Dress no. 22: Fuschia with White Cherry Print, Sinamay Panuelo, and Scalloped Edges


Tita Noemi was putting the finishing touches on her outfit for that night. It was the first time the whole family would be getting together since the war, and everyone was in a celebratory mood. The smell of garlic and blackmarket cheese wafted up the stairwell, tickling Tita Noemi’s senses at the prospect of toasting to Italian food that night. “Italian food is tres chic!” She said out loud to absolutely no one. Tita Noemi enjoyed talking to herself, which was okay for a woman who kept getting her cultural references wrong.

The door creaked open, and there stood Tita Didi.

“LOL. Whut are you wearing?”

Tita Noemi shrugged off Tita Didi’s mocking tone and tried to keep a straight face. “It’s my Pacita Longos. I had her make it from the tela I got in Hokkaido.”

Tita Didi laughed, then pretended to recoil in fucking terror at the mention of Hokkaido, “You’re such a dumbass, Noemi. The war just ended, why would you wear something that so blatantly references Japan?”

Then Tita Didi did something completely unexpected. She’s a much nicer person now and all but at the time SHE WAS THIS TOTAL BITCH–AND A WHORE! AAARRRRHHHGGHHH I HATE HER!!! As if her little private show of mocking Tita Noemi’s taste and belittling her intellect wasn’t enough, she fell on the bed, rolling around doing the rape-shakes and yelling “H’wag!!! H’wag po!” at imaginary Japs violating her. Neither of them brings up this tasteless little joke now, and if you ask them, they will both deny it ever happened, but it did. Then she just got up and dusted herself off, leaving Tita Noemi to sort it all out for herself. Maybe get Tita Did to apologize after dinner. Which she didn’t.

Instead she just let the seed of that little incident lodge itself further and further into her brain, until one day, on her death bed, she just snapped, screaming “H’wag po! H’WAAAAAGGG PO!!!” at her grandchildren and spouting expletives peppered with references to a fuschia dress covered with cherries, which she never even got to wear, because the stupid joke her stupid bitch of a sister had to crack left such a bad taste in her mouth, that she had no other choice but to wear something else.

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Author: alicesarmiento

San Juan, Metro Manila

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