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Sunday Lifestyle

A perfectly maddening life!

FROM MY HEART - Barbara Gonzalez Ventura - The Philippine Star
A perfectly maddening life!

My life is a wreck these days. Last year my husband got sick. He entered the hospital normal and left it not himself at all. Once he watched TV all day. Now it annoys him. Once he loved to sing. Now, no more. When he got home he had a small stroke. It was stressful for me, but so what? I’m a strong woman, right?

He had an expensive caregiver. She roused envy among her peers in our minuscule household. The driver, who was supposed to assist in my husband’s care, decided not to work like he used to. Among other annoying habits, he would bang pots and pans on the stove. As a result I think the broken stovetop cracked some more. It was made of expensive black glass and was already broken when we married four years ago.

My husband’s driver took to “falling deeply asleep” every time my husband called him. When he was sleeping two meters away from my husband who was shouting his name at 2 a.m. and he didn’t wake up, I had enough. He is no longer a part of my household.

Anyway, the driver didn’t like to carry my husband. He carried him only twice, leaving the rest to the caregiver who carried him into the car, onto the examination table, everywhere. That was her strong point. But she put on 20 pounds over five months eating everything there was. I had to find a replacement. Someone who would cost much less, be much younger, male, stronger than she. I found one. When he said yes, I decided to move her out. When I did she told me our maid had told her I was the devil. See my horns? I almost said, “I am sticking them into your fat!” But I let that pass.

Things went smoothly for a while. Then our maid’s mother was dying. She had to go home. It took her mother long to die. When she returned she had fractured her foot. She took another two months off or a total of three.

In the meantime I got back my part-time cleaning lady, who cleans wonderfully well. Did she know of a part-time cook? She did. So now I have two part-time maids with whom I work very well and a young caregiver who markets for fish from his aunt’s market stall.

The dryer broke down. Repairmen took it and are keeping it until they get the spare parts. It’s not back yet. We found a dress and a pair of yellow slippers stuck behind the washing machine. Old and grubby folding chairs were stuck at the sides. Dishes were stored and covered with dust. Drawers where things were carelessly stashed so they wouldn’t close. So many things like that. When they found a scarf with beads stuck at the back of the maid’s bathroom sink, I lost it. I bought that scarf at Sonya’s Garden, used it as a runner on my dresser. It wasn’t cheap. How could the maid roll it up, get it filthy and forget about it? I could no longer live with such carelessness.

I found out that the expensive caregiver had run away with the key to our front door. I bought a new front door lock. It didn’t fit. I returned it but didn’t get my money back. Instead I got goods that I really did not need but better than nothing, right? I bought another lock. It worked but many holes were left, which I tried to mend with beads. I glued them on. People kept pulling them out. So I ordered another lock from Lazada, but what they sent me turned left when the door required one that turned right. Finally, I got one that worked perfectly but it will take weeks before the door looks decent.

About a month ago our stovetop finally blew up. I went and bought a cheaper, albeit good alternative. Desperate, I asked the condo’s administration if they had an engineer who could install it. He said he needed plans. It would take money. It took them three weeks to get the plans approved. I had to appeal to the general manager to get the thing installed, to get the new stovetop out of my old workroom where it was doing exactly nothing.

One morning I found the kitchen flooded. The water dispenser had burst a tube and water flowed all over the floor. So I had to buy a water dispenser.

By now, I find that our budget has been drained tremendously and I am on the verge of going stir crazy.

How do I not lose my mind? I started a little garden on our itty-bitty porch. Now it’s almost full of flowers I love. That saves my sanity. My only hope now is nobody throws a bomb at it!

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