No Mom You Cannot Go Play Games with That Man – He is a Swinger

This is the first of many blogs that I will write about my mother. First and foremost my mom is one of the absolute loves of my life. She is by far the strongest woman I know. And she is also by far the most ridiculous person I know. My mom was born and raised in the Philippines and lived most of her life on the small islands. She is a true, authentic island girl and with that the innocence of an island girl.

My mom grew up pretty poor and started working at a very young age as is the cultural norm in the Philippines. They didn’t have access to the Internet or all the social media that we have slammed in our faces today. My parents met while my dad was stationed at a Naval base in the Philippines. So herein begins the Chronicles of my ridiculous adventurers with my mom.

In 2005 my father had moved to the East Coast for a government job the he had just obtained. This was a difficult time for our family. I was in my senior year of high school, my mom was working full-time at night, and now my dad (who often played referee between my mother and I) was across the country. Oh boy would be the biggest understatement of that decade.

One day my mom and I went to the mall. Usually we would go our separate ways for a little bit, I would shop at the teen stores and my mom would go off to Macy’s (because that is usually where she could find her size). You see, my mother is very petite, more petite than even myself. She is 4 foot 7 inches tall. But don’t let that fool you – she is fierce, fiery, and can be a beast. I also need to make the note that my mom is quite pretty and during my high school years she was often mistaken for my sister because she looked so young. Thus men often found her very attractive.

So here I am shopping in Casual Choice (does anyone remember this store? My best friend and I used to love it and would haunt it every time we went to the mall) when I looked out the store windows and see some guy chatting up my mom. All I could think was, what now? I immediately put all my items down and quickly walked over to them. I interrupted their conversation by saying “Hi mom. Did daddy call you yet?” I wanted to emphasize that she was a mother and more importantly, married. She was taken – so back the fuck off random dude. My mom looked at me confused because there was no reason for my dad to be calling at that time. But the guy took my not-so-subtle hints, gave my mom his business card, told her he looked forward to hearing from her, and walked away.

My mom and I quickly turned to each other to face off. She snapped at me for being so rude for interrupting. As you will come to find out through my blogs, Filipino [and Asian] mothers are an unique species in and of themselves. She had continuously pounded manners into me throughout my childhood. If I were to learn nothing else, I would have learned manners and I did. This meant that I was never to interrupt adults while they were speaking. And always respect my elders. I have very good manners to this day but in this particular instant I ignored her and asked her what the man wanted.

She [somewhat haughtily] informed me the man had come up, introduced himself and stated that he and his wife would be interested in playing games with my parents. I nodded my head upon hearing this and kindly asked her if I could see the business card he had given her. She handed me the card and in the next second I threw it in the garbage that was right beside me. Boy did this set her off. She started speaking to me in a flurried mix of English and Tagalog (the official language of the Philippines). Why the hell did I just do that? How could I be so rude?! What was wrong with me and wait till she tells my father about my behavior. That was always her threat to me, wait until to your father hears about [insert behavior/action here] – then I would be in real trouble.

This time however, I said yes let’s call daddy. In fact let’s call him right now and tell them how you are agreeing to play sex games with a some random couple. If I thought she was mad before… nope. She went off on me again. What in the hell was I talking about now? That nice man was so polite and was offering to play games with her and my father (who wasn’t even in with us in Seattle at that time anyways!). This is where that innocence I mentioned… kicks in.

I asked my mom what kind of games did she think some random grown man would want to play with her and my dad. She stumbled out board games or maybe tennis. Tennis? My parents have never even fucking played tennis – where was she getting this shit? My mom has this really amazing habit of saying random shit she has heard other people say in the past. Now I had the unfortunate task of explaining that more than likely this man was attracted to her and the games he was referring to were sex games because he was probably a swinger. I could tell she was appalled by what I said but then she asked me what was a swinger. Awesome.

I’m always aware that I need to be careful and selective in the words I use around my mom because English is her second language and sometimes when she learns a new word (especially a bad one) she will latch onto that word. She will just randomly say it whenever she gets mad in public – which is often. She once went through a phase of saying Cocksucker every time she got mad in public, for months. I had to repeatedly tell her she could not use that word so freely because it was highly inappropriate.

Now, usually I try to be very delicate when explaining to my mom what inappropriate words mean. I love her innocence, it is a part of her and I hate taking some of that away from her whenever I have to explain inappropriate language. Although, I think a part of her enjoys learning about this shit. But, by this time I had lost my patience with this entire situation and the fact that I was getting in trouble for trying to protect her. So I bluntly told her swingers are often married people who get together and have sex with each other’s spouses. You would’ve thought I would describing S & M (which thankfully I have never had to do) by the look of sheer horror on her face. Then she told me I was “bastos” which is the Tagalog word for nasty. I told her she was bastos for even thinking about hanging out with this guy and what would daddy think. Now did she want to tell him what happened? She gave me one of her infamous Filipino “tsk” noises, shook her head at me and told me to get the stuff I wanted from the store or otherwise we were leaving. Guess this conversation was over, thank God.

I know swinging can entail more what I briefly described above, but I wasn’t trying to give my mom a full lesson on the topic as we were arguing in front of the Sears Mall entrance. I have no judgment on people who engage in the “swinger lifestyle.” Seriously, to each their own, we all have our own things and I respect that. However, my parents are very conservative and traditional people (they weren’t even onboard with online dating until they met Greg, my husband) which is why I knew this would not be an appropriate path for my mother to be going down. Especially without my dad physically there to protect her. And since he was not there, that job fell to me. Now that I think about it I believe this is when the switch happened that my mom started relying on and looking to me for more help than to my dad. My dad loves my mom so much but he also worked and still works a lot in order to provide the best life he could for us, and now for them. Thus I was more available for my mom to lean on at times.

I love my mom, but sometimes the situations she gets herself into amaze me. It’s definitely kept me busy keeping an eye on her and kept my life entertaining thus far.

Until next time.

-L

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