We often lose track of what day it is. Our only reminder is that on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, our cleaning woman, Aling Aida, comes over. That means someone has to get up in the morning to open the door for her.
She’s been working for us for about three years. Maybe a bit longer. She lives nearby and she just walks over to our house. When she was new here, she brought her own lunch. We told her she didn’t have to do that because there’s enough food around here. If not newly cooked, there’s always something that can be reheated.
So, it has become a ritual. On “Aling Aida days”, if someone wakes up early enough to cook lunch, there’s newly cooked food. But, if there’s plenty of food on the previous day, we set aside a portion for her to reheat.
It’s Thursday today so tomorrow is Aling Aida day. I was cooking moo shu chicken earlier when Alex asked what Aling Aida would have tomorrow. I said I was going to set side some chicken for her. But, Alex retorted, Aling Aida doesn’t eat meat during Lent. And she reminded me that the only reheatable dish in the fridge was pork with black bean sauce so that wouldn’t do either.
Oh, wow, I totally forgot it’s Lent and most Filipinos don’t eat meat during this time and especially not on Good Friday. Or, maybe, at the back of my mind, I knew it was Lent but since we’ve never done the no-meat-practice since Alex was a baby when we were still living with Speedy’s parents, well… It’s one thing for us to ignore custom but we still have to respect other people’s beliefs. Since we were the ones who offered to provide Aling Aida’s lunch, it follows that her meals in our house should be food she would eat without guilt.
So, what will Aling Aida have for lunch tomorrow? I don’t know yet but it won’t have any meat in it.