I was then taking my undergrad degree abroad when I vacationed here for the summer. That’s when I met my future husband. He was interning in my father’s office, and I bumped into him in the elevator.
I saw him again while I was walking with my father, who pointed him to me. Turned out he was the son of a former family driver who worked for us when I was growing up. Father said this guy was one of his scholars in the university and was graduating with honors.
The next time I came home, I saw the guy again, now fully suited as an employee. My father said he had topped the board while I was gone and is about to take his master’s degree. He talked about him like a very proud father. He said he liked his quiet humility, honesty and hard work.
Being a free spirit, and curious about this walking saint, I asked this guy out for coffee. He was more interesting up close. I joked that he seemed too serious for anything else. He said he had to work very hard because he was coming from the bottom of a very high mountain—and the journey to the top was such a long way.
A free spirit himself, he was not at all deferential about my being the boss’ daughter. He just said in passing that he had had a crush on me since he was 14. I said I didn’t remember him.
I think my father found a son in him. We’re only two siblings in the family and my only sister lives abroad with her foreigner husband. They are both not interested in our family business. My parents did not object when this guy and I fell in love and decided to get married.
My husband has been extremely generous to his parents as soon as he started working. Before his mother passed on, he renovated the family house completely and continued to help his two younger siblings until they graduated from college.
When his father got widowed, he married this woman from nowhere right away. She was younger and has three teenage children from three different men.
My problem is her. Knowing how comfortable this marriage has made her, she suddenly put on airs. She took her children out of a municipal school and enrolled them in a private school. Soon, she didn’t want to be called just “ate” anymore by people she thought were below her. She wanted them to call her “ma’am.”
I also heard that she wants my help at home to call her “señora,” the way they addressed my mother. I told them to call her “aling” as it befitted her more. Seems she has forgotten where she came from; I was just pulling her back down to earth.
My father-in-law will not live forever and has no millions to leave her. And she is not a blood relative, either. Her comfortable life will not be sustained if she continues this pretense of being wealthy without hard work. Am I being petty? Am I being mean?
I find your problem hilarious! As they say, a name by any other name…
There will always be house flies that’ll think and act bigger than the carabao they’re perched on. That’s the way of human beings. As Tevye from “Fiddler on the Roof” declared: “God! You made so many poor people!”
Take it that many heads have just floated above water all their lives— inches from drowning—deprived, hungry, battered, maligned for so long, that finding a sudden oasis make them terribly changed people.
They start filling up greedily and with such depravity facets of their lives that have all these gaping holes, with whatever they can get hold of, many without rhyme or reason. They’re under the laughable and misconstrued illusion that that’s the only way to go.
Feel pity toward her and strive to understand where she’s coming from. From your privileged life, she can be annoying, pathetic and even embarrassing. But try on her shoes for size and walk in them for a while. Only then will you comprehend the world she’s lived in and had wanted to escape from forever.
Thank the heavens for your good fortune that has spared you the suffering she must have undergone. Be a little compassionate to her, for she obviously doesn’t know any better. You’ve been gifted with the most advantages in life, which makes you more suitable to be magnanimous.
You don’t share bloodlines and, plainly, your only relation to her is through your husband’s father whom he must love dearly. For his sake, just show her an open-hearted kindness. It won’t kill you.
Accept her foibles and her small, tiny, little world. Take heed of what an old teacher loved to say, that “little things amuse little minds.” Clearly her simple mind cannot ever leave it.
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