From the monthly archives:

January 2011

Homies and Homettes

by Marinka on January 31, 2011

Today’s guest post is from Elizabeth of Flourish in Progress. Elizabeth’s project is not shopping for a year, so I’d like to blame her for my huge scaling back this year. (By the way, has anyone else noticed that when you don’t shop, you don’t get new stuff? This is why you should always go on a huge spending spree right before the spree. That’s good advice that you can take to the bank, and while you’re there, withdraw all your cash, because we’re going shopping!)

Elizabeth is smart and funny and I’ve almost forgiven her for being only 30. Her posts about her childhood are among my most favorite ever. Elizabeth is relatively new to blogging, but as soon as I was two post deep into her blog, I knew that I’d be a regular reader. And if that’s not good enough for you, you should know that Awesome Dude is also a big fan.


Before I got married three years ago, I went out on at least three blind dates a year. Why? Because clearly, I hate myself.

Usually, my friends made the introductions. Why? Because clearly, they hate me too.

It always started the same way. First, there would be an email exchange. It would look something like this:

Hi Elizabeth,

My name is ____. I got your email address from ____. I hear that you are single. I am also single. Can you believe this weather? It’s been so ____ (cold/rainy/sunny/hot/windy/muggy). I like long walks on the beach. Do you like long walks on the beach? I like the color purple. What color do you like?

Would you like to get together some time?

Fingers crossed,

I always kept my responses the same. It worked the first time, so I never bothered to change it.

Dear ____,

Sure. Why not. Bring it.


Then, there was at least one obligatory phone call. I learned quickly that this was a vital step in the blind-dating process.

On one occasion, as my blind date and I were firming up plans for dinner during a phone call, he casually mentioned that I should bring cash. Immediately, I liked the guy. How many men have enough forethought to make sure their date has enough cash for the valet? What a guy! Ding! Ding! Ding! Folks, we have a winner.

Sadly, I had jumped to the wrong conclusion.

His next sentence?

“The food court we’re going to doesn’t take credit cards, and I’d hate for you to run to an ATM to get cash for your dinner. ATMs have fees. I hate fees.”

Oh, okay. That’s……still thoughtful.

A preliminary phone call became a must after a particularly stilted phone conversation with one potential date. He seemed extremely nervous, and I could almost hear the sweat dripping down his face as we talked. I’m not a natural conversationalist either, so I tried to put him at ease. He finally admitted that phone time had been limited while he was incarcerated. Since he was newly out on parole, he was still getting used to “talking with the ladies.”

I didn’t go out on a date with him. Looking back, I still can’t pinpoint the exact reason. Maybe it was the sweat. I’m not sure how I feel about sweat.

I always tried to keep my expectations realistic before the actual date. Okay, that’s a lie. I always hoped that This Man would sweep me off my feet. Or, at the very least, I hoped This Man would have the decency and know-how to sweep around my feet when he helped me clean.

Most blind dates never made it past the first date, but one blind date did lead to a two-month relationship.

He was great. We enjoyed the same foods, laughed at all the same jokes, and shared common views on life. Too bad he neglected to tell me that he had two kids for most of the two months we were together.

I became suspicious when I saw a long list of Disney songs on his Ipod. I asked him why he liked Hannah Montana so much. He claimed the songs were for his nieces. This would have been a believable story, but his sister was going through IVF treatments…because she didn’t have any kids.

Then there was the Razr scooter in his backyard. He blamed the next-door neighbor’s kids for leaving their things everywhere. Too bad the twins next door had just celebrated their second birthday and were still working on some vital coordination skills. Hmmm….Razr scooters at two?

I’m a “glass half full” kind of girl. While I would have liked honestly from the very beginning, when he finally ‘fessed up that he had two daughters, I wasn’t upset. I was relieved that he wasn’t a pedophile. Oh, the little victories of blind dating.

I’m happily married now…to a normal man. Yes, it’s as much of a shock to me as it may be to you.


Read This Now

by Marinka on January 30, 2011

I had all sort of poignant commentary about this piece, but I’ll save it.

But it’s important that you read it now. It’s written by a man who was raped as a child. And it’s important. Truly.

And here’s the link to the reading on NPR’s This American Life.

Thank you to my friend and gold level commenter on this blog Peajaye for sending me the links.



January 29, 2011

I am not sentimental on a daily basis, mainly because I am too busy watching The Bachelor. But there are definitely moments when I realize how much time has gone by since my children were babies, since they needed me for things like getting dressed and getting their breakfast. And although I celebrate my freedom […]

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We’re All Different, and That’s Okay!

January 27, 2011

One of the things that I keep reminding my children about is that we are all different and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that! As a matter of fact, it’s something to celebrate. For example, this past Monday night and I was wondering whether I should watch Gossip Girl and DVR The Bachelor or vice […]

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Worldless Wednesday for Marinka

January 26, 2011

Holy shit, you guys. Guess who did a guest post for me today? Deb Rox. From Deb on the Rocks. I probably don’t have to tell you about this post about Royal Weddings and Conspiracy Theories, because mark my words, you’ll be referring to it come April. But what you don’t know is that Deb […]

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I’m Right, You’re Wrong!

January 25, 2011

Welcome back to I’m Right, You’re Wrong! Today’s dilemma: Should a healthy, asymptomatic, indoor cat (Nicki) be taken to a vet for an annual check up? IN THIS ECONOMY? Cast of Disagreers: Marinka and Marinka’s 12 year old daughter (and apparently Nicki’s legal guardian.) Position One: Eh, she looks fine. Let’s skip it until the […]

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January 24, 2011

I got to tell you, this whole guest post thing is the best scam that I’d come up with yet. I have no idea why I didn’t think of it sooner. Because now instead of typing my fingers to the bone trying to come up with entertaining posts, someone else does it for me, while […]

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I Need You Like I’ve Never Needed You Before

January 22, 2011

…to help me choose a dress. Because I was recently contacted by Shabby Apple, which sells dresses online, and they offered to give me a dress in exchange for my writing about it. And I was all, Okay! See, the offer came at the exact moment that I realized that although my shopping moratorium had […]

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