Tuesday, October 08, 2002

cruelty to parents

One time, a friend of ours (a new mother) was out in a mall with her 2-month-old baby boy. They were sitting quietly, enjoying the air-conditioning on that humid summer day.

A stranger, a lady with shopping bags, came over and cooed over the baby. She then looked at our friend, then back to the baby, then back to our friend and said, “He must have a handsome father. He looks like him.”

Our friend was rendered speechless was the insensitive remark, considering that the stranger had obviously never met her husband, and had based her callous comment on pure looks alone.

*

More terrible was the time another friend was out with her daughter. They were waiting for her husband to finish his shopping at the drugstore.

A woman walked up to them and said, with a smile, “Ay! Ang ganda naman nang alaga mo! Swerte ang mga magulang niyan!” (“Oh, what a beautiful child you’re babysitting! Her parents are very lucky!)

Our friend swore if she weren’t encumbered by her daughter, she would have ripped the woman in half.

*

I was carrying Sage in the elevator of the condo where we live, when a neighbor from one of the other floors stepped in.

“You’re the brother-in-law of Snooky, right?” she asked. (Snooky Serna is a famous actress over here).

“Yes,” I replied.

“Well, no wonder your baby girl is so beautiful,” she said, stepping out as the doors opened and closed on my stunned face.

Later, I furtively searched my daughter’s face for the smallest sign of me, feeling suddenly anxious and lost, and was rewarded by her left raised eyebrow that said, “Good grief, Daddy.”

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