Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Remembrances of Christmases Past - 1: POOR LITTLE POOR GIRL

I look back to all the Christmases of my life to see if I can remember some for being extraordinarily happy or sad or strange. Here's one of them.

The little girl Anna, was bawling her heart out. She tried mightily to extend her crying even if she didn’t feel like crying anymore. When she heard knocking on the door, she turned the volume a decibel louder. “Go away,” she hiccupped, even as she wondered if her voice sounded heart-rending enough.

Christmas began badly enough that midnight. She had written Santa Claus for her dream tea set. How many successive years she had asked for a tea set – she had lost count.

She knew by the shape and heft of the package she found by her bed that Santa had denied her again. She tore off the wrapping unhappily. What an ugly thing, she thought, as she drew it out from a box. A chunky aparador-aparadoran made of wood. She pulled the tiny closets and drawers experimentally, then pushed the whole thing away. It fell on the floor with a thud.

On Christmas morning, she and her sisters came home from church to a full living room. The flock of cousins, all nine of them, was waiting – they who lived three streets away and who never failed to come each year. They were nine reasons why her perennially broke Dad was always looking province-ward around this season. So he can "hide in the mountains."

One of them she didn’t particularly like. Inna her name was -- so pretty and so smart and so lista and was her Dad’s favorite. As Inna and Anna were of the same age and almost the same names, they were often compared, at the constant expense of shy, mousy-looking Anna.

Inna could twirl Anna’s Dad around her fingers. Even on Christmases her Dad was broker than broke, she was the only one he would secretly palm one peso to, among the brood.

Presently, Inna got up, her curls bouncing. I have a new poem, she announced pertly, curtsying to Anna’s Dad who sat beaming.

After the applause, Inna sat on his lap and whispered in his ear. In turn, he groped for his pocket. “No, I don’t want money,” she said. “What do you want -- my wallet?” he teased. She replied, “That one.”

Her finger was pointing at the aparador-aparadoran Anna’s mom had retrieved from the bedroom floor and set on the center table.

“Well, that’s Anna’s,” he answered thoughtfully. “But, hmm, I don’t think she likes it.”

At that point, Anna, her face flaming, fled to the bedroom, locked it, and bawled her heart out. She fell asleep from her effortful crying. When she woke and got out, the house was quiet. In the sala, she immediately found what her eyes sought.

The little aparador was still there and no longer looked ugly.

72 comments:

Leah said...

Dont we always cry for the things we lose and often times we never look at it when they're around? I was sure your daddy wouldn't give your mini closet away.

You have a good memory and recollection.

Did Anna learnt her lesson?

http://mga-munimuni.com/

Annamanila said...

Leah!

It is actually a vague memory. I just fleshed it out with my imagination. The cousin's real name is Myrla. :)

feng said...

what a doting Dad he is! blessed and lucky Anna for having him. :)

What a meaningful post to reflect this Christmas! Christmas is really all about the spirit of giving, right?

Toe said...

Naiiyak ako because it sounds like my past Christmases too. I wasn't allowed to cry though. :(

Tani said...

Sometimes in order for us to see their value, what we consider ugly have to be viewed from others' eyes also.
I too remember clearly things from my childhood. Especially the painful ones.

Gypsy said...

Now if Inna DID get the aparador that would be very sad indeed!! Maybe your dad was just 'pulling your leg?' Anyway, you wanted a tea set?? If I were Buddhist, I'd say you were English in your last life! Hehehe..

Ruy said...

This is deep... Thanks for this important life lesson.

Annamanila said...

Feng!

My father was indeed a doting, loving and charming dad. But he loved so many. hahaha Someday I will blog about him.

Annamanila said...

Toe =?

Talaga? You loved tea sets and never got them, too :) You weren't allowed to cry? Ako long playing.

I prefer your old avatar.

Annamanila said...

Tani!

Aha. We sometimes have to see things from the eyes of others to realize how endowed we are. Oo nga, mas memorable yung mga painful. Bakit nga ba.

Annamanila said...

Gypsy!

Of course, he wouldn't have given it to my cousin. But the stupid little girl Anna didn't know it.

Ah ... tea set was how we call all pinggan-pingganan. You know what, I grew up constantly giving tea sets to my nieces and inaanaks.

Annamanila said...

Ruy!

When you look back to things that happened eons ago and read ito it every which way, you almost never fail to pick up an insight or two. Thanks!

julie said...

I could not really remember family reunions during Christmas because we usually kept to ourselves, just our family.

At least she didn't get the aparador, and you knew you were more special than she is to your dad's eyes. How is Myrla now?

Julie

Annamanila said...

Teacher Julie!

Siempre naman, he loved me more, his flesh and blood and well I also learned to declaim in high school hahaha.

Si Myrla. Mataba na sya ngayon. Shhhh.

MrsPartyGirl said...

we don't really realize how lucky we are to have something until it gets coveted by others. (apparently, it doesn't just happen with little aparadors but with boyfriends and spouses, too, hehe!:)

that was such a poignant memory. i enjoyed reading it, thanks! :)

ScroochChronicles said...

It takes losing to know what having really means, di ba :)

Ok lang, bata ka pa naman noon. Think about it, ikaw nga may gift, si Inna humihingi pa ng piso. And I just read your comment, poetic justice kasi you have kept your youthful figure...hehehe :)

vernaloo said...

hmm I didn't get any Christmas presents when I was a child...not that I'm bitter about it but life was hard during those times so as long as we're complete and we have something for Noche Buena, everything is great.

Maybe I should blog about my own Christmas story hehe =)

Gina said...

Ang gandang Christmas story....

Oooh, I love tea sets too. Even now. =)

lady cess said...

love this! so feel good! tamang-tama because i need a feel good story right now :)

coffeefreak said...

wow, what a beautiful story! it brings back happy memories of tea sets and a flock of cousins and a doting lolo who made all of us line up for a piso--the big, heavy kind

annamanila said...

Mrspartygirl!

That's human nature, ano? I didn't intend this to be poignant. I could have written it flippantly, humorously. But somehow, it got this way. :)

annamanila said...

Cookie!

I love the way you phrased it -- "it takes losing to know what having really means." Galing! And you pinned the thumb tack
right on the head. :)

Poetic justice .. haha. Pretty pa din sya kahit plump (for just in case mabasa nya ito. haha)

annamanila said...

Verna!

Am sure you have a delightful Christmas story to tell. Will wait!

annamanila said...

Gina!

Aww, thanks.

Tea sets are still my gift of choice for little girls. :)

And I now collect tea pots (chinese and japanese teapots.)

annamanila said...

Lady Cess!

I am happy my story made you feel better. Stay cool, okay?

annamanila said...

Coffeefreak!

Christmas is loaded with happy memories talaga, ano? At that time, a peso is already one-fourth of the daily minimum wage. :)

mari said...

we only realize the value of something or someone when others want it or worse, when we lose it or him/her.

chateau said...

Heart-warming naman ng memory na to.. I can imagine little Anna throwing tantrums haha.

Little girls always wanted tea sets, no? But, I would have loved that aparador too, because our dolls' homemade dresses were aparador-less.

exskindiver said...

maganda nga, AM.
isn't that so true about human nature?
we take things for granted, yet grieve when we lose it.
or the flipside,
life is better shared (or when you know someone covets it)
great post.

sasha said...

Hahaha... I remember throwing tantrums to get what I want when I was a kid :)

We can only see the value of something when there is a threat of it being taken away from us. Minsan ganon eh...

Nakakatuwa ang kwento mo, tita! More! :)

Sasha

Annamanila said...

Mari!

You're so right. Anna was very young then and didn't know better. Has she learned (as Leah here commented)? Hmmm I suppose she learned some but can still do with more. :)

thanks.

Annamanila said...

Chateau!

Oo nga, I didn't see the potential of the aparador. Sobra kasing obsessed sa tea sets eh. Ty!!

Annamanila said...

Chesca!

Thanks for letting your arm be twisted into reading my post. o di ba, it's short and sweet? hahaha

Annamanila said...

Sasha!

I guess when we were kids tears and tantrums are our only weapons to intimate the adults. hehe Ayan nakarma na ako. I have (some) bratty children.

I am thinking of a series of Christmas memories. So stick around. :)

MONACO said...

brings back memories of my past christmases as well. my toy planes, cars, tank, ambulance, train set. I got all the toys I wanted but I never got to play with them. I was only allowed to watch while dad "demonstrated" how it was done. he said I might destroy them so I just watched. back then I was happy just watching.

Annamanila said...

Sasha!

I meant to say: "tears and tantrums are our only weapons to INTIMIDATE adults." Sorry for my fat fingers ... haha.

Annamanila said...

Monaco!

Oh my, you were only allowed to watch?! You poor little rich boy! :)

Anonymous said...

Mumsy, I still don't know what to get you for Christmas. Thanks for giving me an idea. dyok only.

Belle said...

do you still want tea set for Christmas, Anna?

hmmm, could it have been a ploy set up by your dad and Inna for you to show interest in the aparador-aparadoran that you didn't care at first?

Annamanila said...

Anonymous!

Bonch ... tea set .. japanese and chinese tea pots with matching tea cups. Thanks ha. hahaha

Annamanila said...

Belle!

I think my nieces and inaanaks get yearly tea sets from me. hahaha.

I collect tea pots now. I wonder if it had somethng to do with my youthful obsession for tea sets. haha.

Thanks.

Em Dy said...

Reminds me of the scene in Inang Yaya where Maricel gave her daughter a fake Skechers. The daughter threw the gift at her but when her ward loved it, the daughter wanted it back.

myepinoy said...

Great story.

Tatak annamanila. ha ha ha

Annamanila said...

Em dy!

Napanuod ko din yata yan ah. A three-hanky movie?

Annamanila said...

Myepinoy!

Thanks ... whatever tatak annamanila means. :)

rowena said...

Touching post AM. Siguro kung di mo narinig si Myrla wanting your aparador, di ka pa tatahan..ha ha. Di baleng walang tea-set, you have your Dad's love naman. I remembered I was so disappointed when Santa didn't give me the gift I wanted back then...I guess, we can't really have it all.

evi said...

you were like any other kid, anna. your dad intentionally said that you don't like it and it seemed like he was ready to give it away but he knew that after that you would come to like the gift even if it wasn't what you really wanted.

bw said...

Very nice story and gives us a glimpse of our human frailty, when we take for granted things that we have only to realize its importance when others crave for it ! Thanks for sharing :)

ysrael said...

Those wondrous toys of girls and boys. A christmas tree with lights aglow. Some cotton snow and mistletoe..all these and love are memories of our christmas past.

Christmas Past - JMC

MONACO said...

hi anna, I hope you're in te mood for a christmas tag. but if you're too busy with christmas preparations, like all mothers around the world, it's okay.

happy haolidays!

Annamanila said...

Rowena!

We really cant have it all. TDhat's right. And we should cherish those we have. thanks for ur insight.

Annamanila said...

Evi!

Come to think of it .... he was just bluffing, teasing. So I would come to my senses. Which I did. :)

Annamanila said...

Evi!

Human nature, human frailty. We begin our lessons as children. Today, we still learn a thing or two. all life is all a learning and an exploring, right?

Annamanila said...

BW!

We take things for granted until we almostlose them and we begin to appreciate. I think a lot of you who commented were able to probe into the insights i should have gained from the experience. ty

Annamanila said...

Ysrael!

Wondrous toys and memories indeed.

Annamanila said...

Monaco!

Thanks for the Christmas tag. Will do it asap.

jerry said...

How could your father have given your cousin santa's gift to you. It's not even for him to give away. Hahaha!

But as you said, you know better now.

Great story, ana.

Annamanila said...

Jerry!

I had an excuse to be so clueless .. i was 7 or 8 then. :)

Mixednuts said...

We tend to like or look for what we don't already have. This is truly a natural thing. Happy Holidays!

SexyMom said...

sometimes it has to take someone to show another what could have mattered. we have to see beyond what we have--that is the mystery. what seems to be so simple and trivial could really be something monumental. again, it's a matter of looking beneath.

MERRY CHRISTMAS and a PROSPEROUS AND BLESSED NEW YEAR!

Heart of Rachel said...

What a beautiful story. Sometimes it takes another to make us realize the worth of something we take for granted.

princess said...

Did Anna make friends with Inna eventually? I hope so.....
This story would make a nice episode in a teleserye (chuckle)

rhodora said...

Happy New Year to you and your family, Myrna!

One of the 2007 blessings I count is having met friends like you. Cheers!

Aisa Guiam said...

It's a nice story. It made me smile

Aisa Guiam said...

I love the story. I thought the little girl was you. :)

Miss F said...

what a beautiful heart-warming story! so simple, touching, personal and deep- yet everyone can relate to it.

thank you for sharing this story. Here's hoping life brings you more tea-sets and seemingly-ugly aparador-aparadoran along the way!!!

*^__^*

Annamanila said...

Mixed Nuts!

I hope you had a fun and stress-free holidays too. May the new year bring prosperity, joy and love to you and yours.

Annamanila said...

Rachel!

You're quite right. We tend to take what we have for granted. And covet things still on the shelf or those owned by others. Human nature?

Annamanila said...

Princess!

We became friends .. not too close .. for eventually they moved to another place. We met once or twice after I got married and that's that. I wasn't as much angry with her as with myself for beibg so stupid and unassertive. hehehe

Annamanila said...

Rhodora!

You aer one of my first friends in the blogging community. One of the first who posted a comment. I love your blogs, their honesty in particular. Friends forever.

Annamanila said...

Aisa!

Uhmmm that made me smile too. Thanks. Will drop by one of these days.

Annamanila said...

Miss F!

Awww thanks. I couldnt wish for more than what you wished for me. :)

May the new year also bring you your heart's most cherished! Do you have a blog. I tried to visit.

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