17: If you should try to kiss her

This “Indian summer” weather is making me high. Colors are brighter, smells are richer, and boys on the street are looking cuter all the time. Everything I eat tastes smoky. My cigarettes taste, if not good, then appropriate to the warm, fall weather.

I’ve been resisting the annual impulse to dye my hair red. Last year, my color was great but my roots looked awful. It also did not help that when I bleached my hair, I only managed to bleach about 15% of it and what was bleached was orange. And not some cute, earthy orange. My hair was the color of a pumpkin. Appropriate for Halloween — yes. Appropriate for anything else — no. I would probably make a really lovely jack o’ lantern.

My boss’ bon voyage dinner was a lovely mess — when we’ve all had some sangria, my department tends to be loud and obnoxious. Conversation topics varied, from people at the office that we do not like but showed up anyway to dance music. I sat next to my good friend Cynthia, who used to sneak into the Warehouse in the late 70s and early 80s when she was barely in high school. So yeah, she got to dance to music spun by Frankie Knuckles and Larry Levan. I am so jealous.

But back to that list. You know, the “Boys Worth Having” list. Some of you wrote back and wondered if you were on it. It’s pretty safe to assume that if you’re getting “New from The Flip Front”, then you’re on the list. But again, that would just be an assumption on your part, and you can never really know for sure. Ha ha.

I called my dad this week because I needed to know how to say “Grandma, would you like to smoke some crack?” in Tagalog. Usually, when I have questions about anything Flip-related — Why is Ferdinand Marcos’ profile blasted into the side of a mountain? Why do Filipino people eat so much Spam? What is a “chedeng”? — he usually asks me the following questions (and I hate it when he does this, answering questions with more questions, but then, he is my dad):

1. “How are you doing?” which, properly translated into English from my father’s cryptic English-sounding dialect, actually means “How much weight have you gained?”

2. “How is work?” — “Are you still underpaid? If you had gone to business school and gotten an MBA, you could be earning a lot more and supporting me and your mother.”

3. “How is your friend Andrew?” — “He’s such a nice boy, even if he isn’t Filipino. If you called us up tomorrow to say that you were marrying him, we’d plotz because he’s a NJB and he’s going to be a lawyer, never mind that he has a girlfriend.”

4. “How is Kim doing?” — “What happened to your best friend from high school, who could have been a good influence on you, but you resisted her kind, vegetarian ways and still smoke more than you should?”

5. “We miss you!” — “You should really move back because all of your brothers and sisters live at home, and we’re all so happy living in our tiny house and your grandparents should be moving back to the Philippines any day now so you can maintain the non-relationship you’ve had with them since you left for college and if you move back you can have your old room and share it with your older sister who, though she is currently unemployed, is still thin and pretty so we think she’ll be getting married any day now and if you come back you can take care of me and your mother before sending us back to the old country to die and why aren’t you a nurse? You should have gone to nursing school, and Columbia has a good nursing school, but that’s right, you didn’t get into Columbia or Dartmouth so don’t feel bad that you went to the U of C which, I hear, is like Harvard but with none of the street cred (people in the neighborhood think you went to the University of Illinois) and if you move back you can work with me at my shitty job at Yeshiva and maybe, just maybe, it’ll be alright.”

But anyway. “Lola, gusto mag durog?” is how you say “Grandma, would you like to do some drugs?” is the closest my dad could get. There is no Tagalog for “crack” (yet). A “durogista” is a drug addict. There is also shabu, which is similar to crack, so you could try “Lola, gusto mag

shabu?”

Amy, ma petite Seychelloise — Have a great time in your adventures abroad. I’m so excited that you’re going. I’ve been reading up and the official language is Creole — that’s so cool. Also, the country is 97% Roman Catholic! I wonder what the churches look like, so send me postcards, and have fun.

I’m happy to report that “news from the flip front” will be coming out twice a week, Tuesdays and Fridays. I know this is exciting news, but calm down. Remain calm. Everybody, remain calm.

Cheers,

Jasmine

“Cuchi-cuchi!” (Charo)

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~ by Jasmine on October 20, 2000.

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