MINOR FEELINGS x ME TALK PRETTY ONE DAY: After a decade as an advertising professional, you’d think I’d be an expert in knowing my own brand. But, how could I be when I’ve buried so much of my identity? My immigrant upbringing. My Asian ethnicity. My Filipinx culture. This memoir-in-essays is an honest, self-deprecating look at my brand as a woman of color in America. With long-lost relatives, bigoted boyfriends, and revelations in the motherland, I explore all the joys and complexities of my hyphenated life.
As I painted my grandmother’s nails, I savored the moment knowing it would be one of the last times she’d remember me.
Grandma Connie, however, didn’t think twice. She never did.
Unlike me, she remained undaunted by her recent dementia diagnosis . She didn’t hesitate in presenting me with her hands and snuggling into my mom’s queen-sized bed. She closed her eyes and let out a sigh of satisfaction as if she was back home in Manila and I was her personal manicurist hired for fifty pesos — including tip.
My mom had asked if I could watch Grandma Connie for the day. Partly so she could work her twelve-hour shift in the emergency room, partly so she could take a break from her mother’s demanding illness. Being familiar with dementia after witnessing my paternal grandmother’s decline, I agreed without hesitation. I packed an overnight bag, hopped on the subway to my mom’s place, and created an at-home spa day to keep my grandma’s deteriorating mind occupied.
My mom’s nail kit was in the same place it always was: the bottom-left corner of the walk-in closet. However, while my childhood apartment was largely as I remembered it, a few changes had been made since I moved out. Band posters no longer covered my bedroom