A few years ago I wrote a post about how a friend and I set up a Filipino table for International Day at my kids' school. We thought we were fairly bombastic until. Until. Until the Tongan families arrived sporting traditional dress and carrying a ROAST PIG THE SIZE OF MY HOUSE. Do you remember how I cursed the gods that day? Do you also remember how the event happened to coincide with an Achiote Press reading and that Oscar had no sympathy for my plight, but rather laughed at my comeuppance?
Fast forward to 2009. This was to be my Year Of Redemption. This was to be the year I could hold my head up high and pass by the Tongans while tossing out a casual, "Hey, nice table you got there."
But it is not meant to be.
Why? Because apparently there are a bunch of upstart Filipino parents in the Kindergarten class who are building a bahay kubo (it sounds like I'm joking, doesn't it? I assure you I am not) and who do not require the help—in any way, shape, or form—of your Nesting Ground Mistress.
Sure. Fine. That's fine. I'll just go ahead and create a table representing the Land of Nesting Ground. I will serve chunks of bitter melon, clusters of sour grapes, and glasses of fine whine. My national flag will bear the words, "You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave." I'll see you there!