Health And Family

Of people we love to hate

PURPLE SHADES - Letty Jacinto-Lopez - The Philippine Star

I hear you, I am with you.  I say this to Lifestyle readers and friends who enthusiastically responded to the article I wrote on September 21, 2014 about profiles of people that one can hate with a passion.  Each one has had an experience about hard-to-forgive friends and relations: 

1)  “Try and top my nasty sister-in-law!” one reader exclaimed.

“While we were based abroad, my SIL obtained duplicate keys to open our house to cart all our FF&E away (furniture, fixtures & equipment).  When we heard of this break-in, I called her up, holding my temper in check and trying hard to remain cordial.  She blurted out, ‘You should thank me!  I did you a favor instead of just leaving your entire house unused.’

“Ah, hello?  Isn’t this called burglary or looting?

“When we returned to Manila, she still kept all our stuff.  I was so close to putting a curse on her, using voodoo and black magic, but my fear of retribution prevailed.  Worse, since we were somewhat related, we could not bring her to court without involving the rest of the family.” 

2) Another wrote, “My SIL owned a catering business that operated a chain of staff cafeterias. She made a suggestion to the family that seemed to make a lot of sense.  ‘Why don’t I supply lunch to Mamou so that she doesn’t worry about what to eat daily?’ We were so impressed and grateful for her care and concern, until the bill arrived.  She was charging every meal that she provided to our mom, her mother-in-law, and she even had the gall to stamp, ‘senior discount not applicable’!  To her, nothing is given free, whether you are related or not.”

3)  “Mine is worse,” claimed a friend.  “My SIL owned a chain of pawn shops.  Her target was to find borrowers who could make her pawnshop grow. She spotted my mother: ‘Mamita, you can obtain a loan without collateral, you like?’  My mother had no idea what she was getting into but was thrilled at the prospect of getting cash with no strings attached (or so she thought).  No one in the family knew about this loan until my mother was struggling to make the monthly payments.  The amount reached millions of pesos. My SIL even charged compounded interest for late payment of a loan that wasn’t necessary to begin with.  She fooled and conned a helpless woman.  And what did my brother (the husband) do?  He supported his wife and made his own mother pay the entire loan.”

4)  “You wrote about this woman stealing her best friend’s husband.  I know this sister stealing the husband of her ate, her older sister! 

“It started as an innocent show of affection between a younger sister and her brother-in-law.  Beso-beso on the cheeks, exchange of bear hugs, a tight squeeze inside a packed car, feeding each other during a family picnic, scuba diving (the wife cannot swim), and going tandem sky jumping (the wife can’t fly, either).  When the older sister took a short trip abroad, leaving husband alone in the house, the younger sister decided to sleep in sister’s house after getting stranded in a flash flood.  Brother-in-law checked on the sister, ‘Are you afraid of the dark or can I get you a glass of wine, tea, or me?’ Sparks flew that night that burned the bed and dissolved the marriage.”

5)  “Mine is perfect for a Believe It or Not episode.

“My aunt offered to have my late father interred in a mausoleum that she had built for the entire clan.  She said, ‘Bury your father in our mausoleum so that the dead members of our family can be together in the same burial spot.’  We therefore agreed.  But every time we wanted to pray and pay respect to our father in the mausoleum, it was always a struggle to obtain the keys to enter it.  So many excuses were given and we ended up standing outside the mausoleum, lighting candles by the roadside or leaving the wreaths and flowers by the gate.

“One day, my aunt said, ‘Please remove your father from my mausoleum.  I am selling this plot to a rich developer.’  (First time I heard of a developer turning a small piece of a memorial plot to what?  A high-rise condo?)

“We had the bones of my father exhumed, cremated, and moved to our own crypt.  That was 18 years ago.  The developer never came back. The diggings and remnants of excavated tombs are still there.  Dark, empty, and foreboding.  Isn’t that a perfect plot for the willies?”

Difficult as it is, will you find the resolve to move on and the grace to forgive?









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