From the category archives:



by Marinka on October 7, 2013

The other day, a friend called and asked if I could do him a favor.

The thing about favors is that all things being equal, I’d rather they flow the other way. People doing them for me, in other words. It’s not that I don’t want to do favors for other people, it’s just that I’d rather not.

“What’s the favor?” I asked.

And he started moaning about how tomorrow is his dead mother’s birthday and he usually goes to church to light a candle for her but the church next to him only has electric candles now, and would I mind popping into St. Patrick’s to light a candle for his mother.

I held up my hand, which he couldn’t see, because we were talking on the phone. (Btw, I’ve been working on a novel, and this is something those in the business know to call continuity.)

“I’m going to have to stop you right there,” I said, even though he had already stopped talking. “Due to my Jewishness, I have a strict policy of not setting foot in church.”

“You are such a liar,” he said and then reminded me how we used to cut through St. Patrick’s to get to Madison Avenue from Fifth when there were a lot of tourists blocking the sidewalks.

If there’s one thing I can’t stand it’s when people try to confuse me with facts.

“Alright, fine,” I said. After all, I figured, this is the least I could do for a friend. And by “the least” I figured that I’d do absolutely nothing and then when he asked whether I lit the candle, I’d lie and say “of course!” I couldn’t think of a single time in history or fiction when lying did not work, so I felt good about my strategy.

“Could you text me a picture?” he asked. Apparently he chose to celebrate his mother’s birthday by ruining every plan I had.

“A picture of what?” I tried playing dumb, the role for which I was born.

“A picture of the candle, please?”

I mumbled something about how maybe he could wait until Hannukah since he seems to have a candle fetish and then we hung up.

And I started thinking.

Was it ok to take photos at St. Patrick’s? I know under Vatican I, that would lead to ex-communication. But has the new, trendier Pope weighed in on it? Because the last thing I needed was to violate some Church Law and be involved in a DaVinci Code type of a situation, what with my Mona Lisa smile and all.

So I did what any normal person would do.

I tweeted my question.

(Please click on image to enlarge it. Or get bionic vision. Your choice.)

Screen Shot 2013-10-07 at 7.59.21 AM

And I got a response:

Screen Shot 2013-10-07 at 7.59.51 AM

Could it be from-?

Screen Shot 2013-10-07 at 7.59.58 AM


Screen Shot 2013-10-07 at 8.11.21 AM

And I did:


Canonization, please.


And that’s ok.

But my phone is a BlackBerry and it takes terrible photos, so more often than not I just don’t bother. But last  Saturday I had a day that I will never forget. It was a day that I knew I’d treasure forever as it was happening and I couldn’t believe that it was happening.

On Saturday, my son and I went to see the Mets play at CitiField.

The week before I told him that I had the tickets and he was so, so happy and then when he realized that his dad would be away that weekend, he gasped, asking me who’d he go with then? And when I said that I’d take him he looked at me like he wasn’t sure about it.

I knew where he was coming from.

I’m not much into baseball. I’ll take him to practice or a game if Husbandrinka isn’t available, but overall, I’d rather sit it out. But somehow, through my 10 year old’s passion for the sport, it crept into my soul. Or maybe that’s just indigestion.

But I was eager to take him and happy to root for the Mets and jeer when the Braves got a hit and have him explain some rules that I didn’t understand (I did know that there is no crying in baseball, so I’m ahead on that score.)

I was happy to laugh together and chant Duda! Duda! and yell at Ike Davis to bring everyone home and share french fries and look at the people run on the field to clear the trash that the wind swept in in between innings.

It was a perfect day, even before this happened on the way home. Because that was really a moment that I was proud of myself as a mother.

* * *

Masterpieces that I’d written over at Babble Kids Scoop, in case you missed any and can’t take one more second of not reading it.

Risky Play is Great For Kids! Unless I’m Their Mom.  Why I’d rather my kids have a fear of heights than a broken bone.

Children’s Books We Don’t Like.  I asked some of my favorite bloggers to contribute and I love the list. Love to hate, that is.  By the way, if you’d like to be included in my Babble blogger round up posts, please email me at and I’ll add you to my list.

I made breakfast for dinner.  It didn’t go well.

Birthday party trends that I wish would go away.  I’m looking at you,  goody bags.

* * *

In the I am reading category, I’m in the middle of two great books that I love.  Both take place in New York City, which has extra appeal to me.

My Mortal Enemy is the first Willa Cather that I’ve ever read.  It’s an Old New York novella about marriage.  The writing is wonderful and makes me wonder why I’ve never read Cather before.  (And why I always almost-say Catheter instead.)

Henny on the Couch is Rebecca Land Soodak’s new novel, starring my favorite subject- motherhood.  I am not very far into the book yet (I was reluctant to put it aside to concentrate on My Mortal Enemy because we are discussing it in book group on Monday and I hadn’t read the past three books for that group and I mayor may not be on probation as a result), but I am enjoying it tremendously.


Have a nice weekend.  Please let me know if you are reading anything great.

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