Better Red Than Not Talking About Heart Disease

by Marinka on February 13, 2014

Today is your lucky day, because today you get two posts for the price of one.
First, I will tell you about a situation with my kids. And then, I will probably save your life.


This week I received a gift. Actually it was a many gifts, and it arrived from Tieks, the people who make those magically comfortable ballet slippers, but there was one gift that was very different from the others. This gift was two tickets to see the new Broadway musical, Aladdin.

Perhaps you can see my dilemma. I had two tickets, which means that I could take one of my kids. But I have two kids and that’s not even counting Nicki, who has experienced enough prejudice as a feline-American to last nine lifetimes, so don’t even get me started.

I wondered which one of my kids would want to accompany me to see Aladdin.

“Who wants to see Aladdin on Broadway?” I asked and heard my daughter gasp.

“Aladdin is going to be on Broadway?” she whispered. “I love Aladdin.” And then she sang A Whole New World.

My decision appeared to have been made, but then my son, taking a break from shooting a basketball into a mini-hoop in the living room which is not at all annoying and definitely not on par with water-boarding, no matter what you may have heard, piped in.

“That’s not fair,” he said. “I want to see Aladdin too.”

I had what we in the parenting industry call a dilemma.

“You want to see Aladdin?” I asked him.

“I do,” he said. “I’ve always loved Aladdin.”

Maybe I made a mistake, I thought. Maybe I was too quick to think that my daughter was the one to join me at the theater. And yet, something held me back. Some maternal wisdom, passed down through generations.

“Who is Aladdin?” I asked my son.

“You know who he is,” he started. “A guy.”

“What kind of guy?” I was not born yesterday.

“A terrorist?” he tried. I mean, definitely, if you have to guess about the title hero in a Broadway musical, “terrorist” is a fine guess.

“I’m taking your sister,” I told him. She was in the middle of vacuuming the magic carpet.

“Why?” he asked, indignant. “Just because she likes Aladdin and I don’t?”

“Exactly,” I said, resting my case.

“That makes no sense,” he insisted. “You go to a lot of things that you don’t like.”

“Like what?” I asked, annoyed that my case would not rest.

“Like baseball games. You don’t really like them.”

“Well, I go because I like spending time with you,” I relented, thinking about what a Class A mother I was. Really top-notch.

“Exactly,” he started to rest his case. “That’s why I want to go, too. To spend time with you, Mom.”

Nicely played, son. Nicely. Played.

* * *
Back to Tieks. You know, Tieks. The super comfortable ballet flat slippers that happen to be on Oprah’s favorite things list. Earlier this month they contacted me and offered to send me a pair of red ballet slippers in honor of American Heart Month. Since heart disease is on my list of things to be terrified of, and I love ballet slippers, I said “yes, please, size 11.” (What? Your feet grow with each pregnancy. And I have 7 kids.)

The ballet flats (Cardinal Red!) arrived and they are gorgeous and super comfortable. I’m furious that it won’t stop snowing so I can only wear them indoors.

But while I’m indoors, wearing red and spreading awareness to Nicki, I wanted to share some facts with people who are not seeing me wearing red:

Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women, causing 1 in 3 deaths each year (approximately one woman every minute!). (OMG. Checking watch. And pulse.)

Heart disease kills more women than all forms of cancer combined.

An estimated 43 million women in the U.S. are affected by heart disease.

Heart disease can be prevented by:

Getting regular health screenings, especially blood pressure, diabetes and cholesterol. I made my appointment, have you?

Eating a heart healthy diet (lots of fruits and veggies). (Marzipan fruit and veggies don’t count!)

Exercising for 30 minutes a few times a week.(Sochi, here we come!)

Not smoking or using tobacco products.(This is the easiest one for me. But I know that many people struggle with it. There is help out there.)

Thank you, Tieks for teaming up with the American Heart Association to spread the word about heart disease. Hopefully with more information sharing (what I believe native English people call “education”) we can decrease the instances of heart disease.



One year ago ...

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Laurie February 13, 2014 at 1:19 pm

Your son is kind of becoming an evil genius. His logic would have me foiled most of the time.


Susan Weinstein February 13, 2014 at 4:29 pm

Maggie Epp outrageous writer and performance artist just died of heart disease suddenly at age 50.


magpie February 13, 2014 at 9:33 pm

now i know why i like you. we have the same sized feet. 🙂


Mama bird diaries
February 14, 2014 at 7:37 am

Your son is brilliant and great info about heart disease. You have super model feet!


February 14, 2014 at 8:45 am

What no picture of the ruby slippers? Dorothy your slipping


Lady Jennie February 15, 2014 at 4:32 am

It’s hard when you’ve raised such smart kids. 😉


alexandra March 24, 2014 at 10:48 am

I love the thought of you in red slippers.


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