From the category archives:

Fun with mama and papa

Sleigh Me

by Marinka on 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 children more. Not that we want them anywhere near our bed, of course. This isn’t that kind of post. But still, sleigh or sled—why are racing down a hill in a slumber? I don’t know how anyone can keep their eyes closed with all those trees looming in the vista.

And yet, I love my bed. Probably because I don’t focus on its sleighness. So the other day, I came home and wanted to crawl straight into bed. Now, the world is divided into two types of people—those who have to take off their clothes before climbing/crawling into bed and those who can do it in their street clothes. The latter group, the street clothers, are the ones that Mama hasn’t gotten to yet.

“If you lay down in bed in street clothes,” she has explained to me patiently, “it is as though everyone you see on the subway is in bed with you too.”
In case you think that mama was describing a festive scene of free love, let me reassure you: No. Mama was describing a scene of Dickensonian filth and despair, transported to the NYC subway and, by extension, my bed.

So on one hand, I had Mama and her admonition. On the other, I had my natural born laziness. It was anyone’s game.

I got into bed fully clothed and gasped.
But not because my bed was racing down a snowy hill. And not because my fellow commuters were snuggled up beside me.
I gasped because there was something unexpected in bed with me. Something hot and metal and hard and crumply.

“What the fuck is this?” I thought, and then I knew.

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I raised myself from the bed and walked into the kitchen where Mama was whistling a happy tune and cooking, except with no whistling.

“There was something in my bed, and it’s still there” I BabyBeared.

“Yes,” Mama said and although it was good to have confirmation that I wasn’t having a visual and sensory hallucinating episode, it raised some other questions.

“Is it what I think it is?” I asked, even though I knew the answer. I noticed, by the way, that whenever anyone asks if something is what they think it is, it always is. So really, I don’t know why people are so coy and even bother asking instead of just making a declaration. I guess it’s one of those things that passes as a “social nicety” like greeting people and not stabbing someone.

“Yes, mashed potatoes,” Mama confirmed.

If you are not from the former Soviet Union, this will sound insane to you. And if you are from the former Soviet Union, this will sound insane to you (Exhibit A: me.)

When Russians make mashed potatoes, they are terrified that they will get cold. (The mashed potatoes will get cold, not the Russians. The Russians are the ones who are terrified. Jesus. I’m reading Between You and Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen” and it’s making me absolutely insane about grammar. It’s a miracle that I’m still able to speak. A miracle that no one has been praying for, by the way, but still.)

Anyway, I have no idea why of all things the Russians have to worry about they are fixated on the temperature of the mashed potatoes, but the Superpower with intergalactic bragging rights came up with a solution to this national crisis by wrapping the pot of mashed potatoes in newspapers and putting it under a pillow in the bed and covering the whole damn thing with a blanket.

Now I know what you’re thinking—“what a grand idea! Why didn’t I think of that? A few mashed potato warming sessions and my insanity defense will be all set for that murderous rampage I’ve been planning!”

But what I was thinking was eerily similar to what I’d been thinking for the past four decades whenever I found a newspapered pot of mashed potatoes under my bedding: WHAT THE FUCK?!

Followed closely by: why are mashed potatoes the only dish treated this way? What about soup? (Soup can be reheated; mashed potatoes not so much.) Why newspaper? (What else are you going to do with the newspaper that you already read and/or the Business Section?) Why under the blanket? (To keep It warm) Why under the pillow? (To keep it comfortable) Why don’t Americans do this? (Who knows why Americans do anything.)

So here you go.

With this quick and easy fix, you no longer have to live in fear of cold mashed potatoes.

And it has the extra benefit of keeping fellow commuters out of your bed.

Really, for what more could you ask?



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.



July 2, 2014

Tweet I know I’ve been updating less than usual for a while and it’s taking its toll on me too. Obviously the fact that I decided not to write about my divorce is a factor (although please rest assured, it’s all very boring and amicable, no War of the Roses here. Not even War of […]

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No Comment

May 26, 2014

Tweet It took me a while, but finally I realized that the comments section on this blog is broken. At first when I saw zero comments on post after post I thought, “huh, no one is commenting!” and while that would make some bloggers despondent, I just took it to mean that everyone agreed with […]

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Good News and Also Bad

February 23, 2014

Tweet Look, you can have the greatest friends, the best support system in the world, but there will be times in your life that you will realize that you are completely and utterly alone. I had that realization over the weekend, after Mama called me to tell me about her newly adopted cat. “Does he […]

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A Name

February 20, 2014

Tweet I planned to spend Presidents Day figuring out once and for all if it’s President’s or Presidents’ or Presidents Day and also watching Scandal, because I’m a patriot. But shortly into my plan, Mama called. “We are going to adopt a cat,” she told me. Their Sly died over the summer. “Stay near the […]

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I’m Right, You’re Wrong: Coffee

February 11, 2014

Tweet You know how this works, right? Come on, we just had one this month. Can you at least pretend you’re paying attention? Ok, so I’m Right You’re Wrong is a semi-regular feature here where I try to settle a loving dispute I’m having with a loved one, OR THE WORLD AT LARGE, by presenting […]

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Things I Learned

February 6, 2014

Tweet Last year I learned something so shocking that it has taken me up until now to discuss it with you. I learned that literally now also means figuratively. And not just according to people who don’t understand how language works and have been using it incorrectly for years. No. According to the dictionary. This […]

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