(Last) April Weekend: Gardening, “Pretty Woman”, and Three Calls

Aaaargh! Missed Ebert & Roeper! Because hubby too engrossed in watching Pretty Woman (his third best movie of all time, after Gladiator and Master & Commander) — !!

Must admit Julia Roberts looks really really pretty in this one, and Richard Gere is not bad himself, and isn’t that Laura San Giacomo playing Julia’s best friend/hooker — good heavens, am reminded that self hasn’t seen her in ages, am remembering when she’d just made Sex, Lies and Videotape and was being touted as next “hot” thing . . .

Oh well, nothing is perfect. Today did much gardening, much spreading of compost, though still worried about clematis “henryii”, as leaves are still turning yellow and browning (perhaps Wegman’s guy was right when he told self on Friday: Nothing in your garden needs to be watered every day).

There were two — no, three — calls today. The first, 9:25 AM, from Bank of America, a “fraud alert”, reporting suspicious activity on Dearest Mum’s ATM card. Hubby reacts with immediate panic, thinks self should call Dearest Mum immediately, but self tells him it is only a little past midnight in Manila, and Dearest Mum hates getting calls in the middle of the night.

Next call, Margie K. Her father, who was self’s “host family” when self was a foreign student at Stanford, “has passed.” Those were the exact words she used: My father has passed.

Out of the blue, self decided to visit him a few months ago. Had not seen him in perhaps six or seven years, and, on a whim, dropped by bearing pictures of son at Cal Poly. Then he was hale and hearty and alert and all self could think of now was, Thank God I saw him, Thank God I saw him.

Last summer, self was very busy trundling son all over Hong Kong, Bacolod, Palawan (part of his education, after all!) Self and son had many, many adventures, which perhaps he or self will write about some day. In Bacolod, self dragged son to see cousin Manang D who was very sick, confined to a bed, and connected to oxygen tank. Manang D smiled and rolled her eyes in recognition at us, though was unable to speak. Two days after we returned to Manila, got the call: she had passed away. One of my uncles in Bacolod said: Thank God you got to see her just before she passed.

Which, now that self thinks about it, are the exact same words running through self’s head this morning. Perhaps — oh God — self is developing a kind of “sixth sense” about such things? Eeeek !!!

Third call was son. FINALLY!! Said he was just calling to say “hi” (since self had left him so many messages the last week). “Son,” self asked, “Are you really going to graduate next year? You aren’t, are you?” And he said (suddenly am reminded that son is the master of diplomacy — !) “I might, I might.”

Then, asked if he would like to go around Asia with me for a month, maybe Hong Kong again, my brother’s fab apartment. “What, this summer?” son asked. “No, no,” self said. “This summer I’m going to be in Virginia, remember? I meant, next summer, because I have to plan, save up . . . ”

“We’ll see,” son says.

Hand the phone to hubby. Hubby surprises self by asking son about his courses. Apparently, has checked on son’s registration on-line (!!). And he asks what “A Sci” stands for. Son replies, “Animal nutrition.” Hubby says, “Oh, I thought it was some kind of astronomy class or something.”

Animal nutrition??? Is son planning to turn into an animal psychologist? (Self is so confused: when son started at Cal Poly, was in Chemistry. Then, Biochemistry. Last year, Psychology. And now, now — but, perish the thought! Must focus!)

Luckily, self manages to hold tongue.

When finally do reach Dearest Mum in Manila, tell her of “fraud alert”, her first response is typical: CALL THE AMERICAN AMBASSADOR’S WIFE.

“What?” self inquires (confounded as usual, by the strange workings of Dearest Mum’s mind). “Why? What can she do? She doesn’t have access to your account! You are the only one who can call!”

Finally convince DM she must call Bank of America number.

After a few minutes, she calls back, but self has gone to Safeway. When self returns home, message from Dearest Mum on machine: listen to her voice breathlessly saying, “Call me back as soon as you get this message!”

When self returns her call, Dearest Mum says, “Well, I managed to get hold of someone, but he didn’t believe I was who I said I was!”

“What?” self responds, practically shrieking. “What did you tell him?”

“Well, I got my mom’s maiden name right,” DM says, “but he said the three-digit number I gave him was wrong.”

“Why? What number did you give him?” self inquires.

“The number. You know! The three-digit number!”

“I know, but WHERE did you get the number from? From your checkbook?”

“No, it’s, you know, my three-digit number!”

“Mom, WHERE did that three-digit number come from?”

Aaargh, aaargh, self is going craaaazy.

Finally, get it out of her: Dearest Mum gave B of A guy her PIN number.

“Mom, isn’t that number FOUR digits?”

“Ooooh,” Dearest Mum whispers.

“Ok,” self tells her. “Turn over your ATM card. To the side where your signature is. Do you see any numbers on top of your signature?”

“Well,” Dearest Mum says, “I see 1 – 800 – ”

“No! Not the Customer Service number! I mean, isn’t there another number there?”

And Dearest Mum insists: no, no, there is no other number on the back of her ATM card.

So, self tells her to take the ATM card, and bring it to sister-in-law Ying (who has just had baby, must be very busy, but surely she can find number). And now, am in dire suspense, waiting for news. Feel like calling sister-in-law, but wait, doesn’t self still have a pile of papers to grade? And an 8 AM class tomorrow?

Decide must forebear any further involvement in this issue, have enough problems of my own.

Stay tuned, dear blog reader, stay tuned.


  1. Kathleen said,

    May 1, 2007 at 10:37 pm

    “Call the American Abassador’s Wife!”. Only those who have had a Dearest Mum would fully understand this reaction.

    More, please. 🙂


  2. May 1, 2007 at 10:50 pm

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha !!!

    So glad YOU understand, Kathleen!

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