by Marinka on December 16, 2014

The other day I was sitting around, thinking of ways to make the world a better place and also plotting against my enemies. Don’t worry, nothing dramatic, and certainly not anything we haven’t seen in the Bible and maybe on HBO and other premium cable channels. So I was sitting and plotting but then that got really exhausting, so I decided to make some phone calls for idle chatter.

“Hmm,” I thought to myself, while scrolling through my contacts. “Mama gave me life, why don’t I retaliate and call her first?”

Papa picked up Mama’s phone. Personally, I don’t even understand how that’s legal, but I didn’t want to get the feds involved.

“I’m glad you called,” Papa lied. “Do you have Channukah candles for Wednesday? Because I will make latkes.”

I don’t know what latkes have to do with Channukah candles, but I made a few mental notes to look into a dementia screening program and to buy some antacids and some other stuff I can’t remember.

After an exchange of what people who were not privy to that conversation refer to as “pleasantries”, Papa put Mama on the phone. I never understood that expression, incidentally. Don’t you just hand over the phone to the other person? Why do you have to place them on the phone? Does the warranty cover such placement?

“I can’t talk now,” Mama greeted me. “But my sister has never heard of the term blow job. Bye.”

Now I don’t know about you, and how you react when your mother says “my sister has never heard of the term blow job” but personally, and again, perhaps it’s just me, that’s not something that I like to hear “bye” after. No, what I like to hear after is chapter and verse with a few psalms thrown in for good measure about how this discovery was made, and what, if anything, we are going to do about it.

So the next part is really boring, but since I’m getting paid by the word here, I’ll summarize it in twelve paragraphs. Basically I said to Mama “tell me!” and she said “I’m busy!” and I said “this is important!” and she said “it’s less important and more funny but now is not a good time!” and I said “who knows how much time we have on this earth?! Is there really anything more important than family?” and she said, “you are really annoying” and I said, “thank you.”
But the good news is that I finally wore her down and she told me the story.

“I decided to buy you and children a joke book,” Mama started, “so what when you fly to Costa Rica for vacation, you will not be sad.” Now I have no idea why I would be sad flying to Costa Rica for a vacation, perhaps because in addition to being annoying I am insane, but I didn’t want to interrupt.

“I thought you and the children would read joke book and laugh a lot,” Mama continued. “But then I decided to read some jokes and there are a lot about the blow job, so I decide to give book to my sister instead.”

“That is, indeed, a wise choice,” I conceded. Because if Mama thought she was going to gift me a joke book instead of fine jewelry for Channukah this year, well, let’s just say it’s a good thing she rethought that plan.

“But when I explain to my sister why I give her book, she become confused. ‘I know what blow is in English,’ she tell me ‘and I know what job is, but not blow job.”

“I see,” I saw.

“Anyway, that is story. You happy now?”

And you know what? I was happy now. Except that was then.

And now I’m unhappy again.

Maybe I’ll call someone.


Mane Event

by Marinka on November 26, 2014

“Hey mom,” my son told me the other day, “I’m going to be a tiger in the class play.”

“Roar!” I said, before I remembered that he was 13 and not 4.

And then he told me that he was going to wear his sister’s tiger costume and I congratulated myself on being the type of mother who had endangered species costumes around the house. (BTW, I just realized that I wasn’t sure if tigers were really endangered or if I just heard some propaganda on the issue, so I confirmed it with the World Wildlife Fund and now I’m depressed because some species are Critically Endangered and none of those species is the GOP.)

I was feeling pretty good until the next morning, when, as my son was leaving for school he asked me to pick up a lion’s mane for the next day.

“Why would a tiger need a lion’s mane?” I asked, suddenly concerned that I was dealing with the exception under the No Child Left Behind Act.

“Change of plans,” he explained. “I am going to be a lion.”

Now, I have no idea what kind of species-reassignment their class play underwent overnight, but I found it both immoral and un-American. I mean, one minute my day stretches out before me with nary a mane in sight, and then suddenly and without any reason, I am Googling shit like: LION MANE and LION MANE EZ-TO MAKE WITH NO SEWING OR TALENT OR EVEN HANDS FOR THAT MATTER. And what I learned after a few minutes, which felt like decades, of research is that: most lion manes on the market are for cats and dogs and the DIY lion manes are for a lion face made out of a paper plate. Since I birthed a child that’s neither a domestic animal nor is he part of the the disposable tableware family, I was shit out of luck.

“This is a tragedy of epic proportions!” I wailed on Facebook. And then someone suggested that I go to the local costume store.

I called them.

“Hello,” I said (after they picked up the phone). “I am in the market for a lion’s mane.”

“Hold on, please,” the phone picker upper said and placed me on hold. Someone else picked up a few minutes later.

“What are you holding for?” Phone Picker Upper 2.0 asked.

“Lion’s mane,” I said, wondering what the other people on hold were wanting to buy. What if there was a sudden rush on manes this holiday season? Maybe it’s a good thing I got a jump start.

“We have the Cowardly Lion mane,” the person on the other end said, “that’s $80 and we have a wig that can be styled into a mane that’s $50.”

Immediately, much like the youngest child at a Seder, I had four questions.

1. How is the Cowardly Lion Mane different from a run-of-the-jungle lion mane?

2. Why is the Cowardly Lion Mane so expensive?

3. Is “Cowardly Lion” the only time the word “cowardly” has ever been used in the history of the English language?

4. Who is going to do the styling on the $50 wig to make it mane-ish?

But instead I said “great! Thanks so much!” and then added a few lies about how I am definitely going to stop by to pick up one, if not both, of these bargains.

After I hung up, I thought some more. Maybe, just maybe, I could stop by the Minskoff Theater to see of The Lion King cast could spare a mane for the afternoon. I mentioned this plan to a colleague, who pointed out that despite its obvious merit, unfortunately there was going to be a matinee performance of The Lion King the very afternoon that I’d need the mane for. For a split second, I became very excited that my son had in fact joined the cast of The Lion King, but apparently it’s just one of those “coincidences” that the government wants us to believe.

“I don’t know where to get a lion’s mane,” I told my son once he got home from school and he reassured me that he no longer needed one.

“Are you going to grow one?” I asked and he shook his maneless head.

“Are you back to being a tiger?” I asked and he continued to shake.

“Where will you get a mane?” I was on the edge of my seat and also, coincidentally, the window ledge.

And he told me. He told me that his friend was going to lend him her tutu and he was going to wear it on his head, mane-like.

Don’t tell Julie Taymor.


That Loving Feeling

October 26, 2014

If you are like most people who have absolutely nothing else going on in their own lives, you’ve probably been wondering about what’s been going on with me and The Guy I went to Ireland With. By way of background, The Guy I Went to Ireland With and I went to Ireland in August where, […]

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Shoe Math

September 26, 2014

I don’t know about you, but I always welcome the opportunity to feel like one of Cinderella’s ugly stepsisters. Wait, were her stepsisters ugly or just mean-spirited? Is it too much to hope that they were both, in addition to huge-footed? Anyway. I never miss the opportunity to feel like one of them. So I […]

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Get Over It

September 9, 2014

I have many important things to update on, including the fact that I am not drinking alcohol in September and that my cat is urinating all over the fucking place, but I feel like first I have to tell you about my trip to Ireland. So let’s get that over with so that we can […]

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August 22, 2014

I’m in Ireland and it is beautiful and everything is going really well, which is obviously a relief and also a damn good thing because right before we left, I almost had a nervous breakdown. Now I don’t know about you, but personally I believe that there are two types of people in the world: […]

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August 8, 2014

Love stories are so dull. And they’re all almost exactly the same. Girl meets boy. Girl and boy decide to go to Ireland together in August. Girl realizes boy is bat shit insane. How many times can you hear this story before rolling your eyes and thinking “this again?” In case it’s new to you, […]

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August 5, 2014

In case you read this blog for all your breaking news, there is an Ebola outbreak going on right now. It’s mostly in Africa, although two infected American missionaries have been brought to the United States. Also someone walked into a NYC emergency room, feeling all Ebolaish, but the hospital spokersperson is telling us not […]

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