I Was Brought To This Country To Make My Parents Cry

by Marinka on February 2, 2011

It’s Guest Post Wednesday and it’s Yulia’s turn. Yulia is Russian and Jewish, so she’s just like me, except she’s really funny and a great photographer, so check go read her blog, She Suggests! AND a friend of mine emailed me not that long ago, letting me know that Yulia is hysterical and is going to write a book before I do. To which I say: Good call!

Thank you for allowing me to humbly participate in your adopt-a-significantly-less-popular-than- Marinka blogger outreach program. I am thrilled to be here and will commence to delight you with my tales of immigrant childhood in mean streets of San Francisco, where at least once a week someone would steal from you your very own newspaper.

If only I had had a Chinese Mother

Alternative title: I was brought to this country to make my parents cry.

I come to America, fresh faced young girl, my belly is empty (is added for dramatic effect) but my heart is full of hope, de-worming medication and dreams.

Like many immigrants who are employed in their home country as doctor or engineer but whose credentials are overlooked in America, I too am facing harsh reality of compulsory schooling placement test.

Result?

I am eight years old and already am bitter disappointment as according to test I am “average eight year old” and recommended to begin second grade. Parents cry and tell me they did not bring me to this country to have me fail. (This we call foreshadowing.)

As I gain mastery of English language beyond “cat” and “bird” I am still on average trajectory and do not skip grades. Parents are inconsolable. But I apply myself to the arts, following in their path, in home country parents were distinguished stage directors.

In fifth grade I land lead in school play. Success! Parents see performance on opening night and cry, they tell me play was produced completely unprofessional, as if by children, and they did bring me to this country to have me fail.

I am accepted to college. Parents momentarily overcome with joy!

I explain this College is not Harvard, Yale or Stanford. Parents cry and tell me they wish I was not an only child, perhaps imaginary second child would not fail. (My imaginary sibling and I are bitter rivals to this day.)

During high school graduation I am awarded prize for community service to school. Parents cry and tell me they did not bring me to this country to have me become social worker. They refuse all pictures for memory preserving of “shameful pseudo communist award.”

In college I select “Communications” as major. Parents think I’m making joke. When they see it on my diploma they cry and tell me to go back to college and finish with a degree this time, they did not bring me to this country so that I would refuse respectable career path of Doctor, Lawyer, Engineer or in the case of woman, Accountant.

I meet the love of my life, he is Russian and Jewish. Success! Parents momentarily overcome with joy relief! I announce that love of my life is moving us to Reno. My parents cry and tell me they did not bring me to this country to achieve oxymoronic accomplishment of living in Biggest Little City (in sin!).

Today, as a stay at home mom (and blogger), I disappoint my parents at least twice a week from a healthy four hour driving distance.

I hope you have enjoyed my life story, wrapped up in clever tutorial format. Please to see you soon.

One year ago ...

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{ 77 comments… read them below or add one }

Yuliya
Twitter:
February 2, 2011 at 12:19 am

I’m on MARINKA’S BLOG! Take that parents!
(Thank you again for this honor)

Reply

Sherri
Twitter:
February 2, 2011 at 6:18 pm

Ooh, they might cry! But tears of joy!

Reply

Dana @ Bungalow'56
Twitter:
February 2, 2011 at 12:34 am

Yuliya, You rock. I was reading with a Russian accent. It was amazing. I don’t even know what a Russian accent sounds like, but I nailed it! Thank you for disappointing your parents so often. It made me laugh : )
Dana

Reply

Yuliya
Twitter:
February 2, 2011 at 11:21 am

I made you laugh? Then it was all worth it! (at least I think it was, I’ll have to check with my therapist)

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Cheryl @ Mommypants February 2, 2011 at 12:53 am

That’s why it’s good to be a second-generationer in this country. My dad could take all the heat for “failing.” BTW, he was an CPA. Hmmm…

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Yuliya
Twitter:
February 2, 2011 at 11:23 am

I bet your dad took all the heat for all of your “failures” as well…I look forward to doing that with my daughter!
A CPA is a moderately acceptable career alternative.

Reply

Sherri
Twitter:
February 2, 2011 at 6:19 pm

Hey, I’m a CPA and now? I play with kids all day and blog.

So I’m a big bummer who STARTED with a reasonably respectable career and now have nothing!

Reply

Kris February 2, 2011 at 1:02 am

Yuliya –

I hope it’s OK that I laughed. Because I am laughing hysterically. I love how you wrote this post.

Seriously . . . laughing so hard.

Awesome. Just awesome.

Reply

Yuliya
Twitter:
February 2, 2011 at 11:23 am

My personal goal is to make my parents cry and everyone else laugh. Success!

Reply

alexandra
Twitter:
February 2, 2011 at 1:04 am

Yuliya…this was brilliant.

Why?

Because you have just made me into a Russian Jew…the true mark of good writing.

Reply

Yuliya
Twitter:
February 2, 2011 at 11:24 am

Oh Alexandra I suspected you always had a little Russian Jew in you! (not in the dirty sense interpretation)

Reply

Trish@Show and Tell
Twitter:
February 2, 2011 at 1:59 am

I am now also speaking with accent I not previously have. Very disconcerting.

Reply

Yuliya
Twitter:
February 2, 2011 at 11:25 am

But cute, right? Russian accents are adorable, almost as adorable as German ones…

Reply

shari February 2, 2011 at 7:46 am

Very humorous story but sad at the same time.

Do your parents really look at you as a big fail??

Reply

Yuliya
Twitter:
February 2, 2011 at 11:27 am

Hmmm, I don’t know you’ll have to ask them, email them at : mydaughterisntadoctor@theshame.com

Reply

Alex@LateEnough
Twitter:
February 2, 2011 at 7:52 am

Oh my. “shameful pseudo communist award” is hilarious.

My husband and his brothers were given the choice of doctor, lawyer, Indian chief. Disappointingly, my husband did not chose Indian chief.

Reply

Yuliya
Twitter:
February 2, 2011 at 11:30 am

Tragedy, you could have been High Chief Alex!

Reply

Jen February 2, 2011 at 7:58 am

Hey, being a blogger is being a success. Right?

Wait, don’t answer that.

PS Yuliya, I love you. I can’t spell your name but I love you.

Reply

Yuliya
Twitter:
February 2, 2011 at 11:33 am

Don’t worry about spelling my name “right” (which you did BTW), the spelling is completely arbitrary (aka blame the lovely immigration people)

Reply

Vicki
Twitter:
February 2, 2011 at 9:49 am

Is there a way you can sue people for plagiarizing your life?

Reply

Yuliya
Twitter:
February 2, 2011 at 11:44 am

Hmm I don’t know check with Seinfeld?

Reply

Slow Panic
Twitter:
February 2, 2011 at 10:05 am

I sincerely believe I was put on this earth to disappointment my mother on a daily basis. I’m so freaking good at it.

Reply

Yuliya
Twitter:
February 2, 2011 at 12:05 pm

See and our parents say we don’t accomplish anything!

Reply

Awesome dude February 2, 2011 at 10:21 am

The author may read Sergey Dovlatov stories about his early childhood where the sibling was always put as a better example for social and academic achivements.

It is hard to satisfy parents in general, but when it cooked with Russian Jewish tradition it clearly becomes impossible.

The exceptions are described but not significant relative to the total number.

Every house has to have a little very private Wailing Wall.

I am very surprised that Russian Jewish children are going to colleges and becoming anything at all.

Then , there is a very good reason that we all have only one set of parents.

It is not easy to be child of neurotics

My parents were not different from me now.

Reply

Yuliya
Twitter:
February 2, 2011 at 12:06 pm

All my life I have been waiting to post here and seek Awesome Dude’s approval, have I achieved it?
Going to work on my Wailing Wall now…

Reply

MommyTime
Twitter:
February 2, 2011 at 10:35 am

Okay, I was laughing before, but I am in hysterics over Awesome Dude’s reply. It is hard to satisfy parents in general, but when it cooked with Russian Jewish tradition it clearly becomes impossible.

The exceptions are described but not significant relative to the total number.

Every house has to have a little very private Wailing Wall.

Really, there is nothing else to say. Except that I am glad that the Russian Jews were my grandparents, so that by the time my father (who was not allowed to learn Yiddish so that the grown ups would have a private language) married my non-Jewish mother, the levels of disappointment available to me in parental form were somewhat watered down. Somewhat.

Reply

Yuliya
Twitter:
February 2, 2011 at 12:10 pm

Wow a non Jewish mother…did he get ex-communicated for that one? (or whatever it is we do that’s like ex-communication…)

Reply

Marinka February 2, 2011 at 12:12 pm

I think you’re thinking of exfoliation.

Reply

Lori @ In Pursuit of Martha Points February 2, 2011 at 10:51 am

My imaginary sibling and I aren’t even speaking any more.

How could I after the antelope situation??

Hysterical and brilliant.

And the English you speak so goodly!

Reply

Yuliya
Twitter:
February 2, 2011 at 12:11 pm

Lori you only have one imaginary sibling, he is family, FAMILY, give him another chance.

Reply

Lady Jennie February 2, 2011 at 11:23 am

This is so precious. Hope your heart is de-wormed by now.

Reply

Yuliya
Twitter:
February 2, 2011 at 12:12 pm

Eh, we have dog now, I buy medication in bulk. Buying in bulk makes parents cry less.

Reply

annie February 2, 2011 at 11:51 am

Love this! My husband disappointed his parents by only getting a Ph.d not an MD….they’re still asking him when he’s going to get a real job and finally leave school. Um, he teaches there.

Reply

Yuliya
Twitter:
February 2, 2011 at 12:13 pm

Still in school?!? Oh the embarrassment….

Reply

Melissa (Confessions of a Dr.Mom) February 2, 2011 at 12:04 pm

Yuliya, this is hilarious! You are such a talented writer. I love this 🙂

Reply

Yuliya
Twitter:
February 2, 2011 at 12:15 pm

“Talented writer” is all fine and good, but is not one of the acceptable career choices, so sadly still a FAIL.
(but thank you for the kind words)

Reply

Rima
Twitter:
February 2, 2011 at 12:10 pm

I want to live in Reno with Yuliya.

Reply

Yuliya
Twitter:
February 2, 2011 at 12:17 pm

But what will your parents say?
You are more than welcome, we have plenty of room. Oh wait did you not mean in my house?

Reply

joann mannix February 2, 2011 at 12:19 pm

This is just fabulous or faboosh as I would think you’d say all Russiany like.

I am TERRIFIC too, at disappointing my mom. My dad has passed away, but I was pretty good at that, when he was alive.

My mom said to me the other day, “Are you still writing all those little words down in your email thing?” Okay, first of all I know a few big words, like “bummer” and “let down.” And second, she thinks my blog is an email? WTF?

You are faboosh with your bummer life and your crushed parents. How can you be such crushing soul daughter?

Reply

Yuliya
Twitter:
February 2, 2011 at 1:07 pm

We should a start an instructional ‘how to disappoint your parents’ blog…just the act of starting a blog gets you twenty five introductory disappointment points!

Reply

Neil
Twitter:
February 2, 2011 at 12:31 pm

эта история является блестящим

Reply

Yuliya
Twitter:
February 2, 2011 at 12:37 pm

Why do you make my brain hurt so early in the morning? Thank you Neilochka your words are high praise indeed….

For you non-Russian speakers he said I was a COMEDIC PRODIGY y’all…okay so maybe he didn’t, but you’d have to learn Russian to prove it…

Reply

Fenny March 4, 2011 at 6:45 pm

“This story appears to be brilliant” – word-by-word translation from Dutch girl who lived in Ukraine & learned fluent Russian.
So Yuliya, you’re right! LOL
Love your humor & story telling, but then, you’re Jewish, so why would I be surprised? The Jewish people are one of only a few that make jokes about themselves instead of other people. I know. I have been around them for years. In Ukraine.
Ti oboldena!

Reply

Ann's Rants
Twitter:
February 2, 2011 at 12:45 pm

OMG. Your parents are so disappointed in me.

Reply

Yuliya
Twitter:
February 2, 2011 at 1:07 pm

Yeah they called me about that yesterday…

Reply

Nichole
Twitter:
February 2, 2011 at 12:50 pm

Ah, I am familiar with the whole disappointing your parents thing.
When I moved away from home for a better life, my mother was disappointed.
When I earned my B.A. in English, my mother was disappointed that I hadn’t moved home.
When I earned my M.A. in English, graduating summa cum laude, my mother was disappointed that my idea of success was so different from hers.
Our views of success are so vastly different.
But, I will stay on my path because I am me.
And you are you.
Brilliant post, my lovely, funny friend.

Reply

Yuliya
Twitter:
February 2, 2011 at 2:10 pm

What would your mother have you be? An accountant? I can just imagine the way your profit and loss statement would read…pure poetry!

Reply

gigi
Twitter:
February 2, 2011 at 12:55 pm

I am so gonna pimp this post out for you, dear friend. It is funny and yet, it makes me want to go rage all Italiano-Polish on your parents.

And I LOVE your parents’ email address you provided in the reply to one of the commenters.

Look at my little Yuliya, hitting the big time bloggers! I’m so proud of you even if your parents aren’t. I hope you won’t forget me when you’re all famous. 🙂

Reply

Yuliya
Twitter:
February 2, 2011 at 2:14 pm

Rage against the Mean Matriarchs!

I owe all of my success to Gigi’s Back to School, Back to Blogging world famous seminar!

Reply

tracy
Twitter:
February 2, 2011 at 1:04 pm

Well you excel in cute baby making. Success. xoxo

Reply

Yuliya
Twitter:
February 2, 2011 at 2:15 pm

Success would be seven cute children that all speak perfect Russian and ALL grow up to doctors…
yeah I’ll get right on that…

Reply

liz February 2, 2011 at 1:05 pm

Keep sticking it to your ‘rents, Yuliya! I think at least a few of us would adopt you into our families, if you ever need it. 🙂

Reply

Yuliya
Twitter:
February 2, 2011 at 2:24 pm

“Sticking it to the ‘rents” …sounds like a hit Broadway show to me…and now you’ll get 10%, damn

Reply

Peajaye
Twitter:
February 2, 2011 at 1:46 pm

Marinka, have you never seen the film, “All About Eve”?! Yuliya is clearly the Eve Harrington to your Margo Channing! (Your gay, John, should be keeping you up on these useful cultural references – shame on him!)

Hopefully, you still have some Russian Mob connections that can take care of this situation before Yuliya steals your audience and career, and maybe even your family. (You know how ruthless those funny Russian women can be.)

Or if not, then the two of you need to do a ex-Russian Jew tour of the Middle East, forcing the anti-Zionists into fits of laughter and bringing peace to the world.

Reply

Marinka February 2, 2011 at 1:59 pm

“All About Eve” is one of John’s favorite movies. Oh, where did it all go so wrong, where?!?

p.s. and why?

Reply

Yuliya
Twitter:
February 2, 2011 at 2:09 pm

Marinka you’re safe, I’ve never heard of the movie…but I love the tour of the Middle East idea (because I’m a masochist with a death wish, naturally)

Reply

marathonmom February 2, 2011 at 2:13 pm

Well, I love all Russian Jews that write funny blogs!

I really hope you are OK with it 🙂 hugs

Reply

Yuliya
Twitter:
February 2, 2011 at 2:24 pm

I’m just grateful for the blog fodder!

Reply

Mandyland
Twitter:
February 2, 2011 at 2:45 pm

I heard Norma Crane’s voice while reading this. And occassionally, Topol shaking his fists at the heavens screaming, “Why? God. Why?”

Obviously my knowledge of Russian Jewish accents/culture is limited to “Fiddler on the Roof”.

Brilliantly funny as always. And now? Now I can say…”Oh my God! Yuliya TOTALLY commented on my blog way back before she was like this huge blogosphere superstar.” And maybe you’ll let me cut in line for your book signing.

Because this was that awesome.

Reply

Yuliya
Twitter:
February 2, 2011 at 7:54 pm

At the end of the day NO ONE has offered me a book deal or an interview with Oprah! I demand my money back!

Reply

Mandyland
Twitter:
February 2, 2011 at 7:57 pm

WHAT?!? I’m…speechless.

Well, not really. I’m rarely ever speechless. But still, not even an INTERVIEW?

Geesh.

Reply

30ish Mama February 2, 2011 at 3:01 pm

My parents are immigrants and they always put extra pressure on me as well. I remember how horrified they were when I chose teaching over law. They literally felt as though I had thrown away anything they had ever given me.

Reply

Yuliya
Twitter:
February 2, 2011 at 8:00 pm

I suppose we should be a glad we had a choice, God Bless America!

Reply

The Flying Chalupa
Twitter:
February 2, 2011 at 5:52 pm

This. Is. Perfect. From a post stand-point, of course.

From a life stand-point, I could see how being the embodiment of such disappointment would be very difficult. In fact, I can literally feel your heartache. Come. Let me clutch you to my bosom. There, there. You are only half the disappointment in my eyes – for not yet having installed the email subscription button on your amazing, fabulous blog.

Which makes me late to the party. Each and every time.

Reply

Yuliya
Twitter:
February 2, 2011 at 10:13 pm

“let me clutch you to my bosom”
resisting the urge to be snarky or dirty, resisting!
why do you need email subscription options when you get a personal INVITE from me to read me?

Reply

Sherri
Twitter:
February 2, 2011 at 6:21 pm

Oh, you are too funny! I cheered for you each time your parents cried, and mourned the loss of the successful Yuliya who might have been….

But wait! You went to a good school, married the good guy, and had the yummy baby! Success! Take that, parents!

Reply

Yuliya
Twitter:
February 2, 2011 at 10:15 pm

I think sometimes I wish I had done the things to make them happy…a degree in something other than communications seems mighty practical right about now…

Reply

elizabeth-flourish in progress
Twitter:
February 2, 2011 at 8:08 pm

I feel ya! I grew up in a Korean household and nothing was ever good enough for my parents. I get an A? Why not an A+? I graduate in the top of my class? Why wasn’t I valedictorian. Oy.

Reply

Yuliya
Twitter:
February 2, 2011 at 10:16 pm

Ah yes, you feel my pain grasshopper. I swear this post was just an outlet for my Amy Chua induced PTSD…

Reply

Sophie February 2, 2011 at 8:48 pm

Fabulous!

Reply

dusty earth mother February 2, 2011 at 10:54 pm

So brilliant. Do your parents know how funny you are? Or is being funny an automatic FAIL?

Reply

Yuliya
Twitter:
February 2, 2011 at 11:43 pm

Funny..mouthy…potato…potatoh
But thank you!

Reply

Dana
Twitter:
February 3, 2011 at 6:56 pm

Lord. Laughing from the start of this post on your blog all the way over to the end of it here. You are one funny woman. Even if you are a failure.

Reply

Liz @ Peace, Love & Guacamole
Twitter:
February 3, 2011 at 11:28 pm

Please to see you soon, too. Loved it.

Reply

Stephanie Smirnov
Twitter:
February 9, 2011 at 6:28 pm

Christ on a cracker, Marinka, where have you been hiding Yuliya? I thought I nailed Russian accents over at my own wee blog but ohhhhh Yuliya, she has the funny. But of course she’s Russian for real and I am only married to one. So this make my efforts more impressive, IMHO.

It occurs to me, is it not okay to write in a Russian accent with intent to be funny if you yourself are not Russian? Will this incur wrath? As you know, I’m terrified of Russian women.

Reply

Stephanie Smirnov
Twitter:
February 9, 2011 at 6:29 pm

Oh, crap. Yuliya is Ukranian, not Russian. Now I KNOW I’ve offended.

Reply

BB June 15, 2012 at 7:39 pm

Hilarious, was literally laughing out loud and read this to my husband (both of us also Russian Jews to immigrant parents!)! I can totally see all these situations happening and also love the “accent!”

Reply

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