Emails from Mama

by Marinka on August 13, 2013

This year, for Mama’s birthday, Papa bought her a tablet. It was a bold move, considering that Mama is a proud luddite, still hasn’t mastered the cell phone and I suspect hopes that the internet is a phase. I’ve never seen Mama use the computer, and any time I’ve responded to one of her questions with a Google search, she would stand slightly away from me, as though not wanting to catch one of those computer viruses she keeps hearing so much about, and ask “Does he know? What does he say?”

I can only assume that “he” is HAL.

So when Papa chose to gift Mama a tablet instead of jewelry, as he’s done every other year, I made sure that my name was spelled correctly in his Last Will and Testament and said my final good byes.

“You’ve always been like a father to me,” I told him.

“If there’s a Heaven, I’ll never hear that joke again,” he told me.

But it turns out that he was right.

At first Mama was suspicious about the tablet.

“I don’t like him,” she said, referring, strangely enough to the tablet and not Papa. “He’s not very smart. I pressed music and no music came.”

“You have to put music on it first,” I tried to explain.

“If I have music to put on it,” Mama explained, “then I just listen to that music. This is nonsense.”

Mama carried the tablet with her, wrapped in a kitchen towel, in her purse.

“Maybe you should get a cover for it,” I suggested.

“You always have suggestions on how to spend the money,” Mama scoffed. But eventually she invested in one.

“I sent email to my sister,” Mama told me one day. “But she didn’t respond yet.”

“When did you send it?” I asked.

“Just now.” It was six in the evening in NYC. After midnight in Russia where her sister was probably sleeping instead of waiting for electronic communications from Mama.

“It takes a while to hear back,” I told her.

“What is point then? Next time I will send telegram. At least I know it will go.”

Things progressed in this vein for a while, with Mama sending me emails, then calling to see if I received them, then calling back to get a time frame for when I would be responding. Since most of her emails were along the lines of “sugar is not a snack for children” and I wasn’t quite sure how to respond, sometimes the response time was long.

But last week, Mama and my daughter left for a two week trip to Scandinavia (with some Russia thrown in at the end; I assume they’re going to smooth over the whole Russia-USA divide caused by the Snowden fiasco) and Mama’s emailing has really come in handy.

Because the daily emails that I get from her are like nothing that I could have expected. And they are pretty much the highlight of my day.

On Sunday, I got this: Copenhagen is wonderful place to live,only taxes here 75% and medicine is socialize(for hip replacement waiting time 4years) Having fun.

And then more recently, this: All well in Oslo ,King is OK,but some of the princes not. Tomorrow we are expected at Parliament and Royal Palace(probably l wash my hair).

And finally: For me,personally,@mailing very tiresome and discouraging process.

I’m thinking of having a giveaway with the grand prize being “email correspondence with Mama.” Not valid in places with socialized medicine/long waiting lists for hip replacements. Leave a comment to enter! Tweet with a link to this post for extra entries!

One year ago ...

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the RSS feed.

{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

August 13, 2013 at 8:40 am

How could I pass up a chance to get an email from Mama?!


Nancy Davis Kho
August 13, 2013 at 8:52 am

I’m in. Can compare with the letters from my mom, who’s never understood why you’d want to send an immediate message when you can send it on a 3 day delay instead.


Marinka August 13, 2013 at 10:15 am

exactly. what’s the rush?


dusty earth mother August 13, 2013 at 9:26 am

If I don’t win this giveaway, I will pout ferociously. I would kill to email with Mama.


Gdot August 13, 2013 at 9:38 am

Mama is to clever for me. I would just read the emails and then think ” I can’t top that”


Marinka August 13, 2013 at 10:16 am

no one can ever top Mama in anything. That’s Mama 101.


August 13, 2013 at 9:49 am

Only if I can wrap her in a towel and put her in my purse.


Lisa Page Rosenberg August 13, 2013 at 9:56 am

I’m in! (Note: Pacific time zone)


joeinvegas August 13, 2013 at 11:16 am

Anxiously awaiting news on what happened at the Royal Palace.


annie August 13, 2013 at 11:42 am

So did she or didn’t she wash her hair? Why do you torment us with unanswered questions?


August 13, 2013 at 11:53 am

Please ask Mama to report back on all of my Norwegian cousins. I’d love to hear her opinion of them.


August 13, 2013 at 12:25 pm

So how was the Royal Palace? Did she steal an ashtray or other suitable souvenir? I CAN’T HANDLE CLIFFHANGERS.


August 13, 2013 at 12:29 pm

I’m glad to hear Mama got out of Copenhagen without breaking a hip. It sounds like the princes in Oslo needed her?


August 13, 2013 at 12:29 pm

I would love to be Mama’s penpal.


Mexmom August 13, 2013 at 1:17 pm

In Mexico hip replacement list is probably better than 4 years, so I guess I am in.


August 13, 2013 at 2:13 pm

Those emails are priceless. I would love to communicate in this way with your mother, Marinka. Sign me up!


Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes August 14, 2013 at 6:52 am

Is this contest worldwide or only US? I would love mama – emails!


Alexandra August 14, 2013 at 10:05 am

There is NO ONE in the world that needs to win this more than me right now.

Yes, going to play “that” card.

I will set my alarm clock for 1 a.m. and am ready with my first missive:

*Weather here 48 degrees, switching antibiotics since earlier prescription resulted in vaginal itch.*


Steph August 14, 2013 at 11:11 am

I am so not worthy to communicate with your Mama—but she probably already knows that.


Lady Jennie August 14, 2013 at 11:55 am

I can’t help but repeat myself when I say – posts about your parents are my favorite.

My mom was just in Oslo too. But she only talked about how expensive everything was.


Awesome dude August 15, 2013 at 7:52 am

But somehow it works


August 15, 2013 at 9:28 pm

This is brilliant. Nothing would please me more than an email from mama.


Kizz September 12, 2013 at 12:28 pm

Can I trade emails with Mama for Voice Mails from Mum? They are infrequent but generally average 3.5 minutes and are always “signed” when she finishes all she has to say, pauses and adds, “Love, Mum.”


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: