The Trip To Rome, Part I (of XXX)

by Marinka on April 13, 2016

I was going to do one of those I’m Right, You’re Wrong posts, but some things are so obviously right and the Guy I went to Ireland With is so obviously wrong, that I didn’t want to insult your intelligence. Also, I couldn’t figure out how to write it, given the details to be revealed below.

My Side:

Last week the Guy I went to Ireland With and I went to Rome. Obviously he’s considering hyphenating his name to The Guy I went to Ireland With-Rome, but then he’ll have to get all his towels re-monogrammed.

Because of the mad rush to the airport of 2014, we agreed that I am the party best suited to take care of all airport arrangements since I have a keen sense of time management, am a wonderful person and have a certain je ne sais quoi, although I don’t know what exactly.

Everything went according to plan. We arrived at the airport with plenty of time to spare and after checking in, settled in the airport lounge. We smiled at each other, exchanged the customary pleasantries about how wonderful it was to be going away together and how much we were looking to spending the week together (although I silently added “with pasta” after each “together”) and read. He read the newspaper and I read my Kindle. This is one of those sentences that adds absolutely nothing to the story, but I like to throw it in anyway. Also, this is as good a time as any to mention that I don’t understand people who don’t read on the Kindle. “I like paper books,” they say, and although I applaud their having moved on from cave etchings and papyrus, I hope to be able to support them as they take that final step to the modern world.

Back to our story.

All was going well, perfectly almost, we were on the cusp on a romantic holiday, except there was a problem. And the problem was that once I glanced at my Kindle and checked my Facebook feed, repeatedly, I was bored. Bored like I wouldn’t believe. Deadly bored. Room and bored. Water bored. I checked the time- plenty of it left before boreding.
I turned to the Guy I went to Ireland With.

“Hey,” I said, but more lovingly than that.

He didn’t respond, so I poked him, but just with my fingers because they take all the sharp objects away when you go through security.

“Hey,” I said, again, lovingly.
“Yes?” He asked.

“Want to walk around the airport together?” I offered. It was an offer from a lover to a beloved, or maybe the other way around, I’m not a professional romance writer, you know. It was an offer that no mortal could possibly refuse, as it was filled with love and romance.
And yet.
And yet he said , “No, I’m good.”
Now, you probably will need to re-read what I had written (through tear-stained eyes and pasta-filled stomach). Because like any normal person you’re finding it hard to believe that anyone would turn down an opportunity to stroll at the airport with the woman of his dreams. And yet he did. Just like that.

And that’s how I knew that our vacation wasn’t going to be the romantic getaway that I had anticipated but rather fodder for a blog post in which everyone unites with me against him.

The Guy I Went to Ireland With’s Side:

Business class to Rome for a spring vacation with my beloved! Life doesn’t get any better!

We met at my apartment to leave together for the airport. We had lots of time and enjoyed a leisurely trip notwithstanding Friday evening traffic. We had a 10pm flight which would get us to Rome around noon which was check-in time to our five star hotel. Wonderfully planned.

No lines at the airport for premium check-in. Security; ditto.

But now a hiccup. We had to mingle with the great unwashed once we cleared security. Crying babies. Families walking twelve abreast. Idiots with strollers who hadn’t mastered the trick of walking in a straight line. Long lines of people shopping. Shopping? At the airport? Like you morons didn’t know you were taking a flight until just now?
The bright light at the end of this tunnel was the Alitalia first class lounge which was ours to enjoy as of right with our business class status.

Like a marathoner eying the finish line I focused on the distant sign and steeled myself to get there before hitting the wall.

I will save my beloved from this chaotic mass of human organisms and be the hero! Yes! We made it and entered a different world beyond. Soft music, muted lights, food and wine for the taking. Televisions with whispered volume. What’s that room over there? An even quieter space with no TV and nobody sitting there. That’s the place for my beloved and me. We sat in plush Italian armchairs and exchanged pleasantries while snacking on delicacies washed down with fine wine.

We had almost two hours before boarding so I started some light reading. My beloved did the same, switching from her Kindle to her iPhone and back again. I detected a mild restlessness in her but decided to continue with my reading. She looked around. She got up and paced a little and sat back down.

“Hey,” she said. Twice.

“Yes?” I enquired, wondering what she had in mind to elevate this experience even more.

“Want to walk around the terminal with me?” She asked.

“Just walk around?” I asked, caressing the leather that held me.

“Yeah, maybe buy something. I need tampons,” she said.

It was a tempting offer, obviously. Sitting in the lap of luxury, eating, drinking, relaxing on the one hand and tampon shopping on the other.

“No, I’m good,” I told her. I think I made the right call.


A Tale of Two Tables

by Marinka on March 2, 2016

Everyone hates my new old table. That sounds like hyperbole but in fact it’s the opposite because in truth everyone despises it. And to make it worse, it’s not hate at first sight. At first sight, it’s a table. But after you sit or what approximates sitting at the table that everyone hates, the table table that’s too low to the ground, you start to feel the stirrings of antipathy that will fester and grow and breed and multiply.

Everyone hates its top and its legs and this is where I realize that there’s not too much more in terms of tables, descriptively speaking. Oh, its shape. It’s shape is unnecessarily rectangle. I live with my two kids. We need a square table. Or maybe a triangle table, which, by the way, are not as common as you’d think. But why is my wretched table a rectangle? I have no idea.
The table resurfaced from storage shortly after my divorce. Apparently they rejected it at Gitmo and so it came to my home to roost. I originally got the table when I first moved back to NYC after college in the late 1980s and didn’t know any better. You remember the late 80s, right? Well it’s as though Ronald Reagan showed up in your living room, muttering about ketchup being a vegetable. Just say no.

But it’s worse. Because my strongest association with the table was when decades ago I came home one day from my mind-numbingly dull job as a tax paralegal and I couldn’t find my dog Mavis. Mavis was a Basset Hound (until she died. And then she became Bassett Hound ashes, which is different from Angela’s Ashes, but I can’t kick the feeling that there’s an Angela Bassett’s ashes joke in there somewhere.) I looked everywhere for apartment. The apartment had been locked and Mavis didn’t have working thumbs so where could she have gone? It was a mystery and as I sat on the sofa to contemplate the probably alien abduction and the anal probing that Mavis was likely undergoing (interesting fact about Mavis: she had external anal glands which made her very, very stinky, especially during car rides and yet she received more invitations to the Hamptons than I did from neighbors who swore she was their dog’s best friend and they’d have a great time together. “I can come to keep an eye on her,” I turbo-hinted but for some reason not many people took me up on it.) And that’s when I looked at the table that now everyone hates, and saw that Mavis was standing on top of it, like some kind of a Basset Hound statue. I have no idea how she got there, why she got there or when she got there, but as soon as I saw her there, I became convinced that she was going to fall off and break all four of her legs and I’d have to either euthanize her or myself and neither of those options sounded inexpensive. So I went to the table, slowly, as though I would suddenly startle her into falling off and lifted her off, again, carefully, in case she was made out of porcelain, and lowered her to the floor. And then I wondered if this was going to be a daily routine that Mavis and I would undergo and whether this is how most 20-somethings spent their evenings in the greatest city in the world.

So when the table re-appeared in my life, I accepted it and moved on. I have bigger things to worry about, like how many Trump fundraisers I can squeeze in before the primary season is over. But then I noticed that my kids were sort of crowded around the table and then Mama said that the table wasn’t working, so we should get a new one. And I said, yes, sure, which is code for let’s do nothing and never speak of this again and has worked so well for me over the years. Except this time, a few short months later, Mama told me that she found a table to replace the table that everyone hates with one that everyone will love and admire and respect. Can I see a photo, I asked and there were some mutterings and then Papa emailed me a photograph of something that looked like a thimble of a table. Seriously, it appeared to be a table for cats, if they were kittens.
“It’s so small,” I said and Papa explained that it comes with inserts and when the inserts are in, the table is so big, it won’t even fit into my dining room area. Obviously, that’s an appealing characteristic for any table and I’m stunned that more furniture manufacturers don’t resort to this marketing technique. I’m sure it will catch on.

“I don’t think it’s for me,” I told my parents but they did not take the news well.

“It’s really expensive,” they explained in some kind of bizarre reverse-psychology sales pitch.

So for now I’m stuck with the table that everyone hates. But at least it fits into my dining room area, is not expensive and doesn’t have a Basset Hound on top of it. And some days that’s enough.


Planned Parenthood Really Screwed Me

October 4, 2015

Tweet I know that there were Congressional hearings going on last week and I stand with Planned Parenthood (assuming that all the seats are taken and it’s Standing Room Only) and all that, but I am also furious at them. And I know that as a pinko-liberal-feminist it’s not ok to be mad at Planned […]

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Dating After Divorce

August 8, 2015

Tweet I had it all figured out. After my divorce, I’d start dating again and then I would write the definitive work of great wisdom about dating after divorce. I even had the title all picked out, “Dating After Divorce”! Everyone would read it, immediately get a divorce and start dating, while I counted the […]

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Mysterious Ways

July 8, 2015

Tweet I bought new sandals, wedges, the day that my son graduated from middle school last month. They were on sale, although from an upscale store and I spent more on them than I normally would, but they were comfortable and had secure black straps that flattered my Cinderella’s step-sister foot and I thought, “why […]

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A Scene in Front of a Fountain

June 28, 2015

Tweet A while back, Papa was telling me about an argument that he had with Mama. “We had real scene in front of fountain,” he told me, in Russian, which I am indicating by writing in English but nonetheless leaving out all the articles, so you can feel the Russianness. Let me know how that’s […]

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June 11, 2015

Tweet Last week I met my lovely daughter’s handsome boyfriend which is one of those things that I file under “about damn time” since they’ve been dating for over a year which is like a decade in teenage years and who knows how long in dog years, although I suspect it depends on the breed, […]

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D and E

June 5, 2015

Tweet The other evening I was having dinner with a friend and she mentioned that at our age, we have to do more than just exercise or just diet, in fact we have to do both. There are many things that I hate about this, starting with that she said “at our age” even though […]

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