That is the question that is uppermost in self’s mind this evening.
It was a very lazy day, dear blog readers. All self did, other than worry about son’s whereabouts, was respond to an e-mail from the journal she sent a story to yesterday: Since your story was not in an acceptable format, we were unable to open it and therefore it has been declined. Boy, that was quick! This is what always happens : Self is so fearful that she will lose her nerve before she can send something out that she pushes it through, forces herself to submit, and does everything in a rush. Afterwards she stays up worrying about typos or some such.
Anyhoo, late in the afternoon self received, in this order:
e-mail from brother-in-law R, in New York. He had just arrived back in the apartment and received all of self’s messages, but unfortunately the apartment was “a zoo” because niece G had friends staying over from California, and his wife had a humongous tooth-ache and was in bed.
text message from son, saying they were leaving Scranton, PA and would be arriving in New York in a couple of hours.
another e-mail from Richard, saying he had just heard from son that he was bringing four other people over (yes, and these are: Nick the evangelist, Cal the surfer boy, and Cal’s two sisters) and that he could not possibly accommodate them
So, self wrung her hands, and decided to do nothing. Soon enough, son called, and self not-too-tactfully wondered if son could possibly extricate himself from the other four and pay a visit to his cousins? And son was adamant that he was stuck, inseparably, to the other four. So then self shrugged and thought: Well, it’s his adventure.
Surprisingly, though, son seemed to want the number of his youngest cousin, Chris. And wouldn’t you know, this was the only number self did not have. That is, she had the numbers of the two older kids, who are closer to son’s age, but not this youngest. Why did son want the number of Chris? Son seemed mighty disappointed when self told him she did not have it. Self then asked why son couldn’t just call niece G and get the number from her. But son seemed extremely loth to do so (perhaps the Stanford thing is really off-putting?)
Anyhoo, after all that excitement, self got a call from an old friend who had retired in Dublin, Ireland.
Then self decided to call the family that had rented her a room when she was all of 21 years old and just starting grad school at Stanford (Mrs. R said her husband was losing his short-term memory, but either he is a really good actor or his memory loss is not as bad as Mrs. R thinks, because self had quite a lengthy conversation with Mr. R before Mrs. R got to the phone)
Then self called Dearest Mum and Dearest Mum began crying again because self’s brothers were so close (@@##!!). Self very aware of the fact that once again she is the sole oddball in this circle of loving closeness. Then self told Dearest Mum she was sending her a humongous bottle of Tylenol PM, per her request. Then Dearest Mum said, “What? Another one?” And then self found out that one of Dearest Mum’s cronies had just come from the States and given her three giant bottles of Tylenol PM, so self wondered what to do with the Tylenol PM — perhaps she can give it to one of her fellow teachers at xxxx community college, though it would seem a rather odd sort of Christmas present.
Then self decided she needed to get a little fresh air and went to Laurel Street in San Carlos, and wandered the shops, and dropped by Chocolate Mousse just five minutes before it was closing, and self found the owner in irate conversation with a bride who was complaining that her wedding cake was “melting” and the wedding hadn’t even started. “How long has the cake been out?” the Chocolate Mousse proprietor was asking, over the phone. And then she said, “Two and a half hours? Then stick it back in the fridge!” Self and another customer exchanged sympathetic glances. Then we heard the proprietor go, “You want your money back?” And the other customer looked at self and said, “How can you get your money back for a wedding cake?” And then self said, “There’s no pain in the ass worse than a nervous bride.” And then the other customer said, “I used to be a wedding planner. The in-laws are the worst. All the claws come out.” And then self doesn’t remember how the conversation ended. But she was so glad she lives in an ugly house in Redwood City, a house that no one in Manila would deign to live in, in a city that sounds so un-glamorous one of self’s Manila ex-classmates told her, “If I came to the States and could only afford a house in Redwood City, I’d go back home.” Thank you, thank you for that, dear Manila sophisticate.
And with that, dear blog readers, good night.