Oh Hey! An Early Father’s Day Post

Happy early Father’s Day!

One of the most complicated things about having parents who are separated is having to figure out how to deal with certain special occasions.  Who do we spend Christmas Eve with? Who gets to have us over on Christmas Day? As people who have an arguably unhealthy attachment to family, it’s actually a big thing.

You’d think that Father’s Day would be a no-brainer. But as it turns out, it’s not. Mom’s birthday is pretty darn close to that holiday (the day right after Father’s Day), which means there’s a bit of a conflict right there. And because we’ll ALL be working on Monday, the best time to celebrate mom’s thing is on Father’s Day itself. D:

Khan and his followers in Star Trek II: The Wr...
I think I will blame Khan for this, just because. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Since birthdays trump parent days, we’ve arranged to celebrate Father’s Day today instead, and celebrate Mom’s birthday tomorrow. At the moment, we are gorging on pizza and lasagna. While watching Superman II. And geeking out over every damn thing we could find on the Internet (okay, we’re mostly looking at io9). And dad doesn’t seem all that bothered that we’re not celebrating Father’s Day on the day itself.

Meanwhile, mom gets to have a road trip to Los Banos so we can have breakfast at this place she loves and buy some of that really awesome coconut pie. EVERYONE WINS!

Given that the weekend’s gonna be pretty darn hectic, I’m sure that I won’t be able to get any posts done for tomorrow. With that in mind, I guess I’m just gonna have to say HAPPY FATHER’S DAY now. Just in case.

This is what my dad looks like when he’s working.

Writing Challenge 24 – My Favorite Holiday

At the risk of sounding cliche, I’m admitting that my absolute favorite holiday is Christmas.

A Christmas Tree
And may the spirit of Christmas be always in our hearts, no matter how hot or humid it gets over here. Image from http://sxc.hu

It’s partly because of the presents, but that’s not exactly it. My primary reason for loving the Christmas season, and it’s a great big honking excuse for my favorite family members to get together and gorge on food. I think I’m extra-excited these days because there are toddlers involved, neither of which are mine. I can coo over them all I want (because my nephews are absolutely adorable), but at the end of the day, they’ll still be going home with their parents.

Hey, don’t judge me. I know I’m not parent material. I’m more like the weirdo cool aunt who shows every once in a while.

But back to Christmas. It’s definitely my favorite holiday. I go as far as dressing up like a weird elf-sized female Santa on my last day at work for that holiday (I tend to file for fairly long vacations between Christmas and New Year). Yes, I really do that. No, I am not posting pictures.

So yeah. My favorite holiday is Christmas–I just have a blast with it.

Writing Challenge 23 – My Relationship with My Parents

My relationship with my parents is…complicated. I don’t mean that in a BAD way; I get along fairly well with the parental units, despite the squabbles I often get into with my mom (and most of that can be chalked up to the fact that we are very similar people with very different priorities) and the mini-arguments I get into with my dad every few weeks (which can be attributed to the both of us being naturally cranky). So yeah, I’m pretty happy with the parents I’ve got. Wouldn’t swap them for anyone else’s. Can’t imagine being the genetic spawn of anyone else.

Of course, that doesn’t exactly mean that things are simple. The fact that I have, in my opinion, AWESOME parents means that I will likely be their kid FOREVER.

Elea, as a toddler during Christmas
They still see me as a toddler, and I probably act like one when I’m really tired.

Before you say “Oh, we’re all the children of our parents forever, right?” let me clarify a few things:

  • I am Filipino, and we tend to stick with family until the end of our days*–or at least until we get married
  • Meanwhile, I cannot imagine myself getting married
  • I have geeky/nerdy pursuits that typically means I spend a lot of my money on things like comics, books, and writing materials (got this from dad)
  • Meanwhile, I also like my little luxuries like good steak, sushi, and the occasional massage (got this from mom)…
  • Incidentally, that’s why I still live with my mother (I’m with dad most weekends, though – my parents have been separated for years)

Given all those factors, I actually cannot see myself being adult enough to move to my own place. And I think my parents are okay with that. I’m not sure if being okay with stuff like that as a family is healthy (people might accuse us of being extremely co-dependent), but I think it’s working for now. It only gets a bit hairy when degrees of independence come into the picture, and either I or the parents forget that I’m almost thirty. Whenever I forget my own age, I tend to act like a petulant and entitled teenager. When my parents forget my age, they tend to expect me to go with them everywhere (mom) or try to not worry me over some issues that I might be able to help with (my dad). We can annoy each other like nobody else, but that’s probably because we care about each other way too much.

Of course, now that I’m actually a little over a year away from turning thirty, I notice that I act less like a toddler/teenager and my parents are letting me go/trusting me more. That still doesn’t change the fact that my relationship with my parents will likely be complicated for years to come; frankly, I think I’ll miss the minor complications if I ever have to let them go.

*Disclaimer: Not all Filipinos do this. But devotion to family is a very common Pinoy trait.

Happy Mother’s Day 2013!

It’s 4:48 in the morning on May 12, 2013 here in the Philippines. It’s Mother’s Day here, and as I’m typing this I can’t help but reflect on the kind of upbringing I had, care of my mother. Many times, I’ve talked about how my father had pretty major influence over my life–I became a reader like him, I became a writer like him, and he basically bestowed me with a love for geeky things that I couldn’t adequately describe.

BUT.

I also know that I wouldn’t be as well adjusted as I am if my mom hadn’t been my mom. I’m not saying that she doesn’t have a crazy side that we, as a family, actually indulge. My mom absolutely loves extremely alcoholic fruit punches (only at family parties, of course), for one thing, and would laugh at some of the most inappropriate things. When she and I get into an argument, it dissolves into a bout of melodrama that my brother and sister have to diffuse–I am embarrassed to say that this happens on a regular basis.

My mother standing by Taal lake
My mom also poses close to volcanoes in bad weather. Granted, it’s dormant. But that’s risky, in my book.

I’m not even mentioning the bear, because that will take too much explanation. But in comparison, I’m pretty sure that my mom is the sanest out of all of us. It’s frightening and comforting at the same time. Frightening because she’s almost as weird as us, but still quite functional in the real world (it must be some sort of superpower). Comforting because I managed to somehow took after her in the ways that matter.

I have what my mother calls “a creative temperament”, which basically means that I fly off the handle in the very worst way. It also means that I am in grave danger of being extremely irresponsible with my resources. But mom raised me in a way that made me completely aware of some of the PRACTICALITIES of life. This is why I’m not living under a bridge somewhere, trying to peddle bad poetry to passersby. Sure, I’m still living with my mother; but I’m earning a decent salary doing something that I actually like doing. It’s not high literature, but it’s WRITING. And it’s my mom who inspires me to stick to it. It’s my mom who insists that I insist on getting paid really well for something I do really well. I’m grateful for that.

Marmee? I know you’re reading this because you stalk my blog. You drive me crazy, and we get into a shitload of fights because we’re so similar and so different. But I want you to know that I love you. 

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY.