Praying for boyfriends

By Estanislao Albano, Jr

“ When I got back, I quipped that the sili is the only useful plant of Florence. Aglaia corrected me pointing out her mom’s calamansi is also beneficial. Florence was away that time.”

As usual when we meet, the danger of our daughters missing the bus is a subject of bantering. It was touched off during our family dinner several nights ago by the information that Jenny, their cousin who is older than they, is getting wed this January. The two girls joked that they could now get married too referring to the local belief that it’s bad form to marry ahead of older relatives. But the dilemma is they both still do not have a candidate husband.
Pia: Papa, are you praying that God will give us husbands?
Me: Of course.
Pia: You must be praying wrongly otherwise we would have boyfriends by now.
Me: I am telling God that if it’s His will that you get married, He will give you husbands in due time.
Pia: Wrong, Papa. You should ask God directly to give us boyfriends. Don’t mention anymore if it’s His will or not.
Aglaia: And do not pray for someone like you.
Moments later, Pia announced that she will be getting married within a year. Where she will get the husband she did not tell us.
Aglaia: I know what token to give to guests when manang gets married. Newspaper.
Unlike the boyfriends, I could produce the tokens in a breeze. We always have some excess ZigZag Weekly copies every week.
Division of medical expense
The kids and I were discussing the medical procedure the second cardiologist advised – stress test simultaneous with 2D Echo – on the phone the other week Hearing that Dr. Terrence Cuezon who, incidentally, is a Tabukeno, whose opinion we sought on my alleged heart, is with the St. Luke’s Medical Center, they said the test should just be done at that hospital. I expressed doubt that my health insurance plan would answer for the expense if we go to SLMC.
Pia: If your health insurance does not want to pay, Aglaia and I will take care. How much is it in St. Luke’s?
Me: P12,000.00.
Pia (in jest): Aglaia could handle that by herself.
Me: That’s not good, child. You should help each other. Aglaia will take care of P11,000.00 and you pay P1,000.00.
Pia who just like Florence and Aglaia does not appreciate my humor laughed.
Comedy around the basin
Years ago, there were times when Florence and I would face each other over the basin washing our clothes. At one time she reminded me to turn the clothes inside out after rinsing them, one of her strict instructions to us when washing clothes. Irked because she made it appear I still have not learned her way of washing clothes after all the years, I snapped: You should have told me earlier. I have already rinsed the handkerchiefs.
At another time, she joined me after I finished rinsing a batch of clothes.
Florence: Have you already rinsed this?
Me: Yes.
Florence (pointing to the water in the basin): Why is the water still dirty? (She wants the last rinsing water clear as newly pumped water.)
Me: It’s already clean.
Florence: Will you drink it then.
Florence’s only useful plant
At lunch, the friends of Aglaia who came to visit Kalinga asked for sili or pepper so I went to pick some from the solitary sili in Florence’s flower garden. When I got back, I quipped that the sili is the only useful plant of Florence. Aglaia corrected me pointing out her mom’s calamansi is also beneficial. Florence was away that time.
Flowers and shabu
Had a heyday teasing Florence about her “addiction” to flowers when we dropped by the Golden Bloom orchid farms in Maginao, San Rafael, Bulacan on our way home last Sunday. She was very impressed by the sea of orchids – around four hectares in all.
Florence: The owner must have invested a ton in his flower farms.)
Me: He is confident he could recoup and make money because he knows there are many women who are nuts over flowers.
Florence: May be the owner is a gay.
Me: No. He is straight but he knows that there are a lot of women crazy over orchids.
As we were getting out of the farm, we met a vehicle.
Me: Here comes another.
Florence: Another crazy you say again.
Sometime later, Florence commented that if customers of the flower farm were all like the family who was there ahead of us who filled the entire back compartment and the back seat of their SUV with boxes of orchids some in bloom, the owner must be raking in money. She no longer bothered to answer when I commented: He is really sharp. He chose a line of business a lot of people are crazy about. Flowers are like shabu which turn a lot of people nuts.**

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