Grumpy on a Saturday afternoon


I was in the process of picking up a Daniel Pink book from a display stand inside the National Bookstore when a fashionable young woman spoke to me, and asked if I was into self-help books. It took me several minutes to answer back. I muttered that I like different kinds of books. Or something like that.

She extended her hand to me and introduced herself. She asked for my name. I didn’t give it. The whole back and forth seemed too weird for me. It just weirded me out. I thanked her for the book recommendation and walked away.

Now as I sit and have my coffee, I do feel guilty at not shaking her hand with greater enthusiasm and giving out my name with an equally radiant smile on my face to match hers. What if her experience with grumpy old me makes her less gregarious with strangers? Even those puzzling over which books to buy in a sanctuary that is a bookstore?

Well, to that lady in the bookstore at Podium Mall, I’m sorry. Henceforth, you have earned the right to call me that Grumpy Woman in the Bookstore. 🙂


Yesterday, I attended an intimate, cozy and simple wedding held at Christ the King Church in Green Meadows, Pasig City. The bride, Leo Navarro, was my former executive producer at RMN DZXL’s “Bantay OFW”. She exchanged “I Do’s” with sports anchor Francis “Kiko” Malicdem after years of friendship and romance.

What caught my eye was how unobtrusive their wedding coordinator was. We were all focused on the bridge and groom, their respective parents, and the ceremony itself. I have been to weddings where the wedding coordinators exaggerated their roles, wearing uniforms and those thin, concert-type microphones that Beyonce or J.Lo wears.

Some wedding coordinators and staff have PSG-like tendencies. They shall not be ignored! They command attention, acting as MMDA enforcers minus the bikes in the middle of the church aisle.

Call me old-fashioned, but I prefer the old style of the bride-to-be counting on her mother, sister, and best friend to help put the wedding together — sans uniforms, microphones, and ten thousand or more pesos.


Author: Susan Ople

Susan "Toots" Ople is the President of the Blas F. Ople Policy and Training Institute. She's an OFW and labor advocate based in the Philippines.

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  • Shannon

    I think I might have done the same grumpy thing. I am a germ freak and its cold and flu season in Michigan. I am not shaking anyones hand….!! Even at church. We adore bookstores and annoymity…its a place to relax and be quiet and see books…its not a nightclub! I agree with the wedding planners…very much ostentatious and takes away from the brides capturing moment. Loved this article. You have such a way with words.