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.”
“If you die, I get your Vitamix,” Piper said.
“I get your All-Clad skillets,” Akela replied.
“Doesn’t anyone want any of my stuff?” I asked.
“I’ll take your trash cans,” Piper said after a while.
I own a bunch of attractive Japanese trash cans made from ayous wood. One of them cost me $70.
“What about my laptop?”
“I’d prefer your trash cans.”
“Uh . . . I’ll . . . " She couldn’t think of anything.
For Christmas, I gave Mom several presents, including a set of artisan felted wool coasters. The set consisted of two mustard yellow coasters and two royal 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.
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