Saturday, April 25, 2009

yeah. i'm in dc.
whenever i get the chance to sit and talk with my family about life i do. nostalgia? pride? reaffirming my place? all of it.

i've been taking a lot of pictures...mostly of treasures i've found over the years in my aunts house that have always inspired me. including: a hand crafted silver necklace she got from a saudi arabian bedouin, a venecian theatre mask made of pure marble, aventinus coasters she stole from the g. schneider & sohn brewery years ago, and her baby grand...just to name a few. pictures soon.

i especially love to sit and talk with my grandparents who, for their old age, are still present minded, speak perfect english - even correct my grammar, and have amazing memories. i really believe that it is so important for people to understand where they came from and to learn as much as they can from the generations before them before you have to go about it all on your own.

tonight's subject was love. they started asking me questions about the piano thomas gave me and were wondering how i was going to get rid of it. at first, they said, they thought that this was thomas' way of winning the family over to allow him to marry me - which brought us into the story of the beginning of my grandparents' life together :

over 60 years ago, when my grandfather asked for my grandmother's hand in marriage, in certain social circles, it was expected of the young man asking for the lady's hand in marriage's family to offer something similiar to what some islamic countries call, a mahr. the philippines is not an islamic country so this isn't quite what they called it, but the concept was the same. in asking for the lady's hand, the man was expected to offer gifts to her family; proof that he could provide for her.

my grandfather can still describe it today and has vividly recapped all of this in his memoirs. he can remember what the weather was like and how he chose his outfit specific to still looking neat after walking through the rain. he can remember the smells and sounds and each name of every person of importance. he described how nervous he was and how he carefully chose and had a reason for the bottle of wine, rare delicacies, and expensive trinkets that he did. he remembers how his heart pounded walking up those stairs and how he could feel the sweat dripping from his brow. "what if this isn't good enough?" he thought. "what if this isn't enough for her?"

while all of the other bride-to-be's parents were months long into their negotiations...after the months of toiling over what he would present. After making the hard choice of who would be his two whitnesses, to his surprise, my grandmother's family refused to accept anything at all!

the one thing that they did ask, was that he would deeply and truly love her, just as she deserved. nothing material needed.


that , ladies & gentleman, is what you call the real deal.


tomorrow:

i'll take the blue from franconia to king st then the yellow to gallery pl for a brunch.
then the red and then the blue to smithisonian to check out Robert Frank's "The Americans" at the National Gallery.

now:

more beeeer.

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