Report on How Self Spent Sunday, 14 October 2007

Self is alive.

Yes, she is alive, and everyone else has returned home.

Self spent most of the day trying not to remember that she has to teach bright and early tomorrow morning. She distracted herself by going to Costco and shopping for the cheapest bag of candy she could find (two weeks early for Halloween! Self hopes she is not obeying subliminal command telling her: Eat chocolates! Eat chocolates!)

Hubby helped somewhat by:

    First, almost crashing self’s Mercutio (which cost $2,000 to repair a few weeks ago, dear blog reader) into small blue Honda ahead of us. Hubby said woman didn’t know how to drive. In response, self chose to maintain saintly silence.
    And, next, finding the goriest, gruesome-st slasher film showing on cable and leaving it there while self was on couch, correcting papers. In between reading atrocious prose about Anne Sexton, self would look at the screen and see open mouths with sharp pointy teeth dripping blood.

So, self decided she simply must get herself over to Century Park 12 on Bayshore to watch Eastern Promises, which she noticed on Friday was showing in the smallest auditorium (# 5). If past experience is any indication, this means the film will be gone by next weekend. But, once again her plans were trumped when ticket guy requested that self fork over $10.

“What? But isn’t this the first show?” self stammered.

“Only shows before 2 PM are discounted,” the young man replied.

“But, did you have any shows before 2 PM?” self wanted to know.

The young man said that he thought so.

“What times were those?” self asked.

Young man checked a sheet of paper and then apologized. 3:50 was indeed the first show.

“And it’s really $10 even if it’s the first show?” self asked.

“Yes,” the young man replied.

And so self took herself off, as after the past three days when she was called upon to dig into her wallet numerous times, she feels that spending $2.50 extra for a movie is the last straw, simply the last straw.

What will she do with the rest of her evening? Hubby is glued to his laptop (“Checking football stats,” he claims) and does not want to go anywhere. Stay tuned, dear blog readers, stay tuned.

The Call

The call came a few days ago. From Dearest Mum, her voice breathless and sweet: “Hi, Bachy” (which, for those of you dear blog readers not in the know, is an abbreviated form of a word that in Tagalog means “Fatty”, my appellation all through grade school, high school, college in the Philippines) “just calling to find out how you are.”

Self thought back to the last time Dearest Mum called to find out how self was doing. She decides it must have been over a decade ago.

Self thought, not too charitably: she probably just wants to find out if I already picked up the package she sent with her friend. And since self already had her hands full with playing the role of gracious host to ex-classmates from Assumption Convent, she was in no mood to add further to her “To Do” list.

But question of when to return Dearest Mum’s call stayed at the back of self’s mind all week, and so finally this evening, self screwed up her courage, picked up the phone and dialed her Dearest Mum’s number in the Philippines. The phone rang and rang, and self was on the point of hanging up when she heard Dearest Mum’s breathless voice: Hello? Hello?

There followed self’s usual lame greeting: “Oh, hi, Mom, it’s me.” Then, stumbling explanation (incredible, dear blog readers: self is so articulate in class, on podiums, at readings, but when listener is Dearest Mum, self finds herself uttering inanities): “I’m just returning your call, the one of a few days ago? Sorry it took a while for me to get back to you, but Connie and Lucy are visiting and I’m driving them around.”

Dearest Mum responds: “Is Connie staying with YOU? I thought I told you to bring her to Tito Mike’s.”

Self replied that Connie was fine. (Perhaps self should explain, dear blog reader. From time to time, people from out of town will call and ask to stay with self, and self is particularly nervous when caller is one from her past. Because she lived in a huge house in Manila, and here she lives in a teensy weensy house, so teensy that Dearest Mum refuses to stay there)

Then, subject turns to Dearest Mum’s Bank of America problem. Has self solved it already?

Then self has to explain that she teaches everyday, she had to pick up ex-classmate from the airport, and has been driving to the City to meet the other classmates, etc. etc. But even while self is enumerating all the reasons why she has not as yet solved Dearest Mum’s bank problem, self knows, deep down in her heart, that none of this really matters. Not, at any rate, to Dearest Mum.

Dearest Mum says: Bring the papers to Tito Mike. HE’LL do it for me, if you won’t.

At which point, self tunes out completely, starts humming under her breath, and says uh-huh to everything. Eventually, Dearest Mum says, “Do it!” and says she really can’t talk further, she has to be elsewhere. Self wonders whether it’s a bridge game, or a luncheon, or perhaps a reception for some visiting dignitary. Self hangs up so fast she wonders if Dearest Mum has actually finished speaking.

Then, self collapses on the couch. She tells hubby: “I think I’ll go to sleep already.”

“What?” hubby exclaims. “But it’s only 7:30!”

Oh — ha ha ha ha! It is? Why does it feel to self as if it is late, and why is she so tired? After all, all she did today was bring Connie back to SFO, meet Lucy and Bob and Calista at Peet’s on Broadway in Redwood City, take them on a quickie tour of downtown Redwood City, then follow up with another quickie tour, this one of downtown Palo Alto. After all that, self drove Lucy et. al. to house of ex-classmate in Saratoga. That was all self did.

Suppose she should try forcing her eyes open for another two or three hours. That way, she won’t find herself awake, staring into the 2 A. M. darkness. Stay tuned, dear blog readers, stay tuned.

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