Feng Shui Can Explain It All For You…

Yesterday, hubby and I splurged on a new flat screen TV. It took us six months to decide we needed to junk the 32-inch Sharp that flickered on and off in the middle of crucial broadcasts. It took another couple of weeks to get hubby to decide on a budget. Then, it took countless visits to Best Buy; Fry’s; Anderson’s; Circuit City and even to a Tele-Center (which was a trip back in time– items stacked one on top of another in musty rooms, salesmen in plaid shirts and bow ties appearing creepily when least expected…) to finally decide on a model.

Yesterday, my neck ached as we stood in Best Buy for the third time in two weeks, looking at Sony and Samsung models. We had finally decided on a 40-inch Sony when hubby whipped out a tape measure and said, “Hold on.” Then, I stood stoically and watched as he measured from end to end of said item and announced: “This is bigger than our TV stand.”

OK, so it was back to the 32-inch model. Then, there were many many forms to fill out so that we could pay on an installment basis, with no interest for 18 months. Then, hubby had to apply for a Best Buy credit card. Then, he had to enroll in the Best Buy Rewards Program. Then, we found out he had forgotten his Best Buy 10% off coupon (good only until today) at home.

Eventually, we got it all straightened out. After an hour, we left Best Buy and headed home to relax.

Then hubby read an article about flat-screen TVs in the latest Consumer Reports magazine (which I had thoughtfully brought back for him from chaotic Baltimore International Airport.) Then, he jumped up, smacked his forehead and said that, according to the article, 32-inch flat screen TVs were going the way of the dinosaur. What we really wanted were 40 or 42-inch flat-screen TVs.

So, we headed back to Best Buy, for the third time that day. OK.

I did not lose my cool or my temper and still managed to finish grading English 1A student papers.

Around 10 PM, hubby decided we needed to move things around. Our living room had to be re-arranged to accommodate the gleaming new 40-inch machine that would be delivered in a few days.

Consulted my feng-shui book. Hubby said, “What if we move this Chinese screen?” OK, we gave it a try. And, lo and behold, behind the screen was a stunning array of envelopes, magazines, books, letters, lamps, fishing poles, even my old Assumption Convent Grade Five First Honor medal that we had unthinkingly tossed there over the past 15 years. It looked like a stunning piece of visual art– someone’s crazy idea of a Joseph Cornell box, but with no plan.

I found myself thinking that this was most definitely the reason why we had been dogged with so much bad luck since moving into this house, 14 years ago. Who knew how many poisoned arrows this particular corner had attracted over the years?

Now we began to move things around like maniacs. The past 14 years have been particularly trying ones, involving several deaths, cancer treatments, automobile accidents, job losses, court cases, severe writers block, not to mention son’s rejections from Stanford/UCLA/UC Berkeley, etc. and other dismal occurrences.

But everything could be explained by this sinkhole in one corner of our living room.

Now we began to clear out the junk like mad, moving everything to– where else?– the garage.

Must read up further on advisability of using garage as a garbage dump– probably not good feng shui at all.

This morning I went to the shed, armed with a broom. Determined to clear everything out, thereby ensuring our future good fortune. Found an old basket filled with yellowing sheets of paper. A few of these are newsletters from the time I was the Program Administrator for the Center for African Studies at Stanford, oh so many many moons ago.

One is a stash of old letters, typed, with return address 27 Leo Street, Bel-Air Village, Manila– from the time I was six or seven years old.

Here’s one of the letters I found:

Dear Sister Josefa,

I cannot come to school today because I am sick. So Mommy thought that you come to our house if you can give me my periodical test. I was sick since last week but I kept coming to school. Until I got this fever. And I don’t want to miss my periodical test. So Mommy thought that you come if you have time. I hope you come. Because I don’t want to get no grades. My Mommy is giving me medicine. And I don’t get well. I still cough. Mommy and Daddy think that I must go to the Doctor. They think that the doctor will cure me. I think that too. But if you cannot come to our house. Please pray for me. That’s all I want to say.

Yours truly,

M. Villanueva

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