Monday, February 11, 2008

Billiards with Dad

Once in a while, I am my father's son.

Last weekend, while every single male member of the clan opted to swim in the pool or tinker with the videoke machine (mind you, i wouldn't dare get caught with that one), I got the cue and played old fashioned 8-ball with my old man.

Growing up, I was a dutiful daughter. But more than that, I was his partner in a lot of things. We went fishing together, and I am his only offspring (yes, more than my brothers) who learned how to hold a worm, or gut a fish. He taught me how to scrub an oyster, and shuck it after. He taught me how to hold a rifle and kill a monitor lizard before it kills one of the ducks (we had a farm once). He also let me go with him to the barbershop, where barbers would lash out their own political opinions and I would hear my Dad in a heated debate. That in essence, shaped the way I am now. A girly-girl with old man insight and subtlety.

And if there's one thing I learned with him about men, is never sit them down when I want to talk about something important. Always say news "in passing", like when I'm handing popcorn during a commercial break. Or in this situation, over a game of 8-ball.

ME: I heard cousin ____ is doing well in Ireland.

DAD: (while managing to land one of the balls in the corner pocket) Yeah, she's doing great. Earning serious money.

ME: What if I get to do that? What if I venture out of Manila?

DAD: (Puts chalk on his cuestick) What do you mean? Be an expat?

ME: Not necessarily. I have this start-up idea which will involve a lot of travel. I might be gone every month, like a nomad. But I want to be based here.

DAD: (grunts) hmp.

ME: Anyway, it's just an idea.

DAD: Which countries?

ME: Some parts of Europe, and Middle East.

DAD: (misses a ball) there's something wrong with this cuestick... So you're resigning?

Not until I'm sure about it.

DAD: We can always take care of Sandra while you're gone. I'm more concerned about this travel thing. You're a girl.

ME: I'm waayyy over 30, Dad.
(i then hit the 5th ball into the middle pocket)

He sighs and fumbles with the chalk again. And then he goes:

DAD: When you travel, do you ride in Business class?

I guess that's my Dad's way of saying, I hope you'd be well taken care of.

And then, distracted as he was, he won the game.

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