Guest Blogger: Kathy Jardeleza-Tajanlangit

Nov 25, 2011 by

The Many Uses of a Cheese Pimiento Sandwich.

I used to love children’s parties. Especially if I was the celebrant. From stuffing my face with really gooey cheese pimiento sandwiches, gorging on rainbow bread, eating ice cream that rendered ROLLING my only useful ambulatory skill, wrestling my way towards the 20 peso bill at the piñata, screaming at other kids who ride on their nanny’s shoulders to get the best prize at the ‘butong butong’ (my nanny was really skinny and could barely lift me an inch) and winning some really cool treats, like Toblerone sticks, after some completely useless (but totally fun) games…oh yes. I used to love children’s parties.

Until I had to host one.

My little boy turned two last week. And despite numerous suggestions to hire a party planner, I blatantly refused to get one (Translation: My budget did not permit me that luxury). Besides, it was a silly, little children’s party. How hard could it be? All I needed to do was call a caterer for some dishes, get a cake, blow up some balloons, buy some prizes for games… and voila! My children’s party was all set.

I should have known the day would be disastrous when my little birthday boy, Dallas, woke up with a scorching fever. “Mommy, hot!” He weakly complained. “I know baby.” I sympathetically cooed. Then I proceeded to spend the whole morning with him screaming his head off, and me chasing him around the house with a thermometer, cool wipes and a Paracetamol dropper. Kill me.

My first stop was the bakery to collect Dallas’ cake. The previous day, I ordered a red, Lightning McQueen “Cars” Cake. I spoke to the baker myself specifying that my child was a BOY so in no way should he skimp on the red food colouring and give me a PINK cake. Naturally, when I collected the cake the next day, the car was friggin’ PINK. I nearly pop an aneurysm. They offered to change the cake and bake me a new one. I will not go into detail how I thoroughly conveyed my “disappointment” (to put it mildly). But seeing how my party was in 20 minutes, I angrily took the pink cake, vowing never to return to that horrid place run by pea brained protozoans.

Next stop was the balloons. The day before, I pointed to a sample and said I want this: 24 Lightning McQueen “Cars” balloons in red, yellow and purple. Got it?? The balloon people eagerly reassured me: “Yes ma’am, Ok ma’am, Sure ma’am!” So when I pick up the balloons, to my mortification, they give me 24 FAIRY QUEEN BALLOONS!!! The balloons were decorated with long haired fairy queens in resplendent, bejewelled gowns. I feel the blood rush to my head, the nerve in my left eye twitching. With effort, I keep my temper in check, my voice cracking with restraint. Thank goodness the owner was there and aside from the fairy queen balloons, she gives me 12 Lightning McQueen balloons for free. Beggars can’t be choosers at this point. I pack the stupid balloons in my car, aiming to HIDE the Fairy Queen balloons and HANG the Lightning McQueen ones as soon as I get home.

Next stop was to collect the food from the caterer. They busily bustle out of the restaurant, hot food placed in chaffing dishes in tow, and load it in my car. The chaffing dishes aren’t sealed so some of the sauce sloshes onto my carpet. Shit. I order them to get me cling wrap and seal the food so it won’t spill when I drive. The men stare blankly at each other…and then at me. “Sorry Ma’am, wala kami kilala nga Kling Ralph.” (Sorry Ma’am. We do not know any person called Kling Ralph). I stare at them with my mouth agape, momentarily speechless. If I weren’t so dumbfounded, I’d laugh.

In a rare moment of introspection, I temporarily wonder…Do I speak in tongues? My Ilonggo is flawless, am regarded by most people as quite articulate, and am definitely far from speaking like that horrid, buck toothed, PBB winner, Melai. So what gives? Does hosting a children’s party put you at the mercy of every idiot in town? Or is every person in town an idiot? Or just people who work in the party industry? Some probability studies should be conducted aiming to answer the question: “If I host a children’s party in Iloilo, what’s the probability that I’ll encounter an idiotic nematode who will mess up my order and ruin my party?” (that’s just the nerd in me ranting).

So the guests arrive and take photos – forever immortalising the pink cake I got for my son. One of Stevie’s friends arrives. She takes one look at the pink cake, the fairy queen balloons my gardener “hides” in the hallway for everyone to see (another idiot), Dallas’ flushed cheeks (from the fever), and his curly ringlets, and she politely asks:

“Is your baby a girl or a boy?”

It takes all my willpower not to choose the hardest and gummiest cheese pimiento sandwich and throw it at her.

 

Dallas during his study time. Seen enough CARS yet?

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