Wednesday, August 05, 2009

brat-triggered thoughts

trips to the mall toilet are oftentimes uneventful. apart from the rare bouts of gastroenteritis (REALLYNEEDINGTOPOOPTHISVERYSECOND), one can usually just zoom in and out of restrooms and just as quickly forget about the whole experience. one recent toilet-related incident, however, was a bit unusual.

i entered the mall's ladies room that particular afternoon and was welcomed by a tragic statement shouted by a disgruntled female coming out of a toilet stall:

"i hate my life!"

of course this would've been so much more interesting or less perplexing if the female hadn't been 10 years old.

ten years old! or maybe eight! (estimating age: not one of my talents) what could possibly be so hateful in her life for her to wail and stomp her feet in front of women who i could only assume were her relatives?

"i hate it when you call me a baby," she continued, flipping her long, straight hair (which was most likely styled by a nanny back home) and fixing the ruffles of her very ruffly balloon skirt. i would've stared her down with evil eyes if i weren't so afraid of her peeps, who were part-ignoring, part-beaming at her.

ok, i thought, maybe she had a point. after about 5-ish years old, children shouldn't really be called 'babies' – at least not to their face. let's all try and be fair to the bab... i mean the girl.

naturally, she had to continue, in the same loud and whiny voice:

"turn off the hand drier! it's so ANNOYING!"

(to which i should've said, "sweetheart, the drier is not as annoying as you")

from the looks of things, the girl to whom i almost gave the benefit of the doubt was just a spoiled and sheltered little creature. a BABY (sue me, child!) who no one even bothered to correct or pay attention to.

how dare she hate her life! how hard it must be to have your hair combed for you or to have to spend the afternoon in the mall or to have your relatives carry your shopping bags for you. damn that life!

it must be fantastic though to be unencumbered enough to shout out your complaints to the world and not have anyone mind your negativity.

"i can see my leg cellulite in front of my thighs even when i'm just standing still and with normal lighting! i hate my life!"

"i can't go to any social gathering without anyone asking me why i'm still single! i hate my life!"

"i lose my internet connection every 10 minutes and i can't build enough momentum to research or have a decent chat with people from northern america! i hate my life!"

but here's the thing: i DON'T hate my life. i wouldn't say i'm head-over-heels in love with it but after 35 (did i just say 35?) years, i've finally accepted that things aren't all that bad, even when they seem to be (and i'm not just talking about cellulite). and at the end of the day, life (or my life, at least) can be one pleasant surprise after another.

a few months ago, i left my white gold ring in a busy mall restroom (i seem to be in a lot of those) and thought i'd lost it forever. the concierge found it a week later.

in the same mall (fine, i sense a pattern), i won an ice cream bar in some raffle.

during an overseas trip, i was mistaken for a 25-year-old.

a few weeks ago at breakfast, my sister and i witnessed my dad carrying one of the wooden dinner chairs out the door and realizing a few seconds later that he had meant to carry his tennis bag to the car and brought the chair by mistake. we laughed until we cried.

today i watched a necrological service where the friends of former president cory aquino told the rest of the world how she overflowed with goodness and love and honor and all the shiny happy intangibles every person should aim to have. my heart burst into a thousand hopeful tears.

when my 3-year-old niece sees me seated with my legs stretched out in front of me, she excitedly leaps on my thighs and i become an instant slide.

how can i possibly hate my life?

but how can i say i like my life without sounding like a self-important but shallow, boastful but delusional, manic but giddy overaged brat?

i can't.

so lemme try to end with a joke i heard during my last trip to illinois (all credit to the guitar-playing, wood-chopping white boy) –

a grasshopper entered a bar. the bartender took one look at him and snickered. the grasshopper asked why the bartender was laughing.

"we have a drink named after you," said the bartender.

"you have a drink named 'steve'???"

hahaha. i like my life. there, i said it.