Friday, July 31, 2009

move over, henry sy. the tantocos are taking over my shopping self

everyone in my immediate circle knows how much i love SM.

when i want to hide, i go to SM.
when i'm feeling uber sad, i engage in SM retail therapy.
when the pressure was too much for me when i was reviewing for the bar, SM was my refuge.
and, oh, 75% of my bar review was inside a tiny starbucks at SM sucat.

when i get married, i'd have to have my pre-nup pics at SM.

SM & rosa -- it's just like tuyo and champorado on a cold rainy day.

in the past couple of years though, rustan's has been sneaking into my heart. it began when i worked in the court of appeals and the nearest mall was not an SM (gasp!) but robinson's with an uber tiny rustan's. and so, while i never was comfortable with the thought of entering plush rustan's makati's glittering entrance, this rustan's was more accessible to me. and, with their sales that make my eyes pop out, it wasn't long before rustan's became my dirty little secret.

i may be married to SM, but rustan's was my mistress.

since i moved back to the ortigas area, i've basically cut off my affair with rustan's. while shangri-la is nearby, sm is not only where i park but it doesn't hurt that it's accessible via fx for those afternoons that you just want to sneak out and buy something. unfortunately, twice now, SM has disappointed me with it's "surprise price changes" wherein the tag price is lower than what appears on the cash register. the excuse: they just haven't changed it yet.

yesterday, i went to rustan's alabang to pick up something i had repaired. last december i bought this cute cube tdk speaker as a gift but i never got to give it so it pretty much stayed inside my closet until last holy week when i decided to finally use it for myself. after an hour or so, it stopped working. since i couldn't return it anymore, i brought it to rustan's and with some jiggling, it worked again so the speaker went home again. after another hour, it stopped working again so i brought it back and told them that they'd have to really fix it.

that was may.

after almost three months (with one drop-by follow-up in between) they finally called me and said my speakers were fixed. when i saw the speakers however, i was disappointed. the bright orange speaker cover was dirty (and the kind of dirty one couldn't live with, not just dusty dirty). i asked for their manager and said that in no uncertain terms would i accept speakers looking like that especially since the one i turned over for repairs was clean and almost brand new. they volunteered to clean it but even the manager was shocked when we flipped it over and saw that the rubber thingees protecting the "feet" of the speakers were also worn out and falling out in some places. the verdict: give her the speaker on display.


i guess what i love about rustan's that SM can't give me is the fact that their customer service is superb. i could have created a major scene at sm and they still would not have replaced my speaker. at most, they would have sent me to the upper floors to talk to management, and they'll appease me by saying they'll do something about it, but in no way would a problem like that be resolved in five minutes. no more going back for me, no more negotiating, no more threatening. i was the customer and they wanted to make me happy. end of conversation. now THAT is the kind of service i want to experience each and every time i shell out my hard-earned money.

p.s. of course it doesn't hurt that the wrap their presents the most fantabulous way ever.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

it's stupid to expect it'll work the second time around

when i think about how things happened all over again, there's a huge part of me that wishes i'd been more circumspect. i guess it's the romantic in me, thinking that him finding me all of these years was some great cosmic act. i also guess it's the optimist in me, believing that people can change themselves. after all, it's been 14 years, and 14 years can do a lot to change a person.

i should've known better.

as with the person i fell in love with in college, he was sweet, caring, and attentive. it was everything i've always wanted in a partner. he cared for me like i was his princess and gave me all the love he could give. he was always present. he was perennially concerned about me - where was i? how was i? am i home already? how was my day? how was work? what time would i leave the office?

the first time he stumbled back into his old ways, i tried brushing it aside. he "researched" on me by misleading a former student into thinking i was applying for a job in their school. said former student then called up the university and started asking questions about me. i guess i should be thankful that the person who answered was my friend, and that she knew better by calling me and confirming whether or not i was actually applying for a job. i confronted him about it and said, maybe said former student made a mistake and misunderstood what i asked her. he went on further, maybe said student just wanted to make a nice impression and thought of taking it upon herself to research about you.

stupidly, i said, okay, but don't do it again.

a month or so later, i found out he had been reading my phone's messages. and apparently, he texted a friend, pretending to be a girl from community who wanted to hook up. again, i was blessed to have a friend smart enough to confirm with me what that was all about.

at this point, everyone in my immediate circle wanted him out of my life. they kept asking, how could you trust him now?

maybe the slight desperation with which he held on to what we had reminded me a little of how difficult it was to move on after the other person has moved on without you. maybe i saw a little of myself in him. maybe i didn't want to hurt as i've been hurt in the past.

and so i stayed. i stayed in spite of the warnings, in spite of the feeling that no one wanted to listen when we had problems anymore, in spite of being unhappy in the situation i was in.

the final straw came when my mom saw his name in a comment he made on FB. she asked, is this the same guy from college? and, in a second email, sent minutes after the first one, she innocently asked - shouldn't you need police protection from this person?

it was then that everything became very clear.

this was the person who threatened to make the rest of my college life miserable after we broke up in college.

this was the person who asked me to pay him back for everything he spent on our dates and the presents he gave me while we were still together.

this was the person who would ring my phone and stay there without saying anything until i hung up.

and the questions that i ignored, i suddenly asked.

why did his ex, the mother of his child, find it so easy to leave him? how was she able to do it without looking back considering that they have a kid together?

how come he doesn't have friends he talks about? how come he doesn't have colleagues he hangs out with? how come he doesn't have other activities?

why doesn't he visit his son regularly? why didn't he make time to visit his sister when she gave birth?

for the past two weeks, he's been lashing out on me. he'd swing from being mean - calling me names and all that - to apologizing profusely saying he's just lonely. he'd also accuse me of things he thought i did, or say i don't treat him the way i treat my other friends, or claiming i toyed with his emotions. and whenever i'd take time to point out what went wrong, he'd say it was all my fault.

memories are short. and when you forget things, you pay for them dearly.

i should never have forgotten that we broke up for a reason. we didn't break up cause we were graduating and couldn't see each other any longer. we didn't break up cause we fell out of love.

we broke up cause he was going crazy on me.

and he still is.

Monday, July 27, 2009

mr. quickie, you disappoint me.

you know how its like - the moment the heel of your shoe gets pudpod or the strap of your bag breaks, you make a mad dash for mr. quickie and they, as the name implies, quickly fix up the broken thing to make it good as new. and so, when something went wrong with my mom's woven bag after two uses, she thought of sending it to me through the balikbayan box, saying "i love the bag but it's going to get destroyed unless something is done with it. services are too expensive here, you ought to bring it to mr. quickie instead."

and so i did.

you know what they said? they can't do anything about it. they don't have the machine that could reinforce the ring.

oh no, that's not what i want you to do, i told the girl. i explained how i'd want them to sew around the ring to reinforce the weaves and that maybe they can put a nice patch or something in the area. she shook her head and gestured to the repairman. i again explained to him what i wanted done and he too said it was impossible.

i went home disappointed. then i channeled my inner mcgyver-slash-martha stewart, got out my sewing kit, and began manually doing repairs on my bag.

it took an episode and a half of csi but i think it's all fixed now. tomorrow, i test run the bag :)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

if someone passes you by smelling like a perfume counter, that would be me

came back a while ago from lunch with friends from jersey and their friends. their friends took them to lunch at sumo sam at shang and i was lucky enough to be invited to tag along. food was okay, although a tad bit expensive for my taste (spied the bill, thank goodness i wasn't paying). as some of you know, i'm not a big fan of japanese food in whatever form, except i guess the chibi (kiddie) meal at terriyaki boy.

anyway, this isn't about the lunch, but what i got out of the lunch.

you know how it's like when you meet up with balikbayan friends and being pinoys, they're bound to have a little something for you from the US by way of pasalubong? well, i love that moment. i'm a sucker for gifts by nature (ballpen lang, masaya na ako) and so, considering the last time they went home they surprised me with a bottle of burberry london and a cute xoxo bag, i must admit that there was some tiny part of me that was a wee bit excited as to what i'd be getting this time.

as soon as i arrived, they handed me a package. of course, i couldn't open it right there and then but i could tell it was a box that would fit my hand. i could also spy from the translucent bag that it had some sort of bow on top. and it was weighty. needless to say, i couldn't wait to open it up.

and so, within seconds of saying goodbye, as they headed to one direction and me the other, i had barely stepped on the escalator when i opened the package and saw it was a box of four perfumes in candy colors, which were "impressions of" (take note not imitation of) miami glow by jlo, lovely by sarah jessica parker, fantasy by britney spears, and with love by hilary duff. all celebrities, yes, after all it was the "celebrity fragrance collection."

probably i really just am the type who'd fail the marshmallow text cause when i got back in the office, i opened up the box and tried one perfume after the other: left wrist, left arm, right wrist, and right arm. and, oh, that's on top of the elizabeth arden green tea i put on this morning. i smell, for lack of a better word, cloying.

twenty minutes later, i can still the smell wafting up from my arms. surprisingly, i like the "impression of" with love the most, then again, it did get a good review. or, it could simply be that elizabeth arden scents and i do get along swimmingly well most of the time. (i wore sunflowers almost all of my college life). fantasy was okay although it sort of faded real quick, so quick that i couldn't really tell where on my arm i sprayed it on anymore. i could blame my nose being shocked into a coma, though, considering i applied four scents within two minutes of each other. lovely and miami glow were disappointments, miami glow more so cause i've heard so many good things about glow and how it had a clean scent which i generally love.

but before one reacts violently, it could simply be that these thoughts aren't really worth anything. after all, "impressions of" aren't really the same as the real things and who knows how the actual perfume would react with my skin chemistry.

anyway, just know that if someone passes you by later smelling like a perfume counter, don't think that a salesman waving those tiny slips of paper is running after you. it would just be me, the girl who tried on four various scents cause she couldn't wait.

Monday, July 20, 2009

one week down, another week to go

my brother calls it our very own version of pinoy big brother, but for any lingkod member, being chosen to be a member of a household is something that's highly anticipated. imagine living together in one house, doing almost everything together, and still functioning the way you do in normal life (go to work, fulfill your duties to your family, etc) is something - according to them - that must be experienced by any committed member.

i must admit that while i was excited to be invited to be a part of the household two years ago, it didn't push through due to logistical problems. they asked me to be part of it again this year and while i readily said yes in the beginning, my heart wasn't into it. as the start day drew nearer, i dreaded it so much i nearly had a fever thinking of how horrible it was going to be.

how are 9 women going to get ready to leave by 630 in the morning?

will i be able to sleep well and fucntion normally at work?

will i like them as much if i spend all that time with them as opposed to weekly prayer meetings only?

will i enjoy it or will i just have to pretend to enjoy it?

and, with all of these "petty" concerns, will i be truly able to find God without being distracted by all these?

let's just i was stupid. i've forgotten one of my favorite verses: "trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy path."

by saturday, i was so sleep deprived that all i was looking forward to was falling into bed and not stirring until the following morning. i did do that, but not after sending a text message to the 8 other sisters in my household telling them how going to bed isn't the same without the multitude of goodnights, the chattering that slows down to a murmur until the last soul falls asleep, and the night prayers where the "chanting" has become quite controversial already.

god has answered all of my issues in the first week. how will all of us take a bath? well, some of us have to shower at a sister's apartment a couple of doors away. will i be able to sleep and function normally? well, that's what weekends are for - to recharge. and thank goodness for a slightly less heavy workload. will i like them? well, no, but i LOVE them to bits! i got to be with the greatest sisters (not to mention the best cooks). will i enjoy it? most definitely.

and as for the last question - God has his way of finding my heart. no matter how much i hide it under a bushel-ful of sin, underneath pride and fake wisdom, and my type-a personality. God knows me by name, knows every bit of me, and as such, he also knows how to get through me the best possible way.

only one week to go. now, i'm wishing the experience were longer.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

and so i'm back on blogger.

i guess the fact that a friend reminded me i haven't blogged in a while prompted this. i remember how i used to love writing here, how my writing muscles were flexed by the desire to put thoughts onto paper (or more appropriately, online). blogging took away the stress brought about by studying and working at the same time, the pain brought about by heartache, and the loneliness of being alone. let's just say blogging was my therapy. (aside from shoes, of course)

for a while, i poured my heart out on multiply. but then, i realized, while it was fun having people in your life just read updates from your site, it wasn't the same honesty that i had here. in blogger, i was, to a certain extent, anonymous. i shared my highs (passing the bar, winning my first case as a law intern, falling in love) as well as my lows (failing the bar when i first took it, frustrations with my job), barely holding back, knowing that not only was it cathartic for me, but that i could be me and no one from my "real world" would really know how it was like for me.

and so i'm back.

hello, blogger. hello, world.
Related Posts with Thumbnails