often feel like she doesn't really appreciate the things I do for her. Like when I scrimp on groceries to save more money or when I used to get upset at my formerly pregnant sister for cooking more than what is necessary. I become her sounding board whenever she complains about how hard it is to earn money and here I am actually trying to help even when my sisters get frequently annoyed at me for being so darn stingy.

I also pay for gas even when it is spent bringing my sisters to far-away places in the city, or picking them up from a gimmick with their friends or visiting our nephew all the way in Cubao. And its truly burning a rather large hole in my pocket, I tell you (I drive an automatic van with a 2.0 engine. Goodluck to me!). If you look at my credit card statements, its all gas, gas, gas. And I'll whine to myself but won't complain to her or ask her to pay for it because well, its my contribution to the family expenses.

So I take a deep breath and suck it all in.

My sisters and I had dinner in Dampa Friday night and I was haggling with a vendor when I noticed my sisters move away from me, looking embarassed. I smirked and thats when I realized that they were indeed embarassed. I knew this because I used to do the exact same thing when my mom would unreasonably haggle with a vendor.

While waiting for our food to be served, they mentioned that I looked a lot like our mom and that I was starting to remind them of her because while crossing the street, I would stay on the side where traffic was coming from to sort of shield them and I would hold their arm in the process. No wonder Francine was like, "Achi! Sanay ako tumawid ng edsa noh, dito pa kaya!"

And yesterday, I found out that my youngest sister, Sunshine has been trying on some of my bridesmaid gowns which of course infuriated me. But then I remembered that when I was small, I would give my mom the same chagrin by trying on her heels and messing up her shoe closet.

Am I getting my karma or what?

Anyway, I know all this comes with being the eldest in the family. I mean, since I was a kid, whenever my parents go out of town or leave the country, they always entrust my sisters to me. In fact, I can still hear my mom's voice in my head saying, "You're the second mommy." It's just harder now because before, I knew they would be back and that they wouldn't be gone for too long. But now, Papa's gone and my mom now lives in the U.S. and only comes home once every year.

I feel like I'm the eldest 26-year-old around. I remember having coffee with my friend Gibs, a month ago and I was telling him about what I've been busy with and he started laughing. When I asked him what was so funny, he said something like, "Your life...your complaints...I feel like I'm talking to a mother!"

So yes, I am somehow like Mama now. I have inherited my mom's close-fistedness and her nagging tendencies which are oh so @#$!@#% annoying. I haggle to the bone, I cook, I'm crazy (haha!), I'm stubborn to the core, and man, can I yell!

It's good in a way. It's bad in a way. But I know that it's good training ground for me.

Oh was probably inevitable anyway. I mean, you know what they say...The apple does not fall very from the tree.

*nodding my head*

Have a great week!

about moi

Loves the beach, wishes she had more time and money to travel, recently got hooked to climbing mountains, reads anything she can get her hands on, frustrated writer, adores her 3-year-old Lhasa Apso, Tashi, constantly needs caffeine, wonders when she'll quit smoking, and will most likely die due to liver complications from drinking too much (if the cigarettes doesn't get to her lungs first). Can't live without accessories especially big, dangling earrings, shoe freak (aren't we all?), sucker for discovering hole-in-the-wall restaurants, will ingest anything spicy, enjoys giving and receiving massages, addicted to Friends, Sex and the City and CSI, goes gaga over kids, dreams of being alone with Jim Morrison and smoking a joint with Bob Marley. Would love to party with Gwen Stefani, shop with Patricia Field, write poetry with Maya Angelou and have Sting, Nelson Mandela, Mark Twain and Bono over for dinner.

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Platform Wedge Sandals by Michael Kors
Semiprecious chain earrings by Cynthia Dugan

Semiprecious chain earrings by Cynthia Dugan
Thump by Oakley (mp3 player and shades in one!)
Thump by Oakley (mp3 player and shades in 1!)

quotable quote

"Love is not love, which alters when it alteration finds."
~William Shakespeare, Sonnet cxvi

in my book bag

I Know Why the Caged 

Bird Sings by Maya Angelou


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