Modern Love, or Something Like It

by Marinka on July 19, 2014

Me: Did you get that link I sent you? The one with the movie writeup?

Him: Yes. That movie sounds unbearably dull.

Me: ALright, I’ll just go by myself then.

Him: No, I’d like to see it with you.

Me: ?

Him: You greatly underestimate how much I love the idea of spending three hours with you when you are completely silent.

Me: …

* * *

I’m trying to think of a comeback. According to the actuarial tables, I still have a few years, but it’s not looking good so far.

On the bright side, I’m looking forward to seeing an actual grownup movie in the theatre for the first time in ages. I love the talkies!


Hard to Say

by Marinka on July 4, 2014

I haven’t made my final summer vacation plans with the kids yet, and while that would throw most people into a panic, in my case it’s probably for the best. Because lately I’ve been thinking that maybe I should just go and be in the World Cup. This is certainly a surprising turn of events since I don’t play or particularly like soccer and/or football, but I tell you, I’ve recently developed a skill set that will make me a hot commodity in the whole World Cup business. Specifically in the goal-tending department. Because when you’re a goalie (as I will be; see, e.g., World Cup 2014 and thereafter), and there’s a penalty kick, you have to fucking guess where the ball is going to go and get there before it. And through a series of events, I’ve become pretty good at guessing. Or maybe not that good at it, but I’ve been guessing a lot lately. And I figure why not put those guessing skills to use on the international sports stage.

Let me back up.

Once upon a time, I dated a man who spoke with an accent. Probably on purpose. Even though he was a native English speaker. At first I loved it because I knew from many movies that as a woman I was supposed to find accents charming and endearing, but then I noticed that I couldn’t understand what the hell he was saying. If he texted something to me, I got it, no problem, but if he spoke to me in person or on the phone, it was really anyone’s guess what was going on. It was uncanny.

The thing about not understanding what the person you’re talking to is saying is that it interrupts the natural flow of the conversation.

“Blah, blab, blergh,” he’d say and I’d “mmmm” or “hmmm” depending on how the coin toss worked out on that particular day. I also adopted a strategy of talking nonstop myself, so that he would have precious little opportunity to speak. There were times, of course, when I had nothing to say, but I didn’t let a detail like that stop me because the Devil is in the Details and I have no need for Satanism at this stage of my life.

So I’d blather on about my day, the days that came before the day, my cats, cats of people I knew or had seen on TV, things I read in the newspaper and things that I thought should be written about in the newspaper (see, for example: my cats). Occasionally, I’d have to stop for a gasp of oxygen or to hydrate myself and then he would have an opportunity to say something. And of course that was a problem.

“Nice breasts,” he told me as I stopped to take a much needed glug of wine.

“Excuse me?” I said, because I am above all a lady and I don’t believe “nice breasts” is something you say to a lady, especially one that has nursed two children.

“What?” he said, “I like the dress you’re wearing.”

This is what I was dealing with. I was dealing with the person who made “dress” sound like “breasts.”

“Your English really sucks,” I explained to him and instead of thanking me for my wisdom and signing up for immediate diction classes, for some reason he took offense. Like the time we were at a restaurant.

“Can I have more butter, please?” he asked the waitress and she returned with a glass of water.

“Does w-a-t-e-r sound like b-u-t-t-e-r?” he wondered. I wasn’t sure what to say, so I ordered a glass of butter myself.

But sometimes he’d have more to “say.” And then other times, to my horror, I’d hear something at the end of the sentence that those of us who speak English like to call an upward inflection, designating a question.

And that’s when I’d have to guess. There are only so many times that you can say “what did you say?” and “WHAT?” before a dating situation turns homicidal and from the personalized toe tag that he had presented me with one evening I was starting to suspect that I was approaching that number.

“Blah, blech, blerg,” he’d say and I’d pause thoughtfully before responding. During the thoughtful pause, I would consider my options. A favorite would be to smile mysteriously, a la Mona Lisa, but I realized quickly that what Da Vinci made look mysterious and seductive translated to “constipated” in my capable hands. Or face. I could nod thoughtfully with a little head shake at the end, or I could say something non-committal like “perhaps”. But then I would worry that what he “asked” wasn’t a yes or no question but would require more from me, like an explanation of my theory of life, and other nuggets of wisdom.

“It’s hard to say,” I would sometimes sigh deeply. “Very hard.”

Especially for people who speak with an accent.



July 2, 2014

I know I’ve been updating less than usual for a while and it’s taking its toll on me too. Obviously the fact that I decided not to write about my divorce is a factor (although please rest assured, it’s all very boring and amicable, no War of the Roses here. Not even War of the […]

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June 18, 2014

The Lord works in mysterious ways. Like you’re living your life and things are pretty good, if you don’t focus too much on the Human Condition and the frailty of life and the fact that the we are all, each one of us, is going to die alone. Unless there is some sort of a […]

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June 7, 2014

The other night I won three games in a row at mah jongg, improving considerably my 2014 record of winning zero games in a row. The thing about me and winning is that for reasons that science cannot yet identify, once I win, I become completely intolerable. The wonderful, kind person that you’ve come to […]

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Things I Think About When I Can’t Sleep

June 3, 2014

I love Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah but I have to be in just the right mood to listen to it. Sometimes I’m too fragile for it. And I don’t know what kind of secret chord David has although I’m definitely glad the Lord is pleased with it. Oh and you know what’s weird? Why is he […]

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No Comment

May 26, 2014

It took me a while, but finally I realized that the comments section on this blog is broken. At first when I saw zero comments on post after post I thought, “huh, no one is commenting!” and while that would make some bloggers despondent, I just took it to mean that everyone agreed with my […]

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What’s In a Name?

May 20, 2014

Recently I decided to kill both of our cats with my bare hands. Oh, you didn’t know that we had two cats now? Well, of course you know Nicki, the striped goddess that we love and adore. Nicki has been with us forever, ever since that moment when the kids begged and pleaded and promised […]

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