I met Tita's daughter in college and since then, I've become one of Tita's favorite wards, favorite simply because I can keep up with her daughter and side with her whenever she goes on a rant, of course with my friend as primary subject. Their home's a safe place, we can be whomever we want to be, say whatever we want to say. But Tita has a major pet peeve: respect. No holds barred as long as there is mutual respect.
And Tita was a mistress. Her daughter, my friend, born out of an illicit affair. Ten years before they called it quits. Tita, now married to her childhood love, tells us: "Anak, I love your Tito pero I'm in love with my daughter's dad."
My friend's dad died this year. They never dropped by during the wake and never attempted to do the classic melodramatic mourning from a distance during the interment. A couple of month's ago, they made a trip up north to her lover's tomb. Friend was supposed to pay her last respects to her dad whom she knew personally up until she was probably seven years old. But friend tried her best to hold back her laughter. She thought she was the one who'll get emotional with the last goodbyes but then it was Tita who bawled her eyes out.
Tita was the one who figured out that I "wanted" to be a housewife. She was also the one who propped me up when all my friends were against the relationships I was getting into. "Kung saan ka masaya, basta ingatan mo sarili mo." And when her story turned out to be my story, she sent out a strong message to my friends that "I told you so," shall never be said. With a raised voice she exclaimed, "Ganiyan na nga iyong nangyari sa kaibigan niyo sasabihan niyo pa ng kung anu-ano?!"
"Marami pa iyan anak, marami pang sakit na darating. Sa buhay natin, maraming taong aabusuhin ang kabutihan mo. They will take advantage. Pero pasasaan ba, sa lahat ng problema ang lagi kong sinasabi, lilipas din iyan."
Tita's up for surgery anytime this month, gallstones. And so it signaled the hiatus of awesome dinners at their place, unless of course she wields her magic over steamed fish and veggies. Yesterday I dropped by their place with two boxes of cream puffs - her request - on hand. Dinner plus some life matters convos, it was almost 11pm when I left. Sent them a message that I arrived home safe and friend replied with her usual sorority girl/legally blonde message, complete with xoxo mwahugs and what have you. We really wonder how she is in the courtroom.
At the end of that message, she relayed, "Mama says ang-ganda ganda mo raw ngayon (yes friends, Tita thinks I'm pogi, the kind of guy you bring home to mom; but at the same time she has the sense to recognize that that mom's got a son and not a daughter)... and she's sad na mag-isa ka lang raw sa buhay."
I guess Tita really wants to see me coupled, with someone who'll take care of me and make me happy. The message all the more felt from one mistress to another.