From the category archives:



by Marinka on September 24, 2013

Last month, I was minding my own business when my husband called.

“Are you home?” he asked, because I absolutely refuse to wear that ankle monitoring bracelet that he got me for Christmas. Why aren’t they called anklets, by the way? It would make people under house arrest feel a little bit better about their situation. And while we’re on the subject, doesn’t house arrest sound like a dream come true? Because most days, I really don’t want to leave the house, but have to for reasons like WORK and GROCERY SHOPPING and ASSASSINATION ATTEMPTS. (Disclaimer: Calm down, I don’t really do the grocery shopping.)

But wouldn’t it be great to be able to call your place of employment and say “look, I’d love to come in this morning and help cover the early shift, but then I’d make you an accomplice to violating house arrest and I care too much about you to put you through that!”? I guarantee you’d get all sorts of awards and maybe even a promotion.

Back to me.

My husband asks me if I’m home and I say “who wants to know?” because that kind of a response doesn’t get any less endearing.

“Just tell me where you are,” he says which makes me nervous because as it so happens I am home, but what if I were at Saks, exercising my constitutional right to buy a lot of shit? I don’t need anyone undermining my freedoms and/or contacting the credit card company with some “temporary hold” nonsense.

Now that he had secured my whereabouts, he lowered the boom. A scout wanted to see our apartment.

Seeing as I wasn’t born yesterday, or even in the near past, and that I’m a dedicated Nightline watcher and therefore familiar with the murderous ways of husbands and wives, I had his number. As far as I was concerned, this was nothing but a plot to get a henchman into our apartment and have me killed. But on the other hand, I had a shitload of laundry to do over the weekend, so there were worse things than getting murdered as far as I was concerned.

Finally, with the formalities out of the way, a real-life scout appeared at my door. He was young, which to me means under a million, and friendly.

“Hi,” he said. “Mind if I look around?”

I didn’t mind, not at all. I was sitting at the kitchen table, and both kids, in their respective rooms, had friends over. There were a total of seven kids and for a moment I thought that I could offer to throw them all in, in case they were remaking Annie, or possibly Oliver Twist.

The Scout took some photos of the apartment and then asked me if we could talk.

“Of course,” I said, even though I was right in a middle of a Twitter rant about the evils of ending a sentence a preposition with.

“So in this movie Morgan Freeman and Diane Keaton are a married couple-” he started.

“Stop right there,” I implored. “I think I know what this is all about. If you want me in the cast as their daughter-”

“No, we don’t,” he said.

“Fine. Granddaughter. Fortunately, I can act a lot younger than my age.”

“I’m a location scout,” for some reason he wanted to impress me with his resume.

“Alrighty. I’ll have my people contact you about my being cast as Diane Keaton’s granddaughter. Or possibly mother. I think you’ll be impressed with my range,” I opened my arms wide to give him a visual. “Go on.”

“They’re a married couple who are looking to move to a different NYC apartment after living on the Lower East Side for a long time.”

“Ah, yes,” I nodded. “The good old boy marries girl and lives on the Lower East Side and then decides to move story. Classic.”

“So this would be the apartment that they’d visit.”

“I see,” I saw. “I am very comfortable with that material. No nudity or anything Republican, correct? And what would you require of us?”

He explained that everything really depended on the lobby. If our lobby was chosen, then they’d shoot a scene (or something, I’m not in the business, so who the hell knows that they call those things) in our apartment. For that, they’d need a day of staging, a day of shooting, and a day of putting all our crap back.

“I want to mention that one of our electric knife blades is missing,” I mentioned. “It’s really crazy because they’re a pair, so how could one be missing? It’s been driving my husband crazy. Crazy, I tell you. I’m telling you this so that your people could keep an eye out for it, please. Both during the staging process and during the putting everything back. That would really help us out.”

He made a note. Probably so that he could be sure to remind everyone to be on the lookout.

He asked me a few questions, mostly about how I thought our neighbors would be if there were film crews in the hallways for a few days.

“There is nothing that my neighbors would love more,” I decided to lie as much as possible. “The couple across the hall has a newish baby, and I’m sure they’d welcome the diversion of many people walking around.”

He took some notes and thanked me for my time. I could sort of sense that he regretted his career of location scout and was going to see if he could transfer to talent scout immediately, although I’m not sure what kind of schooling you need for that.

A few weeks later he called me. Unfortunately, they decided to go with another building’s lobby, so they would not be using ours. Because our building lobby is a huge loser, in Hollywood terms. Don’t think I’m not upset about it. I’ve been giving the lobby the silent treatment ever since.


My husband is a great guy and everything, but he and I don’t see eye to eye on some things. And Nicki’s welfare is one of those things.

Here is a recent photo of Nicki, so feel free to gaze into her eyes and fall head over tail in love before you proceed with the rest of the post.


So when it comes to Nicki’s health and well-being, my husband is very much aligned with the “let sleeping cats lie” theory of veterinary medicine whereas I am mildly more every day is an opportunity to be diagnosed with a new disease, let’s not waste it! camp about it and insist on regular checkups and access to Plan B for our beloved Nicki. (Incidentally, what’s Plan A? Condoms? Maybe condoms should rebrand as Plan A. Just an idea.)

“She looks completely fine,” he says every time I mention that Nicki has another wellcat visit coming up. “It’s not necessary to spend hundreds of dollars on a check up.”

I’m never convinced by these visual reassurances.

What if Nicki has some kind of Silent Killer condition, like high blood pressure or diabetes? What if she is depressed? As her guardians we need to be on top of that stuff so that she doesn’t turn to drugs or French manicures.

“You can’t tell by looking,” I mumble, as I flip through the Directory of Feline Specialists. Does she need a cardiologist, maybe? A pulmonary specialist?

“Of course you can tell by looking,” he says, disgusted by my humanitarian agenda. “Nicki looks healthy. Sly doesn’t.”

Sly, incidentally, is my parents’ cat. Or was, until he decided to die shortly before Mama and my daughter left on their summer sojourn to Scandinavia and Russia and the funeral had to be put on hold. And by “on hold” I mean that Sly is currently in my parents’ freezer.

Actually I have no idea if Sly looks healthy or not. At least he’s staying cool during this terrible heat wave.

But I made an appointment for Nicki to see the vet and my kids and Mama took her (and a pre-signed check) earlier this week.

“Everything is fine!” Mama said.”Nicki gained half a pound, but that’s not as much as you did!”

She sounded downright jovial.

I decided to get the full report from my 12 year old son.

“The doctor said that Nicki is round,” he told me.

“Round?” I asked.

“Round,” he repeated.

That was all the confirmation I needed.

“Nicki is suffering from the Round,” I told my husband.

“I have no idea what that means,” he hid his despair well.

“I’m not sure either,” I confessed, “but I think we both know that it will require further testing and perhaps a second opinion.”

My husband didn’t respond. Probably because he was deep in thought. I’m guessing about the best way to thank me for staying on top of Nicki’s medical needs.

I’ll keep you posted on the roundness. You can’t be too careful with these things.


Texts From a Marriage

August 23, 2013

Me: Where are we on the Basset Hound puppy situation? Husband: I don’t even begin to know what you’re talking about. Me: I’d like to have a Basset Hound puppy. I had a Basset growing up. And then as a grown up. You loved Mavis too, right? Husband: Mavis was a good dog. Me: So, […]

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Literary Genius

June 10, 2013

The other day I had a heart to heart with my husband. Which I don’t recommend doing with the heartless. “Hey,” I started. “Isn’t it weird that that even though I’m a literary genius, I don’t yet have an agent or a book deal?” “I didn’t realize you were a literary genius,” he said. Oh, […]

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LTYM vs. Baseball

April 13, 2013

Here is a conversation that we’ve been having at our house lately. Me: So as you’ve probably heard, I’ve been cast in Listen to Your Mother, so I’m basically a huge star. Everyone else: … Me: I don’t blame you for being stunned. Although it was really just a matter of time before I was […]

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I’m Right, You’re Wrong: Execution

March 20, 2013

Last week, Husbandrinka and I had a romantic dinner out, just the two of us (and the other people in the restaurant, it wasn’t one of those romantic gestures where he bought out the entire restaurant and led me into it, mostly because I suspect  that’s less romantic and more creepfest). But we were having […]

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March 13, 2013

First of all, thank you all for your support and wisdom on my last post. Your words really helped me, and the gifts (that I assume are on their way) won’t hurt either. I am very thankful for everyone who reads what I write and is able to relate, respond and encourage me. My favorite […]

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Socially Awkward

January 4, 2013

I’m all about trying new and fun things so on New Year’s Day I told my husband that I thought he made social faux pas at a recent dinner party. Obviously he was excited to hear this news and begged me to give him an example. Luckily, I had one at the ready. When Husbandrinka […]

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