(Written before COVID-19)
My usual stylist was absent today. So this stylist who’s handsome and gay took over. He was happily chatting away while doing my hair — then his mood suddenly changed. I looked at him, frankly puzzled by this abrupt change in mood.
He told me that he suddenly remembered how some of his clients were so mayabang.
I asked, “Talaga? In what way?” — trying to feign casual curiosity when all I was really looking for was something juicy to talk about. (Well it’s not gossip if there are no names and you’re not trying to find out who! Haha. A little Scriptural technicality there.)
So back to our handsome and gay stylist. He said it’s the “biglang yaman” who are so annoying because they flaunt their wealth (or the fruits of their debts and corruption) without shame. The old rich, he said, are often low key, simply-dressed, and unassuming. Some may be snooty, he said, but they’re mostly well-mannered.
I was thinking: Hmmm. ‘Nouveau riche’ certainly sounds so much less insulting than ‘biglang yaman!’ Something must’ve haemorrhaged in translation.
The stylist said there was this one client who was bragging about how she lived in this upscale subdivision near the mall where the beauty salon was. So she was going on and on about where she was sending her kids to school in Europe and the States. How much of a hassle it was to visit them in two continents several times a year. How they’d hold parties every week in their house for different groups of friends. Ad infinitum. Ad nauseum.
All the while, there was this lady listening quietly, sitting beside the one who was bragging away.
When Ms. Brag Away stopped to catch her breath, the quiet lady asked her — “So what street do you live in? We might be neighbors!” She asked, in a friendly sort of way.
Ms. Brag Away replied, giving her address.
The quiet lady, visibly surprised, turns quickly to face her and says, with obvious delight, “Oh! You must be one of our tenants! Sorry I never got to meet you and your husband! I’ve been away. So it’s my husband’s CFO who’s been attending to our rentals. How nice to bump into you here!”
Silence. Total silence from our Ms. Brag Away.
The handsome gay stylist said that he was jumping up and down for joy inside him. He must’ve been doing cartwheels of delight! And after a few awkward seconds, the handsome, gay stylist just couldn’t control himself anymore. He actually burst out in laughter.
“And while I was laughing,” said the handsome gay stylist, “I was thinking: Oh well. There goes my tip…!!!”
Me — well, I was laughing so hard at the end of his story. And yes, I gave him a huge tip for the one that he had lost!
There’s a moral to this story. Please look for it.