Because her US-based nephew was in town for 2 weeks for his niece’s beach wedding in Boracay island, Parsimonious Auntie had invited her nephews and nieces for lunch ( siomai (( from “Forbes” notwithstanding )), what else???!!! ) at her Grey Gardens-style home in gated Makati ( remember the movie “Grey Gardens” from 2009 starring Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange? ). One could hardly move with the palimpsest of possessions, of great worth and the worthless, since PA at her advanced age could no longer make distinctions ( not that she ever did ). There were beautiful paintings ( Fernando Amorsolo magsasakas & lavanderas, Anita Magsaysay-Ho tinderas & chismosas, Romeo Enriquez portraits of the family trolls ), furniture ( enough original Batangas mesas altar to make the top collectors swoon ), and objects ( silver “paliteras” toothpick holders and “buyeras” betel nut & cigar trays from several roots of the tree, Ch’ing dynasty rose, vert, & jaune vases, etc. ), juxtaposed with PA’s latest finds from the 168 mall in Divisoria, “Wellmanson”s” & “Sophie’s” in Quiapo, & the Greenhills “Tiangge,” but they were all coated with what seemed like a year of dust, despite the presence of several household help, who had once complained to their mistress that she had too many things for them to clean, to which she replied matter-of-factly: “Mayaman ako. Kaya marami akong gamit. Wala tayong magagawa tungkol do’n.” ( “I’m rich. That’s why I have so many things. There’s nothing we can do about that.” )
The house looked frozen in time… A beautiful niece, married to a superrich Asian businessman, was fascinated with already-“antique” perfume bottles ( perfume, not EDT eau de toilette ) in a vitrine in Parsimonious Auntie’s master bedroom, the lot of them from the 1950s, mostly from PA’s mother-in-law, Lola Bruja Mahjongera. What fascinated her the most were 2 bottles, 1 big and 1 small, sporting capes and headdresses. She had seen them in that cabinet since she was a small girl in the late 1950s.
The nephews and nieces ( all adults, very well-off, with their own families ) snickered among themselves when they came upon their aunt’s big framed family photo from the late 1970s by a society photographer hanging in the stairwell. Something was different in the family pic…
Parsimonious Auntie had roundly cut out her former daughter-in-law’s face and replaced it with the one of the new daughter-in-law, whose photo however, was of a different proportion ( not to mention a different era ) to the former daughter-in-law’s body, making her look like an alien… It looked “beyond ridiculous.”
Observations between the cousins were exchanged in hushed tones…
“Cutting ***** off and putting ***** like that… so funny!” observed a senior nephew.
“Why didn’t she have that done professionally? It looks awful!” asked a kind niece.
“Ssshhh… She’s proud that she did it herself! DIY!” an acerb niece warned.
“Hah??? She did it herself???!!!” they all asked, incredulous.
“Do you honestly think she’ll pay for Adobe Photoshop services by a pro???!!!” the acerb niece retorted. They all kept quiet.
A witty techie nephew pointed at the family photo and quipped the best line: “BUT HEY… THAT’S THE ORIGINAL ‘CUT & PASTE’ !!!”
( “Best Face” by Android??? )
Bwahahahahah!!! :D :D 😀