Things I Learned

by Marinka on February 6, 2014

Last year I learned something so shocking that it has taken me up until now to discuss it with you.

I learned that literally now also means figuratively. And not just according to people who don’t understand how language works and have been using it incorrectly for years. No. According to the dictionary. This makes zero sense to me and I’m very upset about it.

So to distract myself from this outrage, I will share some other things I recently learned.

1. Two of my friends thought Nicki was a boy.

Here is a picture of Nicki, and I’m sure you will agree that she’s the embodiment of female grace and loveliness. As a matter of fact, it’s just a matter of time before Miriam Webster inserts Nicki’s photo under the “female” entry.


When Papa heard that two of my friends thought that Nicki was a boy, he was disgusted (and possibly surprised that I had friends!)

“Nicki looks like a typical whore,” he said.

Yes, because that makes sense.

2. I’m not good at code.

Two friends and I had dinner in one of our favorite West Village Mexican restaurants. The food is fantastic, but the place is tiny, and the tables are very close to each other.

“When I had lice,” I started to share my week, when I was rudely interrupted by one of my friends.

“You need a codeword for that.”

“When I had gonorrhea-” I tried again.

IDK, what code word do you use for lice?

3. Call it Sleep.

Son: You know what I hate?

Me: Nothing, because you are filled with love?

Son: I hate when I wake up at 7:11 and fall back asleep for a minute, it’s suddenly 7:30, but at school when I fall asleep for five minutes and then I wake up, only one minute has passed.

Me: … ??? !!!

4. Saving money is a good thing. But maybe not if you’re saving money on Russian- English translators when you’re hosting the 2014 Olympics.

I can’t stop looking at the official Sochi 2014 website and particularly this fantastic logo:

Screen Shot 2014-02-06 at 8.44.48 AM

Hot. Cool. Yours.

WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? Is Russia trying to confuse us so that we overlook their human rights violations and the #Sochiproblems tweets?

5. Mama is in deep denial.

Me: Mama, so I’m working on my memoir and-

Mama: That thing again?

Me: Yes, so I’m working on it, and by chance, do you remember beating me when I was a child?

Mama: No.

Me: Do you think you don’t remember beating me because you were in a drunken stupor and blacked out?

Mama: I don’t remember it because it didn’t happen. Same reason you don’t remember it.

Me: I was hoping that the reason I didn’t remember it is that it was too traumatic.

Mama: Idiotka. (Translation: female idiot)

Me: I remember you taking me to the ballet a lot.

Mama: Yes, we did that. But taking child to ballet is not same as beating.

Me: You just keep telling yourself that, Mama.

6. Yelling does not mean what I think it does.

My son and I were having a, shall we say, difference of opinion, about some issues having to do with whether or not I should be devoting myself to transporting him to and from his various social commitments or to less relevant tasks, such as work and laundry and making dinner.

“Just because you are busy doesn’t mean you should yell at me!” he said. In a loud voice.

“I haven’t raised my voice during this whole conversation,” I said, not pointing out that the reason that I haven’t is that I am utterly without energy.

“UGH, MOM!” he said. “When will you get that for kids yelling just means disagreeing.”

Kids today. They’ll be writing the dictionary one day.

What did you learn this week?


P.S. This is cheating because I’ve known it for a long time, but I also learned that my friends can make me laugh hysterically and embarrassingly. Don’t miss these posts from Kelcey and Wendi.

One year ago ...

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Mama bird diaries
February 6, 2014 at 9:35 am

I am dying over that Russian logo. Thanks for the shout out funny lady.


anna whiston-donaldson February 6, 2014 at 10:22 am

You just helped me understand something about the yelling! I get accused of “yelling” when I too have no energy to put into a yell. Your son is spot-on.


Susan Weinstein February 6, 2014 at 12:51 pm

Love this post. It is problematic if beating is equated with ballet, though some in the field might disagree. The best Russian exchange with the west seems to be Pussy Riot on the Colbert Show. Putin’s view of the future, they described, is an image of a man without a shirt riding a horse. And thank your son for his clarity. I too have “disagreed” at low volume, while my son at high volume said I was yelling at him. He had the insight to say “disagree.”


SusanC February 6, 2014 at 2:49 pm

Ballet is definitely same as beating. I have the scars from years of Nutcracker to prove it.


C Smith February 6, 2014 at 3:56 pm

Kids might already be writing the dictionary, that’s why figuratively now means the same thing as literally.


K-Line February 6, 2014 at 5:39 pm

Hilarious! This is old-school Marinka!


Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes February 7, 2014 at 4:35 am

It can be no coincidence that ‘beating’ and ‘ballet’ both start with the letter B…


awesome dude February 7, 2014 at 2:17 pm

literally or figuratively I have nothing against whores or Nicky in their ranks.


KarenN February 8, 2014 at 12:53 am

Argh! That literally thing is literally killing me! No really, my daughter often says things like the previous sentence and it (figuratively). Because she’s a college graduate. Journalism was her major. She knows the difference!

I die.


February 8, 2014 at 10:15 pm

Don’t yell at me with your inner voice!!


anymommy February 13, 2014 at 12:02 am

ballet = mental beating. is that literally the same thing? Or figuratively? Or are they the same. Apparently, I didn’t learn a damn thing.


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