From left to right: me, not wearing any make-up for the day; Grandma, you can see she's feeling kind of sad; my eldest aunt Carmen, who turns 62 this year, likes to jokes, swears a lot when someone gets on her nerves; Patricia, who's dying; Sandy, Patricia's twin sister, who turns 49 in a month. She had been crying before this photo was taken; Jade, my second eldest aunt, gym freak in her early 50's who does Thai-boxing; the woman in a red jacket, my father's girlfriend; Sandy's daughter, my cousin, Mandy, 22-year-old who looks 16. You can click to enlarge the photo.
This is going to be a black-hearted post.
1. How do the women in my family look so young, esp. Carmen who smoked for 30 years, I have no idea.
2. Finally, I have a photo to prove how ugly my father's girlfriend is. If you're my friend in real life, you know I'm really laid-back about people's looks - it means very little to me - and it's very rare that I'd use the word 'ugly' on anyone. I dislike this woman quite a lot for the following reasons:
-The first time I met her at a family dinner years ago, she was talking about taking Patricia to some Buddhist temple. The Buddhism wasn't what bothered me--it was the way she tried to make it sound like there was a 'special connection' between Patricia and herself with that 'shared enlightenment' when Patricia was nodding out of politeness. My family is a bunch of straight-shooting folks - if you're here, you're welcome; eat, talk, do what you like. Just don't give us any crap or pretend.
-She's dumbness personified. My father calls her dumb, too. My entire family appreciates her as a kind-hearted person who cares for my father, then agrees she's very dumb--only a dumb woman will love my father at this point in time.
When my family rushed to see Patricia in the hospital last month, my father's girlfriend was there, too. Right in front of everyone, she started stroking Patricia's hair and looked at her lovingly as if Patricia was a baby--who, at that moment, was a skeleton trapped in plastic tubes in a hospital bed with no voice. There, my father's girlfriend launched into this speech about going to see Chinese opera after Patricia had recovered--that she must not lose the battle, blah blah blah. I wanted to smash this woman's Pekingese dog face with a baseball bat and throw her out of the window. Or at least slap her in the face and scream.
Even now, when I'm holding my aunt while she throws up, this woman--when she's around--says things like "Oh, so sad" that are perfectly audible to Patricia. Does this woman have any idea what "dignity" means? Does she not know who my aunt is: a woman who, even on her last days, lives for her pride?
-She was, and continues to be, the proof that my father's life is officially over. My father was good at being two things: 1. a tailor; 2. a womanizer who got his smarts and charms, in ways that would eventually destroy the women who loved him. My father stopped being a tailor long time ago because the times changed. Up until some years ago, my father dated only good-looking women (with one exception--and that one wasn't bad as such). His ladies' man career was over when this woman came into the picture. My father's identity as a charmer is probably the only thing I've ever admired about him as a person, if such a thing makes sense. The arrival of this dumb, ugly woman showed me - and everyone else in my family - that my father wasn't the man he used to be.
-That said, I can also see that she is a good-hearted person, and I'm honestly relieved - even grateful - that she's with my father. She puts up with and cares for him a great deal when he's truly undeserving. I hope she continues to do what she does until he drops dead, so to speak.