How Do We Deal With Living In A Politically Correct World?
I am sometimes afraid to let my Truly Rich Mother step out of our
Truly Rich Mom, of course, only likes French styles and select indigenous accessories such as “those gold plate necklaces made by the itas. ...Retrieve them from the
Of course, what she should’ve used to describe the
When these words escape from her lips and in a very public setting like, say, an important business dinner, I often imagine myself crumpling into a ball until my shock dissolves me into nothingness. Alas, when I open my eyes, I am still there among many strangers with various degrees of shock etched on their faces.
I must admit I am becoming a hall monitor, a
But why should I feel so uncomfortable about words that, in my Truly Rich Mother’s mind, was her genuine opinion about something or her own way to describe what she wanted to say? At least she is not a hypocrite.
I am now afraid, dear readers, for I’ve come to realize that my mom has entered that golden era of untouchable ancientness, which means I am slowly getting old myself.
My Truly Rich Mother has settled into that fluffy age, in which she can do whatever the hell she wants, and no one dares reprimand
So, if Mother wants to announce, out of the blue, that she really despises our Truly Rich Neighbor, who has thoughtlessly decided to plant a fruit-bearing tree near our southwest wall, she will do so—in the middle of my breakfast, as I am taking a bite of bacon.
“Si-si, you know, Marietta now has to spend an extra half-hour, every morning and afternoon, sweeping away the flowers that fall from that godawful tree! Our
Of course, I try to tell her not to say those words out loud or, to at least, just describe the
Later that day, at my next-door
I didn’t think anything was wrong, but the other moms, the Alpha Moms, were quick to air their ire over the safe space of WhatsApp: “Did you see this!!!” “She is using that poor old dear as decoration!” “How dumb can she be?” “Why is she using her
“Oh, Si-si, you don’t think anything was wrong, right? I only wanted to have a little fun with the invitations. You know how bored I am?” Suzie asks me as we take our tea in her
I am seated in an uncomfortable designer chair that is both too high and too low, but I say, “Of course, there’s nothing wrong with including Manang Nora in your photo. She is practically family. See, she’s smiling. And you really need her there to complete the picture. She is context.
We fill our tea cups with a gross coco-turmeric concoction, which we gulp down immediately as it helps with
“Suzie,” I say, “These women are just so uptight and overly sensitive about everything. I’m sure they treat their help not very well.”
“Si-si, uh, I don’t think we can call them that. We can’t call them ‘help’ anymore. It’s ‘housekeeper.’”
As I make my way to our house, I realize that I cannot wait to get even older. While I dread the cruel effects of time on my health and, more important, ravishing beauty (this is why I am investing in multi-colored organic veggies and a non-greasy sunscreen with an SPF50 PA+++ rating), I look forward to that time when I can just do what I want, regardless of whether the PC police thinks it’s okay or not.
All this tiptoeing around words and what pleases you just sucks the joy out of life. Sure, you should do your best not to offend or disrespect, but sometimes being overly careful feels like smothering your head with a pillow. You become like the dead, who
I join my mother for dinner in the city. In the car, as we make our way through traffic, I stare at her intently. The light of the late afternoon sun lands softly on her face, and she looks like the most content child without worry or care.
“Is anything wrong, dear?” she asks. I shake my head and smile. “You look a little pale,” she says. “And also a little fat in the face. Maybe you should skip dinner.”