From the category archives:

Everyone is Insane

A Tale of Two Tables

by Marinka on March 2, 2016

Everyone hates my new old table. That sounds like hyperbole but in fact it’s the opposite because in truth everyone despises it. And to make it worse, it’s not hate at first sight. At first sight, it’s a table. But after you sit or what approximates sitting at the table that everyone hates, the table table that’s too low to the ground, you start to feel the stirrings of antipathy that will fester and grow and breed and multiply.

Everyone hates its top and its legs and this is where I realize that there’s not too much more in terms of tables, descriptively speaking. Oh, its shape. It’s shape is unnecessarily rectangle. I live with my two kids. We need a square table. Or maybe a triangle table, which, by the way, are not as common as you’d think. But why is my wretched table a rectangle? I have no idea.
The table resurfaced from storage shortly after my divorce. Apparently they rejected it at Gitmo and so it came to my home to roost. I originally got the table when I first moved back to NYC after college in the late 1980s and didn’t know any better. You remember the late 80s, right? Well it’s as though Ronald Reagan showed up in your living room, muttering about ketchup being a vegetable. Just say no.

But it’s worse. Because my strongest association with the table was when decades ago I came home one day from my mind-numbingly dull job as a tax paralegal and I couldn’t find my dog Mavis. Mavis was a Basset Hound (until she died. And then she became Bassett Hound ashes, which is different from Angela’s Ashes, but I can’t kick the feeling that there’s an Angela Bassett’s ashes joke in there somewhere.) I looked everywhere for apartment. The apartment had been locked and Mavis didn’t have working thumbs so where could she have gone? It was a mystery and as I sat on the sofa to contemplate the probably alien abduction and the anal probing that Mavis was likely undergoing (interesting fact about Mavis: she had external anal glands which made her very, very stinky, especially during car rides and yet she received more invitations to the Hamptons than I did from neighbors who swore she was their dog’s best friend and they’d have a great time together. “I can come to keep an eye on her,” I turbo-hinted but for some reason not many people took me up on it.) And that’s when I looked at the table that now everyone hates, and saw that Mavis was standing on top of it, like some kind of a Basset Hound statue. I have no idea how she got there, why she got there or when she got there, but as soon as I saw her there, I became convinced that she was going to fall off and break all four of her legs and I’d have to either euthanize her or myself and neither of those options sounded inexpensive. So I went to the table, slowly, as though I would suddenly startle her into falling off and lifted her off, again, carefully, in case she was made out of porcelain, and lowered her to the floor. And then I wondered if this was going to be a daily routine that Mavis and I would undergo and whether this is how most 20-somethings spent their evenings in the greatest city in the world.

So when the table re-appeared in my life, I accepted it and moved on. I have bigger things to worry about, like how many Trump fundraisers I can squeeze in before the primary season is over. But then I noticed that my kids were sort of crowded around the table and then Mama said that the table wasn’t working, so we should get a new one. And I said, yes, sure, which is code for let’s do nothing and never speak of this again and has worked so well for me over the years. Except this time, a few short months later, Mama told me that she found a table to replace the table that everyone hates with one that everyone will love and admire and respect. Can I see a photo, I asked and there were some mutterings and then Papa emailed me a photograph of something that looked like a thimble of a table. Seriously, it appeared to be a table for cats, if they were kittens.
“It’s so small,” I said and Papa explained that it comes with inserts and when the inserts are in, the table is so big, it won’t even fit into my dining room area. Obviously, that’s an appealing characteristic for any table and I’m stunned that more furniture manufacturers don’t resort to this marketing technique. I’m sure it will catch on.

“I don’t think it’s for me,” I told my parents but they did not take the news well.

“It’s really expensive,” they explained in some kind of bizarre reverse-psychology sales pitch.

So for now I’m stuck with the table that everyone hates. But at least it fits into my dining room area, is not expensive and doesn’t have a Basset Hound on top of it. And some days that’s enough.


Dating After Divorce

by Marinka on August 8, 2015

I had it all figured out. After my divorce, I’d start dating again and then I would write the definitive work of great wisdom about dating after divorce. I even had the title all picked out, “Dating After Divorce”! Everyone would read it, immediately get a divorce and start dating, while I counted the royalties that would be rolling in at the speed of light, if not faster. I would become rich and famous and then I would come out with a sequel, “Dating After Divorce While Rich and Famous” which would appeal to a much smaller audience, but fortunately, with my sharp business acumen, each book would cost $1,000, so I would only have to sell a couple. Madonna would buy one, and so would Jennifer Aniston. Oh come on. Give it a few years.

Anyway, my plan was fool-proof, and after a few dates I was about to pen a note to the Pulitzer Committee, just to give them a heads up and then the worst thing that could possibly happen, happened and I fell in love with The Guy I Went to Ireland With(“TGIWTIW”) and all the dating stopped. But this isn’t a post about How the Guy I Went to Ireland Ruined Everything (that series is coming soon!) It’s a post about What Could Have Been. Because before I met TGIWTIW, I had three dates with three different men. And that’s what we call prelude (some call it “cautionary tale”, but whatever) and it could have led to a great masterpiece of a book– Dating After Divorce. But it didn’t. Instead, it’s leading to this blog post.

So I’m going to tell you about the guy with whom I had a lunch date.

Here’s what I remember about him: He was nice. Here’s what I don’t remember about him: His name.

I never use anyone’s real name in blog posts anyway, so it’s less of a loss for you than a memory loss for me. Not everything is about you, you know.

Anyway, we planned to meet a restaurant at noon and at 11, he texted me that he was tied up at work. I assume that was a figure of speech and that he wasn’t a bondage tester, but you can’t be too careful. Should we reschedule? I asked, and he said, no, let’s just move it by 15 minutes. And then this texting scenario repeated itself until about 1:30, when I started Googling “how long can a person survive without food?” and “is famine fetish a thing?” Luckily, we finally met at 2:15 and I ordered a burger with a side of everything else on the menu. And he ordered a beer.

“Aren’t you hungry?” I asked.

He wasn’t hungry. He wasn’t hungry because he got hungry earlier on and ate. Before our lunch date.

I knew we were gastronomically incompatible and had no future.

So, that was going to be my Chapter One: When Going Out for a Meal, Be Prepared to Have a Meal.

The whole book was going to be filled with life lessons that would help everyone, especially my bank account.

But then my plan went terribly wrong.

Oh, don’t misunderstand me– I’m ridiculously happy. Or as happy as I can be, knowing that others are suffering because of the book that I cannot write. It is to those people that I say– I’m happy for you, on your behalf. I’m happy so that you don’t have to be.

You’re welcome.


Mysterious Ways

July 8, 2015

Tweet I bought new sandals, wedges, the day that my son graduated from middle school last month. They were on sale, although from an upscale store and I spent more on them than I normally would, but they were comfortable and had secure black straps that flattered my Cinderella’s step-sister foot and I thought, “why […]

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A Scene in Front of a Fountain

June 28, 2015

Tweet A while back, Papa was telling me about an argument that he had with Mama. “We had real scene in front of fountain,” he told me, in Russian, which I am indicating by writing in English but nonetheless leaving out all the articles, so you can feel the Russianness. Let me know how that’s […]

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June 11, 2015

Tweet Last week I met my lovely daughter’s handsome boyfriend which is one of those things that I file under “about damn time” since they’ve been dating for over a year which is like a decade in teenage years and who knows how long in dog years, although I suspect it depends on the breed, […]

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D and E

June 5, 2015

Tweet The other evening I was having dinner with a friend and she mentioned that at our age, we have to do more than just exercise or just diet, in fact we have to do both. There are many things that I hate about this, starting with that she said “at our age” even though […]

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On Worry

May 15, 2015

Tweet You know how I don’t like to worry you unnecessarily, what with this being a humor blog and all, but I lately I have been suffering terribly. Terribly, I say. It all started a few weeks ago, when the Guy I Went to Ireland With sneezed and then also coughed. “You have a disease,” […]

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Sleigh Me

April 19, 2015

Tweet You know what? I love my bed. I’ve had it for years. It’s a sleigh bed, which is admittedly an odd concept. Why do we want to pretend that we are on a sleigh when resting? And why don’t we call it a sled bed, which is a lot catchier and would also appeal […]

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