chasing pavement and chamorros

Two Chamorros walked into a store.

That’s not a joke setup. That’s what I wanted to read as my “cause of death” as I was convinced that I would die in the Kmart parking lot with my young sleeping son, waiting for my mom and my uncle to emerge from the store. TJ and I waited in the car, aircon blasting, while my mom and her brother searched through the big box store like they were responsible for memorizing all the prices and reporting back to the entire island on how much colored pencils were. Hours passed. I flipped through the newspaper and People magazine. Checked my email. Looked back at my sleeping son and then wondered what happened to my life that I could be so far away from home and yet tethered to the same exact roles of her shopping and my interminable wait.

This is the ritual of a traveling Chamorro, particularly my mother. Forget the gorgeous mountains or other natural landscapes that this state provides and head straight for every place seen on TV commercials back on Saipan. My mother believes advertisements, buys the retail product as seen on TV, not settling for the generic version even though it’s the same exact thing but cheaper. She repeats the advertising phrases like they’re sound science and not generated from marketing strategies. “You just set it!” She’ll exclaim. “And forget it!”

She’s proud of my weight loss but is offering me advice–as a Chamorro mother is wont to do, especially to her youngest daughter–like I all of sudden need her help. She spoke to my uncle in Chamorro and told him to tell me that not only do I look “maosoksuk” or slim, but that I want to hear it. And I stood there and interjected kindly with, “I’M STANDING RIGHT HERE, MOTHER. I CAN HEAR YOU.”

When we stopped at Burger King later because that’s what my uncle wanted to eat, my mom had to lecture me about my choices. “Only eat one french fry! Only one!” And then later, back at my brother’s house, she fried fish and made white rice with oily, garlicky chicken adobo. Eat this, not that, Chamorro style.

And apropos of nothing but its crappiness, I fell yesterday right as my bus pulled up to the stop. I had been walking with my friend when my shoe caught onto an uneven part of the sidewalk. The world shifted forward and I was splayed on the ground. I got up and told my friend to catch the bus and I would just walk home to clean up. And on the short walk back, I must have looked like I was attacked. My knees were bleeding down my legs, my hair was disheveled and I had the face of someone who realized that her messed up knees negated all hot, short dresses planned for BlogHer next week. So maybe this is a sign that I’m not cut out for anything sexier than a Julie Andrews’ nanny outfit in the Sound of Music. And how do you solve a problem like Ramona?

I ask myself that everyday.

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  1. Oh OUCH! That looks awful, I hope you aren’t fairing too badly with the walking? I would be one giant sensitive bruise after an experience like that.

    Oh, and Walgreen’s carries those As Seen On TV items, not that you are interested in them but it might help to aim your mom at a smaller store instead? šŸ™‚
    Raven recently posted..for the love of the pool

  2. I like Raven’s idea about Walgreens.

    And, wow! Those knees look very painful. I say just buy some fashionable band-aids and continue to rock the short dresses.
    -R- recently posted..Holy Buckets

  3. Ouch. I think after that, you should have stopped back by Burger King and ordered an extra large order of french fries. Because really, who can eat just ONE french fry? That’s crazy.
    C @ Kid Things recently posted..Wishes in the Well

  4. šŸ™ I’m still sad for you about the legs. That reminds me of the time WHILE PREGNANT when I bit it in the hallway right outside my office. Falling just sucks so hard.

    Anyway, I have a neighbor who has two cars (the exact same car, by the way, but two of them. A ’90s Ford Explorer or the like) and on the back of both cars, there’s a huge decal that says “Chamorro.”

    So, explain that to me, would ya?

  5. Ouch!! Just think how much harder your would have fallen if you had had two fries!
    Busy Mom recently posted..5 things not to do in my car

  6. Ouch! Hope you feel better soon.
    Asianmommy recently posted..Origami Sticky Notes

  7. That. Blows. So sorry you’re dealing w/that. I’m w/- R – though: band-aid it up and rock the short ones.

    When I was in college and playing on the softball team, I slid into 2nd base during a game and shredded my knee just like your right one. That night was a big dance I was going to with a date and a new dress and everything. (Remember before kids when there was such a thing as a “big dance” to get all excited about?)

    Anywho, I panicked for a bit then decided to put on a giant band-aid, color that sucker black w/a marker to match my hose and go shake my moneymaker.

    Funny thing was, the only time people noticed
    the injury that night was when my roommates pointed it out because they thought it was totally cool that I didn’t let something like a grotesquely marred knee keep me from the dance floor. And of course my date and his buddies were impressed with the whole “athlete walkin’ off the injury” approach.

    Sure I’ve got a permanent scar and no chance at a 2nd career as a Nair leg model, but also a great story to tell my kids (and random blog readers) about scabby, band-aid-y work-arounds to enable the wearing of short dresses. Knee gash or not, I think you’ll look totally HAWT.

  8. Sorry about the fall!! In addition to the very good Band-Aids idea, I also suggest fun, nylon-y tights (if those are sold? I have purple ones, so I assume there are more choices too). Or rocking it Amy Sedaris style and turning it into comedy. Whatever you choose, I hope you’re not in pain.

  9. Sounds like you need some knee sock lovin’ Awww yeahh…

    Chin up, Kirida! It’s only a week to BlogHer what what!! Besides, scrapes and scars are COOL!
    Toni recently posted..Biba Liberacion!

  10. OMG! I really want to write you a longer comment, but I can’t right now. I’m so sorry to hear you fell and got hurt. Quite literally actually, but only half as much. I swear Mona, I was meant to read this. I haven’t had time to write it, but I wanted to tell about how I was destined to scrape my knee yesterday. But I couldn’t figure out why I was destined for it. And I still can’t, but maybe it’s because our lives need to continue their parallels. James made me ice my knee for three hours last night after I totally ate it at work. If I had caught my fall on camera, I so would have posted it. It must have been hilarious.

    I hope you heal up right quick. I’m so sorry, Mona. Also, it is a documented fact that Saipan mothers cannot shop in any single store for under 2 hours.


  1. Hell Run says:

    […] if I can’t even walk without injuring myself, what am I thinking doing something that is going to require even more energy? And […]

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