There’s an Upside to Living in NYC

by Marinka on December 16, 2008

There’s no easy way to break it to you– Anymommy wrote a post for my blog! If you are not familiar with Is There Any Mommy Out There? I envy you. Because you get to discover her and savor her posts and think of ways that you can thank me for introducing you to her. Would a few small gifts be appropriate or one medium one? Dilemma.
I adore her. She’s my best blog friend and I’d be lost in the blogosphere without her.  Her posts are like poetry sometimes. You know, the good kind of poetry, that doesn’t rhyme. She has written posts that I am convinced will save lives and she has two qualities that I admire most in people–she is a careful thinker and she’s hysterically funny. (Is it me, or does it sound like I’m presenting her with a Lifetime Achievement Award?) And no one writes about bodily functions better than she does. But don’t worry, she’s not writing about them here. Because my blog is dainty.

I’ve been stalking Marinka for her hilarious, insightful commentary on life in New York City for months now. Lately, it’s been making me a little bitter. Not because I think that if I’m going to live in some backwoods ‘city’ in Eastern Washington, then no one should be allowed to live in trendy, exciting locations. Okay, I totally think that. I started to make a list of pros for living five hours from a major metropolitan area, like great schools, low cost of living, easy access to Idaho…that’s where the list went a little awry.

Seven Things That Would Not Be As Annoying If I Lived In New York City Instead of Spokane, Washington

1) I would not have to teach people geography or proper pronunciation. I am pretty sure that most people over five with a pulse can point to NYC on a map. No one screws up the pronunciation of “New York City.” Even if you have an accent or a brain impediment or a tongue kink or something, I can’t think of a way to get it wrong. If I have to assist one more Kansan service provider with the pronunciation and location of Spokane, I might plot to destroy Kansas. “City please?” “Spokane.” “Is that near Seattle?” “I wish.” “I’m sorry?” “No. It’s Spokane. S-P-O-K-A-N-E. Spokane.” “Spoe – cane?” “No. Spo, rhymes with Moe, can, like tin can. Spokane.” “Spoe-can-y.” “No. It’s not like Tuscany, that would be in Italy, which would be marginally cool. It’s Spokane. In Eastern Washington.” “Is that near Seattle?” “Yes, right outside of Tacoma.”

2) I am fairly certain that no point in New York City is fifteen minutes from Idaho. If you had sneered in my face, ten years ago, something like “oh yeah, well when you get old and have kids, you’re going to live fifteen minutes from Idaho,” I might have hit you across the face with my fancy, D.C. lawyer briefcase. I have lived fifteen minutes from Reagan National. An hour from London by train. Even three hours flight from Japan. Fifteen minutes by minivan from Northern Idaho seems cruelly anticlimactic.

3) I would not have been an unwilling participant in the Great Hanukkah ’07 Fiasco. I’m willing to bet that most people in New York City have at least heard of Hanukkah and that it’s fairly easy to find Hanukkah candles. Last year, searching in vain for Hanukkah candles a few hours before sundown on the first day of Hanukkah, I stumbled into a World Market. I was fooled by the crafty words ‘World’ and ‘Market’ implying they might market goods from around the world. Not so. “I’m looking for Hanukkah candles.” World Market Girl: “What?” Me: “Hanukah candles, the Jewish holiday? It starts today. With menorahs?” WMG: “Oh, we don’t do that here.” Me: ? That? Candles? Diversity? Jewish people? All of the above? I had to leave quietly, because, from what I’ve observed, she’s kind of right. They don’t do much of that in Spokane.

4) In NYC, it would not be a five hour drive to decent shopping, real grocery stores, bagels or lox, real pizza, a Chinese restaurant without neon lights where the food is actually cooked by people who either are Chinese or have eaten actual Chinese food in the past, or a real airport. By real airport I mean the same lovely, clueless woman does not print your boarding pass and then run through security to meet you at the gate as your gate check person.

5) People in New York City would not bless me. I don’t think they would care about me enough to bless me. I mean that in a good way. I don’t mind the occasional post-sneeze bless you, but in Spokane, the blessings are out of control. My kids stand out. They’re all different colors and one of them doesn’t look much like me, seeing as she’s Haitian and I’m descended from eastern European Jews. Random people on the street will just bust out with a smile and a ‘bless you.’ It makes me squirm. I’m not particularly altruistic and good evades me. We wanted a child. For the right reasons, to love and cherish and raise, etc., not for slave labor or anything horrid like that, but still, it was purely selfish. We wanted a child, we adopted. I think New Yorkers would be far more realistic about the situation. They’d be thinking, get your horrendous gaggle of toddlers out of my bagel store, you bizarre child collecting crazy woman. Not, ‘bless you.’ Those are sentiments I understand.

6) A New Yorker would never, ever ask me if my three-year-olds were twins. COME ON Spokanitians. My daughter is Haitian. My son is the spitting image of his Scottish/Irish/American mishmash father complete with bright red hair and skin that is the fairest of them all. NO, they are not twins. And, you can stop worrying, two white parents cannot spontaneously spit out a dark brown baby. Surely, the worldly, diverse denizens of NYC would understand this basic genetic concept. If I lived in New York City, I could stop collecting my list of sarcastic responses to the ‘are they twins’ question. I’ve never used any of them, I mostly hide my nasty, east coast lawyer side in Spokane. It’s not worth it. Sarcasm is wasted on these people and it’s kind of like beating a litter of kittens with their paws tied behind their backs. One day I’ll bust out with one of my favorites. “Yes, I was a huge slut when they were conceived. They have two different fathers.” Or, maybe, “yes, I ate a lot of Oreos when I was pregnant.”

7) If we lived in New York City, I would not have to hide at Marinka’s blog to list my annoyances with life in my city. My husband’s head would explode if he knew I had divulged our home city on the internet. He’s convinced that if I give up that information, we’ll be immediately stalked by psycho internet people. And, we’re not that hard to find, seeing as everyone in Spokane recognizes our house by description. Just guessing here, but there are probably more than ten or so bloggers from New York City. I live in New York City really doesn’t tell you much. In the apartment building. With the canopy. Yeah, you and 8 million other people. I’d like to be one of eight million again. Some day.

One year ago ...

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{ 52 comments… read them below or add one }

Kirsten / Mama Ginger Tree December 16, 2008 at 11:42 pm

That was great. LOVED it.

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Vodka Mom December 17, 2008 at 3:54 am

i’ll be right over. (now that I know where you live and all.)

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Renée aka Mekhismom December 17, 2008 at 4:13 am

I am completely surprised that you revealed where you live. That is what struck me first. And no.5 is just ridiculously funny.

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Leigh (Modern Mommy) December 17, 2008 at 5:06 am

LMAO! Seriously, I can see why Marinka “stalks” you back. Of course, now I’ve had to add your blog to my reader too. Does that make me a stalker?

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Robin December 17, 2008 at 5:13 am

Great. Now I have to clean coke off my screen. Just great. Thanks.

(You really shouldn’t hide your snarky side as much – this former NYer was eating it up. Metaphorically of course. Because otherwise it might be a bit too close to cannibalism. Which would be gross. Really gross. Shutting up now.)

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Kylie w Warszawie December 17, 2008 at 5:51 am

My very best friend in all the world just moved to Spokane. Maybe you know her;).

Seriously though, if you want people to be obnoxious about you children move to Warsaw. They’re REALLY obnoxious here. They see me coming with my 4 and always say “OH GOD!”

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christina December 17, 2008 at 5:58 am

“Yes, I was a huge slut when they were conceived. They have two different fathers.” Or, maybe, “yes, I ate a lot of Oreos when I was pregnant.”

LMAO!!!!! I…can’t….breathe…

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Pacing the Panic Room December 17, 2008 at 6:18 am

where do we send gifts for introducing this blog? instant fan. good call.

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Braja December 17, 2008 at 6:57 am

So we could, like, Facebook Party your place, now that we KNOW WHERE YOU LIVE…Ha!!

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katy (aka funny girl) December 17, 2008 at 7:53 am

“She has written posts that I am convinced will save lives and she has two qualities that I admire most in people–she is a careful thinker and she’s hysterically funny.” This is a perfect description of you. Love it.

And also, I’m going to be one of the eight million someday too. Wanna hook up?

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Kmommy December 17, 2008 at 8:02 am

Awesome guest post!
My favorite was #6! People are just so amazingly intelligent! 😉

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Schokolade Mädchen December 17, 2008 at 8:06 am

#6 is great! Please, just once, with a straight face answer, “yes, I ate a lot of Oreos when I was pregnant.” just to see the reaction! Priceless.

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WA December 17, 2008 at 8:06 am

Personally, I love the PacNW, but then again, I’m also scared of Idaho.

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butwhymommy December 17, 2008 at 8:09 am

Oh that was beautiful. I am still laughing at “you bizarre child collecting crazy woman.”

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Melissa December 17, 2008 at 8:22 am

Beating a litter of kittens? That’s what got me. And the oreos.

This is so not a “pity” comment. You rock.

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Amber December 17, 2008 at 8:30 am

Wow, I loved that. Whole different side of you… My brother-in-law and his wife adopted twin girls from Georgia and they are black. When they first got them, they had this girl say “Can I ask you a question?…Why are they so dark?” They also had a few people ask their Mom all quietly, if they were adopted…or…” like they were trying to protect my BIL of her affair if he hadn’t already noticed when the kids came out black. They have awesome stories of the things people say.

I like both styles of your writing, you are awesome. (and the whole playing with the big kids…I feel like that about you. Heck, I wish I was 1/2 as good as you)

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Smart A$$ Mom December 17, 2008 at 9:55 am

NOW I know where that Challah smell is coming from!!!

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*Akilah Sakai* December 17, 2008 at 10:24 am

Well, it’s a pleasure meeting another blogger…especially a funny one. I need the laughs like I need oxygen!

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Kristine December 17, 2008 at 10:25 am

Oreos. Awesome.

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Ann's Rants December 17, 2008 at 10:53 am

I don’t want to be in a book club unless you and Marinka host it and we don’t have to read anything except wickedly funny blogs you two hand select. I realize that would make it a blog club but that sounds like rock club, or some other super-nerd club so let’s just call it a book club.

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Momma to 1 Looking for #2 December 17, 2008 at 11:29 am

LMAO…loved it…

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Kate Coveny Hood December 17, 2008 at 11:31 am

Christina makes a good point – that did actually happen (woman has sex with two different men, has two fertilized eggs, and 9 months later gives birth to twins – one black and one white). BUT – it’s so unlikely that I wouldn’t ask if they’re twins. But as I well know – people ask all kinds of dumb questions about twins. It’s not uncommon for someone to look at my brunette boy and pale blond girl twins and ask if they’re identical. Well – aside from the fact that they are A BOY AND A GIRL, they look nothing alike. So no – they’re not identical.

You are very funny. Blessings to you and your family.

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Heinous December 17, 2008 at 11:51 am

So that’s a short ‘a’ in Spokane then?

LOL @ oreos. Too. damn. funny.

I live in a smallish town and I am pretty sure the only other bloggers are the 2 I’ve convinced to start one.

Oh, and “bless you” for the post 😉

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Kimberly December 17, 2008 at 12:09 pm

I did a post about living where I live vs. NYC, but it wasn’t nearly as eloquent.

I’m such a loser.

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K.Line December 17, 2008 at 12:31 pm

Hilarious! (As was your post on Anymommy’s blog…)

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Charmaine December 17, 2008 at 12:53 pm

I’m with Vodka Mom. Let the stalking commence…

Seriously, why are men so afraid of the internet?

I had dinner with my girlfriend last night. I mentioned my blog to her husband.

He exclaimed WHY would you do THAT? It’s linked to your email. People will stalk you, harrass and possibly kill you.

“People can’t kill you over the internet” I said.

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Tracee December 17, 2008 at 1:11 pm

Of course in NYC you’re not 15 minutes away from ANYTHING. It will take 1 hour to go 3 blocks.

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Luanne December 17, 2008 at 2:00 pm

“get your horrendous gaggle of toddlers out of my bagel store…” LOVE it! You are so funny!

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Tracey December 17, 2008 at 2:30 pm

Wait: Spoe – CAN?? WTF? Why is the “e” silent? Why is it even there???

I hate divergences from natural pronunciations. You crazy Washingtonians… (Washingtonites? Eh?)

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PsychMamma December 17, 2008 at 2:37 pm

AnyMommy, as always, I love you. With a big, pink, puffy heart. You totally cracked me up. The part about the “blessing” was the best.

I can totally relate to wanting to be one of many. I hate that a trip to the grocery pretty much guarantees I’ll run into 3 people who know me. Ugh.

BTW, (not that this excuses rude comments/questions with you, but FYI) I’m pretty sure it IS possible (but highly rare) for two white parents to give birth to a brown or black child. Has to do with recessive genes, blah, blah, blah.

http://www.thetech.org/genetics/ask.php?id=9

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Sophie, Inzaburbs December 17, 2008 at 3:33 pm

Another brilliant post but this one kind of brings out your wicked side 😉

I get where you are coming from and I will no longer succumb to feeling aggrieved that I live in a suburb which is a whole 40 minutes to world class shopping (even if I never go there), and just over an hour from an international airport.

By the way, I had to read this post about 10 times because every time I got to “Spokane” I had to mentally correct my pronunciation, and each time I got really confused…

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Andy December 17, 2008 at 4:07 pm

So very good. And yes, Marinka, you’re right. I now feel obligated to get you a present. (Not that I would, but it’s the thought that counts).

If it makes you feel better, Anymommy, I grew up near Pittsburgh, and people from other states think that’s just outside of Philadelphia… It’s 6 hours away.

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Spring @ Forever Spring December 17, 2008 at 4:59 pm

A New Yorker would never, ever ask me if my three-year-olds were twins.

ROFL!!

My kids are African, Asian, and Caucasian-looking. If I had a nickel for every time the folks in my small Southern (Bless your heart, darlin’) town have confused any two of them as twins, I’d be one rich Mama!!! Perhaps Spokane is secretly Southern!

Really great post and I can totally relate. I too am certain I will be freed from my current small town to roam the earth (and civilization) again too!

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King of New York Hacks December 17, 2008 at 5:32 pm

Brilliant…nuff said.

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anymommy December 17, 2008 at 5:48 pm

This was so much fun! Thanks for letting me post here, M and meet your awesome bloggers. And thanks to everyone I already know and love for stopping by.

Don’t worry, took me over a year to stop saying Spo-kane with a long a. I only get to be obnoxious now cause I’m an ‘insider.’

Also, I searched the black/white twin thing. Has totally happened, although, the couple I saw, the Dad’s mom was black. I think that’s a whole other blog post.

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rightonmom December 17, 2008 at 6:14 pm

So, do you take US currency over there in Spokane with a silent E?!
May as well pay with Monopoly money, it does kind of eerily sound like a totally different country altogether. For real, who asks those kinds of questions??!! Very funny post.

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phulmaya December 17, 2008 at 8:12 pm

Dude. One of your funniest posts yet. Tell hubbie that while you’re away I’ve posted a webcam to your empty house, complete with address and directions, online.
miss you!

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heartatpreschool December 17, 2008 at 11:56 pm

You ate a lot of Oreos when you were pregnant – ahahahaha! I can’t stop laughing. That is priceless.

A friend of mine adopted a baby of Korean descent. A bank teller once asked her if her baby’s father was Asian. She said “no, she’s adopted.” The teller said “aww, poor thing.”. Wha??? My friend was so stunned, she didn’t know what to say.

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Jennifer H December 18, 2008 at 12:07 am

I love her on Anymommy, and I love her here!

And this post is just another reason why.

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Jill December 18, 2008 at 1:21 am

Awesome post!

Had to crack up at the eating Oreo’s comment…

Why? Because in India they actually have it printed in the prenatal literature that mothers need not worry about eating different colored vegetables… as their kids will come out looking like their parents skin color and not the color of their veggies.

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Z December 18, 2008 at 7:06 am

LOVE. Both of you. Just love 🙂

And yes… There are more than 10 bloggers here in this city. And I’m pretty sure most of us live in apartment buildings. With canopies 😉

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Schokolade Mädchen December 18, 2008 at 8:36 am

The black/white twin thing is real! I wrote a post about it in July.

Check it out:

http://schokolademaedchen.blogspot.com/2008/07/two-in-million.html

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Patty O. December 18, 2008 at 8:55 am

This was great!!! I can relate in some way. I grew up in Chicago and now live in a fairly small (17,000 people), rural town in central Illinois, the one region I swore I would never, ever live in. Ever.

One of my complaints is if I still lived in Chicago, I would not have to wait hours in a wal-mart line (I would have a lot more stores to choose from) while the cashier slowly checked out customers and made small talk. In Chicago, people do things quickly and they don’t really care about how old your kid is. They just want to get you the hell out of their checkout line. Sigh. I miss Chicago. And Thai food.

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Jennifer, Playgroups Are No Place For Children December 18, 2008 at 12:33 pm

Dude. The “bless yous” outweigh the hellos here in Tennessee. I feel your pain.

That was quite hilarious AND educational, by the way!

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Jeanne December 18, 2008 at 3:45 pm

Added you BOTH to my “blogs I read frequently” list. Too funny!

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the mama bird diaries December 18, 2008 at 7:41 pm

Bless you girl. You are hilarious.

Signed, another New York City gal.

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Pseudonymous High School Teacher December 18, 2008 at 8:36 pm

What a great first time to read you. My husband is paranoid of the internet stalker too.

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Michelle December 18, 2008 at 10:07 pm

Oh that was good. And brought back some lovely memories of working at the animal shelter when a little of five puppies came in that were named Washington cities. Including Spo-cane. Which drove me NUTS everytime I heard it. Thanks for the memories 😉

And ummm I actually flew into Spokane because it was the easiest way to get to Pocatello (for work). Sorry. It is really close to Idaho.

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Heather December 18, 2008 at 10:34 pm

Oh I totally loved “They’d be thinking, get your horrendous gaggle of toddlers out of my bagel store, you bizarre child collecting crazy woman”.

Oh and I read like Psychmummy that 2 whites can make a brown because of recessive genes – so next time you can say “they are twins” just to see the reaction.

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Manic Mommy December 19, 2008 at 9:48 am

Ohhh. Stacey lives in Spokane. I thought she lived in the other ‘urban’ area in Eastern Washington.

Also, the twin-askers are trying to show their colorblindness – and failing.

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Anna See December 19, 2008 at 11:57 am

This was great, you crazy, child collecting slut! Love your writing! I will refrain from “blessing your heart!” now.

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For Myself December 19, 2008 at 4:48 pm

Being from the northeast, if someone spontaneously blessed me, I think I’d run screaming in the other direction. Sorry, but it’s the truth that that’s WEIRD.

Come back to NYC, we’ll meet half way btwn there and Beantown and we’ll do what people should do: tell strangers to get their gaggle of toddlers out of our effing way!

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