My heavy hints landed solidly. It’s not even December yet and I got this pair of earrings from Jeffrey.
Yes, that’s Elvis Presley.
Yesterday my sister went to Divisoria for her annual wholesale gift shopping. I tagged along, wearing my new earrings. Roaming around 168 Mall is a blastâ€”except during the holiday shopping madness, when all the merchandise is covered in people. And it was a weekdayâ€”imagine what the crowd is like today. (In America retailers call the day after Thanksgiving Black Friday and it’s the biggest shopping day of the year.)
There were slightly fewer people on the third floor, so we could browse at leisure. Cookie went into a shop selling sparkly trinkets. I was looking at rings (way too sparkly) when an attentive saleslady noted my earrings. “Ang ganda naman ng hikaw nyo (What nice earrings),” she said.
“Thank you,” I said.
“Sino yang nasa picture? (Who’s that in the picture?)” she asked.
“Si Elvis,” I replied.
“Asawa ninyo? (Your husband?)” she went on.
On one hand I wanted to recite a short history of rock and roll and Elvis’s place in it so that she could grasp popular music in its proper context. On the other hand the trinkets place was slowly filling up and I just wanted to shop.
“Oo (Yes),” I answered. No doubt she thought I was very lucky. It would’ve taken too long to explain that Elvis died when I was a kid. I remember my parents talking about it: the king of rock ‘n roll had died of a heart attack while sitting on the toilet. His diet of fried peanut butter and jelly sandwiches may have had something to do with it.
You know how the baristas in coffee shops ask for your name so they can call it out when your order is ready? Sometimes I don’t feel like having my existence announced, I just want my caffeine, so I tell them my name is Elvis. Which means I am married to me.