Happy Weekend Coffee Share! I wanted to share with you a nice bouquet I got from a now-former volunteer from my last job. She’s a soon-to-be graduate at the university I now work at. It was such a nice welcome present and a Mother’s Day gift too. I’ve known this volunteer since she was a freshman and as of last week, she ended her volunteering there and is planning her post-university plans. The years flew by fast.
See, sometimes I get nasty pneumonia and other times I get beautiful flowers.
Here’s to a more jubilant month. I will call this month Jubilant June because it’s graduation month. Though I don’t work at my former job, I will put together graduation gifts for the volunteers. I’ve known some of them since they were freshmen just like that volunteer. I put together gift bags each year for the graduating volunters when I use to work there, so I don’t think it’s fair for the volunteers I’ve known the longest to not have a gift because I left.
I’m not coughing out my organs which is great. I went through an entire week of work, but I was fatigued by Friday evening. I went to bed before 8 PM. I was trying to fight sleep by doing other activities like Duolingo and reading. After keeping myself occupied for an hour, I fell asleep at 9 PM. I hear that fatigue is the longest part when recovering from pneumonia.
Yesterday (Saturday) was a busy day. I took my kid to dance class — she has a recital today. After her dance practice I went to my old job to drop off loads of clothing donations. A few months ago, the high school in my neighborhood organized a clothing drive for my now-former job. We have a lot of patients who do not have a lot of resources or are homeless, they get admitted to the hospital with nothing but the clothes on their back. Rather than having the patients discharged with a hospital gown, they get a fresh set of gently-used clothes. By the time the high school started their clothing drive, I was already at my new job.
This week I wrote a post about “saving face” to help process something. Last Saturday, my husband sent another group text to BIL #2 telling him he was serious about giving him the boot and re-iterating that he can’t just trust living in our house.
I saw that the non-responses from BIL #2 was frustrating my husband so I suggested sharing the tsismis (gossip) on social media — the humiliation would push his brother to talk…or somebody will talk like his mom or his other siblings. My husband was trying to avoid that direction so he decided to tell the news to the rest of his family.
Look, I am not for public shaming. Nobody is getting a trophy from it, not even the person who is doing the act. It’s the ultimate Asian family crime to air dirty laundry in a public setting because we’re not just embarassing BIL #2 but also the rest of the family. As the perpetrator, we’re just the “bad guys.” See, nobody gets a trophy.
The rest of the family was not so supportive with our decision. The siblings said, “now you know what we had to deal with for so many years.” They claimed they had “no choice.” If they got out of that “family debt” mindset, maybe they’d find themselves with a choice. (Side note: I’ll write more about this “family debt” later. In the Philippines, it’s called “debt of the inner soul.” I’m sure there are other versions in different countries.)
When it came to my husband telling the news to his mom, I saw he had a difficult time because it’s just hard to stand up to her. As a little something to pep him up, I wrote this Sigmund Freud quote and placed it in front of him. The quote goes, “a hero is a man who stands up against his father and in the end victoriously overcomes him.” Of course, he had to re-interpret it. His mom is very upset with him. She says her usual thing like, “…but you’re family, you have to like each other, you have to support each other.” I think it’s wild that she doesn’t say, “oh yes, son #2 was irresponsible for not caring for his health.” If BIL #2 brought ebola to the house and gave it to everyone, MIL would still take his side. Ugh.
In a strange way, my husband did show he’s a supportive son and brother — he preserved their face, their reputation — something nobody commends. He could have shared the mess on social media to embarrass everyone but he chose not to. You see, how they present themselves on social media is all they have and a post on social media would take their social standing away. My husband and I will be the bad guys for airing out the dirty laundry….But we’re now the “bad guys” for giving BIL #2 the boot….but I think we’ll come out of that okay too. I have to remind myself that we have other people and other family members who support us, we have good jobs, we own a house, and people will still mistakenly call me doctor (lol).
The craziest part is that BIL #2 has not changed. I asked him last week how his weekend was in San Diego. He said he got so wasted because he drank all weekend. See, nothing has changed. He thinks he’s made of Teflon…but a few days later I was proven to be wrong. I was on the phone with my former boss to coordinate the clothing donation dropoff. She asked me about my first month at the new job and I shared with her about how I spent a few days of that first month with pneumonia (plus how I got it and the aftermath). After the phone call, BIL #2 told me he was very upset that I’m going around telling other people when he happens to be a few feet away to hear it all. After all, he said he was “really sorry” and that should be enough to spare him. He’s also upset that I told our neighbors and my parents and my siblings and many more people. I asked him why was he upset. He’s never met most of the people I talk to — friends, co-workers, former co-workers, the other neighbors I see when I walk my dogs, staff from Lana’s preschool, people I exercise with, etc.
I do confess I struggle to figure out what to share. I ask myself “will I do harm?” I share with people because I need my feelings validated. If we just shared with MIL and his siblings, we’d be going crazy. We’d be gaslit into believing we’re in the wrong. Or we would sell our house to live in a smaller house enough to hold me, my husband, and our kid.
This week’s botanical walk
I thought it was nice to have lunch out in the botanical gardens this week. I came across this tree with an interesting bottle-like shape.