From the monthly archives:

February 2012

I’m Right, You’re Wrong: ESL

by Marinka on February 29, 2012

As some of you may know, from peering into my Slavic soul, I was born in Russia, and English is my second language.

Yes, I am an ESL person.

Don’t get me wrong, I get by.

But there are times that I appreciate keenly that English isn’t my native language.  I’ve been told that I use “also” unnaturally.  As in I use it in conversation, and according to this one person that I met in college, Americans don’t.  He may have been making it up.  And also insane.  People were weird in the 1990’s.

I remember when Mama got one of her first jobs in New York City, waaay uptown, she picked up some local vernacular from her co-workers and referred to everyone as “scumbags.”  It was a very memorable car ride when, while I sat in the back, Papa told her that “scumbags” wasn’t just slang for “ladies and gentlemen”.

So with that memory in mind (and intact) I present this week’s I’m Right, You’re Wrong.

Disagreers: Marinka and Husbandrinka


X:  So then, he told me that this wouldn’t work, and that’s why everything had to be rescheduled-

Y: Oh, right, I remember you were going on about that.

Disagreement: Is “you were going on about that” rude?


Position One:  Yes, it implies that the person was blathering on endlessly and you wanted to kill them and sell their skin and cook their bones to shut them up.

Position Two: No, it just references a previous conversation and shows that the person you were speaking to was paying attention.

Cast your votes!



(also! If you have a second, hop on over here and vote for Kristine Cook. She’s a friend, and a fellow Mouthy Housewife and she’s funny.  And with the exception of Newt, I think it’s always good to vote for funny! Oh, and then go to her blog and tell her that you voted and you can win an iPad2.  Which you can then give to me. But only if you want, that’s not a rule or anything.  Yet.)



by Marinka on February 28, 2012

One afternoon after school  I get a reprieve from my teenager’s attitude and she allows me to take her clothes shopping at American Eagle.  Sure I almost lose consciousness and she tries on every pair of jeans and but we’re spending time together and that’s what’s important.

And then she lets me pay for everything, which is really more than any parent has a right to ask.  And I didn’t even ask, she offered.

“You go pay and I’ll keep looking,” she says.  Looking at what, didn’t you already try on all the inventory?   I ask, but not out loud because I don’t want to rock the Titanic.

We leave the store and I decide to take a risk.

“Hey, you want to gossip?” I ask her.  I’m excellent at gossip because I know lots of shit about everyone and am not afraid to make things up. You can totally get away with that if you add “I think” at the end and question mark your nose a bit.

“No,” she says, almost before I finish the sentence.

“Aw, come on,” I nudge her. “Like I can tell you that this guy at work is really cute and you can tell me who you think is cute.”

She stops, mid-street and looks right at me, eyes not rolling even a bit.

“Don’t say anything like that to me ever again,” she warns.

I’m a little startled by how strongly she feels, but I take another crack.

“Why not? It’s fun. I mean, I still think daddy is cuter,  so don’t worry about my leaving him or anything.”

She sighs.  Why does she have to be the one to school me in everything?

“It’s not fun for me. I don’t want to gossip with anyone in my family. I gossip with my friends, not my mom.”

We walk home in silence.  I’ve certainly been told.

And to make things even worse,  there’s no cute guy at work.



White Jeans

February 27, 2012

At the store, she hands me two pairs of jeans—the first pair blinds me. It is so white. “Really?” I ask. “White?” She doesn’t say anything, but I can hear her thinking. “Yes, white. Do you not see that they are white? Why are you asking me white? Because you’re a thousand years old, maybe?” […]

Read the full article →


February 23, 2012

I went to see my dentist today. It did not go well. Mid-cavity-filling visit, I made an announcement: Marinka: I am feeling pain. Dentist: You are not feeling pain. Marinka: I am feeling pain and discomfort and I demand to see the Patient’s Bill of Rights. Dentist: You have no rights. Stop talking. Marinka: I […]

Read the full article →

Last Week

February 23, 2012

There are many things that I want to tell you, bits and pieces, and I’m combining them all in one jumbo post. For absolutely no extra charge. Just because you’re so adorable. I had an interesting week. I wrote a post about how challenged I feel as a mom of a teenage daughter. I cried […]

Read the full article →


February 21, 2012

I just came back from a Winter Wonderland weekend at the dacha with my Mama and Papa, so I have a lot to report. Like a dispute between Papa and Young Ladrinka because Papa claims that Young Ladrinka “let some gasses escape” in his face (that’s Mama’s terminology) and Young Ladrinka absolutely denies it on […]

Read the full article →


February 20, 2012

This weekend we decided to get a puppy. Young Ladrinka and I. Here’s what happened. We went to PetCo to get some cat food (for Nicki, although times are tough, so you never know) and we saw a bunny for sale. A bunny for sale! We said to each other. Look at his floppy ears! […]

Read the full article →

I Love My Husband

February 18, 2012

Even though on January 10th he lost his wedding ring. He’d lost weight in the last few years, and it was loose on his finger. Because I respect our marriage, I have not lost any weight and my wedding ring is safely embedded in my finger. He knew he should have it sized, except he’s […]

Read the full article →