From the monthly archives:

December 2008

As You Probably Know, I Have Model-Good Looks

by Marinka on December 29, 2008

It’s amazing the kind of shit that you can slip into a conversation if you preface it with “as you probably know”. Because everyone is secretly a know-it-all and wants to nod maniacally and agree “of course I knew that already! duh!” Really, try it sometime.

Husbandrinka tried it on me the other day with a “as you probably know, I’m a perfectionist.” It’s a good thing that looking stupid has never bothered me, so I chocked on whatever I was drinking and then said “YOU? A PERFECTIONIST” and then laughed until I developed laugh lines of a woman twice my age. As you probably know, I have the skin of a newborn. (The FBI is investigating).

(By the way, when I told John this story, his response was “how can he be a perfectionist, he married you, didn’t he?” I’m not sure that I will forgive him. But as you probably know, I have a big heart.)

So husbandrinka and I had a standard fight about whether or not he was a perfectionist and then we compromised on that he is a perfectionist at work and he doesn’t like to burden his family with his perfectionism, so that’s why I’ve never seen this side of him. I may be paraphrasing here a bit, but as I often tell him, if he wants to tell his side, get your own blog.

So a few days later, he is working from home and suddenly I hear “FUCKING SHIT!” (part of the reason that I hear this is because I am sitting right next to him) and I ask what’s wrong, because as you may know, I am a caring soul and love to help people and he’s fuming because the documents he needs are at the office. Because I love to strike when the iron’s hot, I ask him if that is part of his perfectionism–having the wrong documents. So, I figure that I have a slam-fucking-dunk, and that he will bow to my wisdom, say touche and offer me some champagne to celebrate my verbal victory, but instead he says, “this is why I don’t like to talk to you–you take things out of context.”
“That “no” didn’t sound convincing.”
“I don’t hate you.”
It’s a good thing, that as you know, I don’t like to dwell on things.



by Marinka on December 29, 2008

When I was pregnant for the first time, my parents were overjoyed. And by “overjoyed” I mean “insane”. They hovered over me. They made sure that I was comfortable. They made sure that I was fed, and hydrated. You know, all the things that people who are functioning in society are generally able to do for themselves. And they wanted to make sure nothing upset me.

My husband was traveling one night and my parents came over for a deluxe dinner of Chinese takeout. Somehow the conversation turned to one of their favorite topics—how overweight many Americans are.

“Americans don’t understand hunger,” my father said.
“No, everything is too much here,”mama chimed in. “Did you see the ‘small’ coffee? Huge. And the large? A whole family can drink that!”
“In Russia, we lived through a blockade,” my father announced, referring to a period in the 1940s when the Germans surrounded Leningrad and would not let anything in, including food. Over a million people starved to death. My parents had not yet been born during this time, but their parents and grandparents lived through it and the memories haunted them. To this day, they are unable to throw out a crust of bread, so modern excesses offend them.

“People were starving,” my father continued, as I reloaded my plate with Sweet and Sour chicken. “People ate cats and all dogs disappeared from Leningrad. Your aunt Julia-“
“Stop it!” my mother yelled. “Don’t you dare tell her that story!”
“What?” my father was perplexed, “I’m just talking.”
“Yes, you’re talking. But you shouldn’t be talking to your pregnant daughter about this nonsense!”
“Nonsense?! It is a completely true story and part of our history. It is important.”
“Important? It’s upsetting and probably an exaggeration.”
“Hello!!” I waved a fork with broccoli in garlic sauce in front of them. “I’m still here! What about aunt Julia?” Who wasn’t really an aunt, but what am I a genealogical expert now?
“Don’t get upset,” my mother tried to soothe me. “It’s nothing.”
”Nothing. Her father tried to eat her when she was born, and to you it’s nothing. Normal behavior. It’s a girl! I mean, dinner! That’s how desperate people were.”
“Are you insane?” my mother yelled. “Do you want her to go into labor right now? Look how you’re upsetting our Marinka. Her chewing has slowed down considerably.”
“Well, maybe she can deliver the dessert.” My father threw down his napkin. Or maybe he didn’t throw it down, who the hell can remember. Really, I have no idea how people write dialogue.
“Don’t be upset,” my mother addressed me in a conspiratorial tone. “I don’t think that story is true.”
”WHAT?” my father howled, “are you telling me that my Uncle Boris didn’t try to eat my cousin Julia and if it weren’t for my Aunt Sofia protecting her daughter, there would be no cousin Julia?” Apparently my father is not the type of man to have the family folklore of cannibalism snatched away from him without a struggle.
“I don’t want to talk about it anymore,” my mother said. “But I don’t think that we should upset Marinka like that.”

I’m sure it speaks volumes to my moral character that I wasn’t actually upset by that story. But to this day I can’t stand when people coo over babies and comment how “delicious” they are.


Lessons Learned: Kids and Allowance

December 27, 2008

Last year I decided to teach my children fiscal responsibility by giving them an allowance.  The “teach” aspect of it was a bit fuzzy because I thought that I would give them the allowance and the economic lessons would be self-taught.  This worked on many levels–the children would take the initiative, not unlike what I imagine […]

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I love daytime television and Barack Obama! And also, I have my period

December 26, 2008

If there is anything that I love more than daytime television–from Oprah to Jerry Springer to The Price is Right to General Hospital, I don’t know what it is. A perfect day is spent watching all of that. And reading articles about Barack Obama, who is a wonderful man and an inspiring leader. I am […]

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Bring in the Clowns

December 24, 2008

Every year, I take my family to the Big Apple Circus. Because apparently I suffer from amnesia. It’s a “low key” circus, although I’m not sure that’s the official name–it’s set up in a tent outside of Lincoln Center, so you feel all culture-ish like when you go. Like, you’re going to the circus, but […]

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Happy Erev Christmas!

December 24, 2008

We have been having many theological conversations at our house. My daughter made a huge sign that says “CHRISTIANS ROCK!!!” and underneath a parenthetical (Jews too). I live in constant fear that my children will reject my atheist leanings and become religious freaks, so this poster was not reassuring. When I asked her what’s with […]

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Dear Everyone

December 22, 2008

Dear Bouncer in Trendy Bar-Type Place That I Don’t Usually Go To: When you ask me for ID and I say “really?”, please don’t look at my face and say, “oh, you’re right, never mind.” Dear Husbandrinka: When I casually mention “why don’t we just all commit mass suicide and get this holiday shit out […]

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Week in Review

December 21, 2008

(And don’t miss Anymommy’s Week In Review!) Sunday: I am in recovery from stomach flu and watch I Didn’t Know I was Pregnant. It is a TLC documentary-with-reenactments about four women who didn’t even know that they were pregnant until they were in labor. It is the best thing that I’ve ever seen in my […]

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