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Wednesday, 29 May 2013


I'm sure Umberto Eco's book would be a far more fascinating take on the subject of ugliness. I'm sure Plato would agree with my brief exposition for the day. 

You see, I'm about to rant some. I'm about to whine and be petty. 

Remember how I woke up early to greet my uncle on his arrival, how I vacuum cleaned and mopped, how I even gave the garage a superficial clean (in spite of reasons that might have otherwise let laziness get the best of me) because not doing so would be ugly? I have an idea to live up to: the girl who would have been too lazy to clean a bit for a visitor and would hold up cleaning on grounds of being offended by empty unspoken promises would not be my mother's daughter. I even helped my uncle with work. I lent him my computer, set up the printer, helped him get some grades written down. None too special, I'll admit, since I've stuck to being in my room as much, as often and for as long as possible. Not too special, but certainly not the sort of thing that merits rich people treating poor people like they're on the same level.

I'm sorry. I know it's an ugly way to put it. This is all about the ugly.

Some of it, I remember (I can't say I'm used to it). I woke up early in the morning to clean, but did I wake aunt A? Vacuum cleaned and mopped, but did I dust too? Tidied up the bathroom, but why didn't I bring up the fact that the shower floor is slippery and there should be a rubber mat there? 

Some of it, I'm a bit ashamed to even bring up. We were all together, BCM and family, cousin S, aunt A and my uncle. We stop for coffee at a coffee/ice cream place. LC4 shared an ice cream with his dad, cousin S had an ice cream, the others ordered coffees. BCM paid for most of it. Aunt A was about to pay for her coffee when it occurred to her to ask if I'd want anything. I wanted to say I wanted nothing, but I also wanted an ice cream, so I hesitated a bit and ordered one. When the topic was marginally brought up, my uncle was quick to point out how I must be as stupid as aunt A thinks, even though neither has proof of it. I just looked away and kept quiet.

All throughout, I did what I usually do when aunt A goes shopping: I gathered a description of what they were looking for and tried to find something. So excuse me for taking a little offence when my suggestions are met with scoffs, I don't think so poorly of my taste. My uncle gathered gifts for my cousins, for my aunt, for the husbands. All to be bought by aunt A. I don't remember if I mentioned a shirt aunt MT bought mum, an expensive one she deliberately splurged in because it was mum. Aunt A was unhappy about it, too eager to point out it was expensive. Such were the shirts for my aunt and my cousins. The men's gifts were accordingly not-cheap. They were 50% off. They told me to pick one for the old man. Both of the ones I chose were rejected and changed for another one. I was just happy he'd get a shirt that nice. Upon learning those were her gifts to the men, aunt A seemed scandalised. She told me she'd send nothing much for mum and aunt MT just yet because the first gifts got too expensive. Like sending them such expensive gifts was such a penitence. Mind you, I daresay we've helped her out more and we're closer to her than, say, my cousins' husbands. But there was no "let's get them something cheaper." There was also no "And now for [mum], what to get her?" from my uncle. The old man's gift was the odd one out there. Forget about getting something for mum or aunt MT. 

The proper gifts for them are the things she should give away to charity. Her hoarding excuse is having poor relatives. Like the cartoon petite bourgeoise who wanted to have delicious, grand banquets to have left overs for the poor. Pas des cadeaux pour mes parents ou tante MT. 

Even though they make sure to always send presents they have trouble affording. 

That was all the bad. We're out of good. Here's the ugly. Aunt MT sent some chips with my uncle. Because she's a darling and because she's lovely and because she knows I like them and wanted to send me something with my uncle even though my sister's coming next week and she'll send something else then. They weren't expensive, that's not the point. My point is that the chips were just another cheap grocery item to be brought as a gift for "the people here" to my uncle and I did not get them because they were most likely left at BCN's. My uncle unceremoniously handed out the food saying "This is for you [aunt A], this is for cousin S, can we leave this for BCM, or do you [linaThumbe] want it?". He did not stop to say "this is from ____ to ____." He did not think to bring aunt MT's token to me because to him it meant nothing. And this cheap stupid gift, ever so fitting, meant enough to me that I want to it makes me cry. 

All the above being what it is, I had to send the gifts I'd stashed away for mum, the old man and aunt MT. I'll get them more to send with my sister. I told my uncle it was just for mum and the old man, though, lest it come across as me being too stingy to get the others anything. Because I worry about such things just like I worried about getting them all Christmas presents. 

Note to self: work and save, work and save. 

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