On the MRT to my next destination, I opened my new Chinese seal and tried it out. It wasn’t my name. I studied it for a minute, since I sometimes forget my name.
I got off at the next stop and hopped on the train heading back towards the 30-square-foot shop.
“Excuse me, but . . . this isn’t my name.”
“That’s your name,” the stamp guy said, puzzled.
“Sorry, but it isn't."
He shuffled through a messy stack of papers, finding the one with my information on it. “Here - this is what your mom wrote!”
I recognized her handwriting and remembered Mom scribbling on the pink scratch paper. We had spent the afternoon doing errands.
“Oh, you're right. Sorry! I guess she doesn’t know my name.”
We laughed and I ordered another seal.
Later I asked Mom about it.
“Sorry,” she said sheepishly. “Aiyah, why do you need your name on a seal anyway?”
“It’s for painting.”
“Aiyah, so particular. Not necessary.”
For Christmas, I gave Mom several presents, including a set of artisan felted wool coasters. The set consisted of two yellow coasters and two blue coasters, with an artsy silkscreened design on the top of each coaster.
After a few months, I noticed that Mom consistently used the blue coasters on the correct side and the yellow coasters turned over to wrong side.
"You don’t like the yellow coasters?" I asked her one day.
"Then why do you turn it over to this side?"
"What’s the difference?"
I flipped the coaster over. "This side is the design side."
"Either one. No difference."
"There’s a difference: This is the design side . . . this is not the design side."
"It’s you who buys it, not me."
"That’s true, but I intended for you to use the design side."
"And I intend to use the non-design side as the design side," she said.
I'm going to start posting random photos from my collection of Japanese home decor magazines, since I love the combination of Japanese kanji/hirigana/katakana with impeccable styling/photography/layout.
This one is from a magazine called Kawaii [Something], Volume 2. I have no idea what the second word is.
At the top of the cover, there are some characters that read "putesuito na interia to [something] hon." Something interior and something book. aahhh I don't know.