Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Blog Marathon 2 of 4
There it was, December 24, 2009, Christmas eve. My shift starts at 11AM and ends at 8PM. My housemate Charmita has work for the night and I am looking at a lonely Christmas Eve alone in the house, and had work the next day. At work, people were happily talking about what they would be doing, where they would be doing it, and well…with whom they would be doing it. I listened. Maybe it’s the SAD or Seasonal Afflictive Disorder, maybe it was the chill in the air, or maybe, it was just the plain sad truth… I was alone, and there is no one there. No friends, no family, no special someone to wish me a merry Christmas, not in any particular order.
When I got off work, I walked to nearby Robinson’s Galleria. I was picking out the gift I intended to give Charmita. It was the new Madonna album. Her and me, we are big Madonna fans, well, the 80’s Madonna to be exact. In fact, ‘our’ song is a Madonna song… Borderline… ‘Just try to understand, I’m giving it all I can, but you got the best of me...’ Even her daughter was named after a Madonna song. I might not be the father but I had naming rights. If it would be a boy, we would name him Uriel, in honor of my favorite archangel, the Fire of God. We were looking for a girl’s name if she would be a girl. We were lying down in my bed sharing earphones on Bryan’s Ipod and the song came on, and there it was… the name… Cherish!
So I went to Odyssey, and please people, trust me; avoid this store like the plague. I picked up the DVD’s for Charmita, and was about to pay. I asked the girl manning the counter if she can put it in a gift bag. You know how stores have gift bags instead of the usual plastic especially during gift giving season? The girl rudely said ‘Sir wala po eh, wala nang libre sa mundo ngayon’ (Sir there are none, and nothing is free in this world anymore). That was so insulting and rude! I have money, I was not asking for a freebie! I was just asking if they had gift bags to put the DVD’s in, just like every store! The comment was so uncalled for. I fought the urge to tell her, Eh kung sampalin kaya kita, libre yun! I calmly told her she was being rude and insulting and that is not exactly good customer service! Oh! Talk to me about customer service! I do it 8 hours daily for some of the most impossible people in the world, and fuck it was Christmas eve!
I asked for a manger, so I can log a complaint and what do you know, she was the store supervisor! I could not stand for this shabby service. I felt so bad I told her to apologize. She did in a very snickering way and it did not feel very sincere. She added, oh ayan, nagsorry na ako ha! WTF! ‘tangna! Paskong-pasko eh! I checked my wallet, purchased a lot more of stuff that my money would allow, paid for them, asked for an official receipt and let her bag my purchases. When all was done, I calmly pushed the bag back and said, ‘Now cancel everything! I am not buying anything from such a store with such a rude supervisor, and I am telling my friends, and if I had the time, the mall management too.’ I calmly walked out the store but I was very irritated. I went up to AstroVision, where I was treated better, and the staff heard out my story, and asked which girl I was referring to. Turns out, she does have quite a reputation for being such a bitch! Honestly, that is exactly why I support the local manong devede! Boss, ex? Scandal? If anyone from Odyssey or knows anyone from there is reading this, do yourselves a favor and fire that bitch! She is not good for the business, and she is a supervisor at that? What has the world come to? I am not asking to be treated like royalty, just respectfully. Even the manong devede or the ate’s in divisoria or baclaran have better customer service attitudes than her. Now I wasn’t only lonely, I was upset, too.
I came home, brewed coffee and prepared for a long lonely Christmas Eve. I changed, went to midnight mass, and felt lonelier by the minute. I thought of what I had back home. Can I say I miss my family and Christmases with them? If I were back home, there’d be a small feast with great food. In my apartment, there are only canned goods and a take out of two piece burger steak with extra gravy and extra rice. In Iloilo, there’d be a warm queen sized bed, some aromatherapy candles, an HDTV, a big Whirlpool ref stocked with goodies and that nice tub for a warm bubble bath. In my apartment, there’s only the TV I bought surplus from the pier, the surplus ref I also bought from the pier and the pirated DVD player I bought from there, not even totaling to eight thousand pesos. I had my thin foam, lying Tatami style on my cold floors, no closets, no shelves, and the small bathroom with a leaking shower cord. I’d be having my Christmas dinner in my loaned monobloc round table with four monobloc chairs which the last occupant left and did not intend to get, with Christmas place mats bought on sale from Megamall, and a bamboo plant centerpiece 50 pesos from Quiapo, placed on an empty cheezwiz bottle immersed in growing gelatinous beads thinggie bought from Baclaran at five pesos a pack.
In Iloilo I’d be driving my battered up car Cappuccino, for an after-family Christmas round up of brewed coffee or what not’s with friends, whoemever would be available, at wherever that remains open that night, while here in Manila, I had only season four DVD of sex and the city waiting to serve as my after dinner entertainment pleasure. I plopped down in front of my TV with a pillow I bought for a hundred a piece in Baclaran, pillow cases, 3 for a hundred, and started watching sex and the city, with my dinner on my lap, on crystal plates bought at Eunilane Kalayaan on sale 3 for a hundred. As I settled down for a long cold lonely night I sighed, and I realized one thing. I looked around the apartment. All of the things in here, I bought myself -.my own money, my own hard work; mine. And it made the big difference. Yes, I was lonely, but in Iloilo, I was lonely too. The difference is that, here in Manila, everything I have is mine; even my loneliness. I made my choice. I wanted this. This is my very own personal loneliness. Unlike in Iloilo, I was lonely there because of what other people did. They caused my loneliness. I am lonely because of them. Here in Manila, I find myself lonely, yes, on a Christmas Eve, but hey, I am lonely because of me. It was my own loneliness; MINE! I spooned off the burger steak, cutlery from Baclaran, 50 pesos for a dozen, smiled despite myself, and had me my very own personal lonely Christmas eve.