Sunday, January 2, 2011

A blue [jean] story

Alright, I have nothing really grand to post. It's already the 3rd here in the Philippines (which I can't believe), so since I'm already late with my New Years resolutions, I might as well post something inconsequential.

I went to church today with my lola since I haven't seen her since Christmas Eve. I wanted to greet the pastor of her church as well since he's become a friend of the family's. Anyway, Lola, being the well-meaning and prompt woman that she is, insisted that we attend church early. By early, I mean we showed up an hour and a half before the service. I was sleepy, bored, and otherwise hungry since I didn't eat breakfast or had my morning coffee.

She brings me to the coffee room where I make myself some really horrible instant coffee (I had no way of measuring out how much I needed so I definitely over-scooped myself). After sitting on the old pew trying to cool my coffee, and allowing my lola to introduce me to all these 'titos' and 'titas' who aren't actually related to me at all; she introduces me to this one older gentleman.

This man then proceeds to spill my scalding hot coffee all over my hand and down my jeans. Not even missing a beat, he barely notices my terse reaction and continues to ask me how I am, how are my parents, and how long I've been visiting in the Philippines so far. Trying to follow the Thai way of doing things, I kept a smile on my face while frantically searching for a napkin, paper towel, or rag to wipe myself down with. After watching me scrub at my jeans with a hankie for a couple minutes, and finally noticing that I've only answered one of his questions, he awkwardly moves on to talk to another older woman. I stand, turn in a full circle, and try to think of something to solve the major problem of the giant stain down the front of my pants.

I am swearing up a storm in my head. I'm not feeling guilty at all that I'm in church since the Tagalog service is still going on and my English swear words mean nothing in Tagalog. I mumbled something to my lola about washing myself in the bathroom and dart off. Just my luck, church hasn't even started and instead of 'Sunday best' I look like I put on jeans that haven't been washed in weeks. I was furious. I tried everything in the bathroom -- water, hand sanitizer, spit -- but it was pointless. I had officially become Filipino trash. The only thing I wasn't wearing from Asian markets was my jeans, but now after coffee splattered everywhere, it might as well have been.

But let's not stop here.

After church Lola suggested I go to the mall to grab some lunch and chill out there for a bit so I don't get bored with hanging out at the house. Good idea. Shopping has always been therapeutic. I walk around everywhere, grab some KFC for the first time that day (yup, I had it for dinner too), and eventually make my way to the clothing shops. It was in the back of my mind to look for jeans, but we all know Pinoys are tiny people who wouldn't have double digit sizes even if they imported them, so I decided to window shop instead.

One shop I wandered into had some tops I was willing to try on, so I slipped behind the curtain disguised as a dressing room only to discover the back of my jeans were ripped. Not just a tiny hole, but an inch-and-a-half gap along the hem of my pocket.

It's just a pocket you say. Not just a pocket. It is a bad omen that these jeans will have to be retired soon. This can't happen. I wear American sizes and I'm stuck in Asia. I'm not going home for another six months. These are my only pair of jeans.

In my distraught state, I bought two blouses.

They won't make up for my precious jeans, but it's a start.