Friday, November 24, 2006

it could have been friday the 13th

it could have been friday the thirteenth. except it wasn't. it was monday. and it was the twentieth.

the day started off really well. drove arianna to take her high school entrance exams in assumption before going to the hospital for work. got through the usual crazy out-patient schedule followed by several in-patient visits. then back to assumption i went to fetch arianna by 3 pm. was glad that the day went as planned, made good time. parked the car and waited in the school grounds for arianna. like clockwork, she got out on time. we happily chatted how the exams went as we walked to the car, and decided to go to the mall to do some errands.

i was surprised to see a tirejack on my front tire. a memo stuck to my door said i was illegally parked and had to pay a 500 peso fine! jeez! i distinctly remember a guard seeing me park where i did and he didn't even tell me not to park there. no signs, how would i know? i was pissed knowing that that particular village was notorious for trying to make horrendous money out of their car stickers. so with arianna, i went to the security office to complain about the tirejack. there were three other non-residents complaining when we got to the office. what's worse was that the security officer was so darn inefficient. to say the least, i angrily told him i refuse to pay because it is clearly unfair, and demanded to see his superior. a few seconds later, a man in barong came into the office, then just as quickly went out to drive away. i asked the security officer again where his superior was and to that he replied, he was driving to go somewhere! so apalled i was, realizing that the moron security officer purposely didn't tell me that his superior i was looking for was that man in barong who was driving away. so of course, i shouted and demanded that he call his superior back. without thinking twice, his superior waived my fine and ordered his men to unlock the tirejack, after i complained to him, my voice shrill with impatience and irk. all this time, arianna was quietly witnessing everything.

walking back to the car, i was triumphant that i got my way. but i also felt very guilty about having to behave that way in front of arianna, even as a response to what i felt was an act of injustice to me. so i began to rationalize by telling her that we should always stand up for our rights but that i was sorry she had to see me lose my temper. and she just nodded quietly, as if telling me she understood, but not quite agreed.

driving to the mall, i made a u-turn along pasay road. and guess what? a traffic enforcer stopped me. it was a one-way street. what luck! with the traffic enforcer, i was more apologetic and calm, as i tried to get him to understand and hoped that he would consider letting me off the hook. well, he didn't budge. since i am one who certainly will not bribe, i told him to just give me a ticket. to that, he said it will cost me 500 pesos to retrieve my license. good grief!!

"it feels like friday the thirteenth," i told arianna. and to that she replied, "mom, i think it's karma." i instantly felt so small. i wanted the earth to open up and swallow me. how right she was.

more than the misfortunes of the day, what made me feel like it was friday the thirteenth was how i made my daughter think and feel about my behavior and the direct or coincidental consequence of it. with her simple reply, she made me realize i should have known and could have done better. i knew i disappointed her. it's worse than any friday the thirteenth i have ever experienced in my life.


Anonymous jun said...

Look at the bright side.. You've learned some valuable lessons that you are likely to remember, Friday the 13th or not.

Friday, 24 November, 2006  
Blogger freckle-face said...

jun - you can say that again! i don't think i would forget the lessons, since it is difficult to erase from my memory how her face looked then, nor how deep her words pierced me.

Friday, 24 November, 2006  
Blogger mama_aly said...

it's amazing what we can do without thinking. i remember one time coming from a COMMUNITY ASSEMBLY when my hubby unconsciously made a left on a no left zone. he was stopped by a traffic enforcer and without thinking, he slipped in a P100 bill with his license in full view of our son Dino. As soon as the officer let us go, my son said "Papa, why did you do that?" --- i don't know if he's ever felt more shame in his life. he was full of remorse and apologized to the kids.

Sunday, 26 November, 2006  
Blogger mama_aly said...

hopefully, the apology made a bigger mark on them than the act itself

Sunday, 26 November, 2006  
Anonymous jun said...

i admit i was once flagged down by a MApsa after going thru a red light about 10 years ago. Gave a 500 pesos since that was the only bill available.

After that, I felt so miserable. Not because of the generous dole out but because I was guilty of the things I ranted about.

Since then, I just get the ticket or beg until they let me go.

Humongous lesson learned, that one.

Monday, 27 November, 2006  

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