From the category archives:

Everyone is Insane

Mysterious Ways

by Marinka on July 8, 2015

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 not?”

I know there are plenty of women who love all things shoes—wearing them, looking at them, buying them, but I’m just not part of that tribe. I tend to get a pair, wear it out and move on to the next one, until the season changes and then I start all over again with the appropriate footwear. I have enough on my mind without having to decide which shoes I am going to wear every morning. And you’d think that I could have used the time I’d saved with this method throughout the years to make a couple of scientific discoveries, worthy of the Nobel or the Madame Currie Prize or whatever it is they bestow these days on the truly selfless and heroic, but The Bachelor isn’t going to watch itself, you know.

Anyway, I bought the sandals the morning of my son’s graduation. It was June 15th. I know because I looked at the calendar.

And the sandals and I started off on the right foot. They looked great and were comfortable and I hardly noticed that by the end of the day, the previously appealing straps were trying to sever my big toes from the big toe bones. I was disappointed, of course, and temporarily bed-ridden, but I remained strong and, yes, brave. I knew that like all relationships, this one would require time. After all, who knows what kind of an environment the sandals came from. Maybe they were made in a factory. Or worse.

I put the sandals away for a few weeks and when the stigmata on my feet abated, I tried them on again. Somehow through the miracle of positive thinking, and leaving them in the closet to consider what they had done, the sandals no longer hurt my feet. (It’s possible that my feet no longer have feelings, but the statute of limitations on that cause of action doesn’t run for a while, so we have time to explore that option.)

I was once again happy with the sandals and decided to take them with me on my European vacation in late June.

At first everything was fine.

My sandals and I walked down the Spanish steps, we visited St. Peter’s Square and we strolled over the many bridges over the Tiber.

In London, my sandals and I got caught in several showers, but perked up by hopping on and hopping off the Hop On/Hop Off (or, as some of my travelling companions referred to it, Hop On/Fuck Off) Bus, marched by Buckingham Palace and tiptoed around Big Ben.

The sandals were comfortable. They were stylish. They were practical. It was the trifecta of sandalhood and I felt shoe bliss as never before.

Then we got to Paris and the merde hit the fan.

The Guy I Went to Ireland With (I know how confusing this sounds since we were in France) and I were strolling hand in hand down the Champs-Elysses, when suddenly and with no warning and/or official announcement, the strap on left shoe snapped and I almost fell over. Fortunately TGIWTIW caught me like the precious Faberge egg that I am and I suffered no injury.

“Wow, mom!” My daughter, who was walking behind us with her friend said, “you have a reverse flip flop!”

Yes, I did. The only strap holding my foot in was around the heel, so the front of my foot was completely unstrapped. I understood instantly why “reverse flip flip” never caught on as a craze.

I could not walk with that thing on, so I took it off. And then I decided that I would hop on the one sandaled foot.

Here’s the thing about hopping on one foot when you are sightseeing in Paris (or anywhere for that matter):

Or do it, I don’t care.

But I did two hops and then couldn’t decide whether the perish from knee pain, chest pain, exhaustion, ennui or indecision.

So I did the only thing that I could do- I took off my sandals and walked barefoot. In Paris. The City of Lights. And possibly, feet.

Screen Shot 2015 07 08 at 2.59.38 PM 300x275 Mysterious Ways

(Oh, dear lord. They’re platforms, aren’t they?)

“I have to buy some shoes!” I screeched, thinking that maybe the Lord works in mysterious ways. After all, if you have to buy a pair of shoes, there are worse places to be stranded than Paris.

We got into a taxi and explained our dilemma. “Take us to the nearest shoery!” we said to our taxi driver, which unfortunately doesn’t translate that well into French. We showed him my broken sandal, to say nothing of my spirit.

“Ah,” he said and then he said some words that we understood to mean that all the stores in Paris are closed so we cannot buy any shoes.

“How can that be?” I despaired from the back seat. Our day trip to Paris was being ruined by the minute and I realized that all those “No Shoes No Service” signs I used to question in NYC were now directed at me and that I would have to leave Paris shoeless and filet mignon-less.

I said a silent shoe prayer.

There was more conversation, and I use the term loosely, with the taxi driver and then he drove us around in circles to earn enough for a down payment on modest two bedroom in Versailles until I saw a store that appeared open.

“Stop there!” I pleaded. And he did.

And I went into what was apparently the only open store selling shoes on Sunday afternoon in Paris.

And I bought a pair. The Lord works in mysterious ways. And with a sense of humor.

Screen Shot 2015 07 08 at 3.16.52 PM Mysterious Ways


A Scene in Front of a Fountain

by Marinka on June 28, 2015

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 working out for you.

“What’s a scene in front of a fountain?” I asked, also in Russian, but as written in English with articles, because I apparently can’t help myself.

And Papa explained that in many operatic and theatrical productions, there is a where a young couple has a Dramatic Moment ™ and it is often in front of a fountain.

Needless to say, I fell in love with the expression.

And I told the Guy I Went to Ireland With about it. It turns out that he was a good choice of a person to tell, because now whenever we walk past a fountain, he stops and we have a mini-scene. I see it as him paying tribute to my cultural heritage. He sees it as “straightening [your] shit out” or, as he has recently called it, “fecal realignment”.

Also, whenever one of us walks past a fountain, we take a photo and text it to the other. Well, at least I do. Now that I think of it, he’s been a little light on the Fountain Foto Footage.

Here, as Exhibit A, is a photo that I recently texted him, of a fountain in Brooklyn:

Screen Shot 2015 06 28 at 6.09.30 PM 225x300 A Scene in Front of a Fountain

Please note that there are no images of fountains that he sent me, so, if I were the type to keep score (which I am not), it would be Marinka: 1; The Guy I Went to Ireland With: 0.

Anyway, this part is prologue.

What I want to tell you now is that I’m going on vacation and you can’t stop me. I don’t know why you’d want to, anyway.

I knew it was time to go on vacation because of these dreams that I’ve been having. Now you probably know how I feel about people who tell their dreams to other people, but fortunately I’ve been blessed with the gift of hypocrisy so those standards don’t apply to me.

This is an example of the dreams I’ve been having:

I’m in the supermarket. I’m buying yoghurt, fruit, milk, orange juice, cereal. YOU KNOW THE THINGS I BUY IN THE STORE EVERY WEEK OF MY LIFE. Is Ryan Gosling in this dream, scantily clad and proposing to me? No, he is not. Am I involved in a car chase or anything else quasi-heroic? Again, no. I am just shopping. And I don’t even have any coupons.

Another dream:

I am at home and my son comes home. “How was school?” I ask him. “Fine,” he says. End of dream.

What the fuck is that?

Why do I have to waste precious dream time having such banal dreams?

Is this the part of menopause that no one tells you about because they’re too embarrassed?

I mean, even my real life isn’t that boring and I strive for dullness.

So I’m going on vacation with my Beautiful Daughter and The Guy I Went to Ireland With, who recently complained about his moniker ending with a preposition, which is a fine how-do-you-do, having waited a year for the name to set, if you ask me. Changing his blog-name now would be akin to renaming a foster child or something. Not that we have that kind of a relationship, of course.

But things are about to look up, I feel it in my bones. Unless that’s osteoporosis.

Because we are going to Rome.
And do you know what Rome has?


Like this one:

Screen Shot 2015 06 28 at 6.05.48 PM 300x199 A Scene in Front of a Fountain

It’s going to be some scene.

(And of course I can’t help but think of my trip to Rome last year. And how different things were in some ways.)



June 11, 2015

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, at […]

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D and E

June 5, 2015

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 she […]

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On Worry

May 15, 2015

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,” I […]

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Sleigh Me

April 19, 2015

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 to […]

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February 9, 2015

I saw a friend the other afternoon for coffee and he told me that I looked happy. “Are you happy?” he asked and I waffled because I suspect that if I admit to being happy, the happiness gods will smite me. I’m not sure what I’m thinking exactly, that I will jinx the happiness, that […]

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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 […]

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