by Marinka on May 14, 2013

I woke up on Mother’s Day with three thoughts.

1. I have to get off Level 65 on Candy Crush, but I don’t think it’s humanly possible.

2. Dear Lord, I hope this isn’t the year that my kids decide to surprise me with breakfast in bed because I’m much too crumb-conscious to ever enjoy that.

3. What the hell was I thinking, signing up to read in Listen to Your Mother NYC?!

Don’t get me wrong, I was excited to get cast, but now that I had to go and read on stage in front of other people, pre-imagined in their underwear, I was starting to panic. I did some back of the envelope calculations and figured that Reading on Stage was less relaxing than Sitting on Couch.

What do I need this headache for? I wondered, in my despair ending a thought with a preposition.

I thought of some ways I could get out of it.

I could feign an illness or an injury. I had my son’s baseball game to attend that morning and there is always a 50/50 chance that I’d get hit with a ball. Sure, I’d never gotten hit with the ball before, but I thought I could improve my chances if I was allowed to catch for an inning or two. Unfortunately, the coach nixed that plan, some nonsense about “only League members” and “children” being allowed to play.

So with my plan and life ruined, I had no choice but to report to the stage.

“Break a leg!” friends threatened throughout the day.

“Fuck you!” I replied.

Finally the big moment arrived.

The whole cast was backstage, some of them eating snacks as though vomiting on stage wasn’t a definite option.

“Usually I don’t have any allergies,” I started to bore everybody in a way that I hoped they’d remember as a “soothing”, “but on the subway over, my eyes were really itchy. Like REALLY itchy. And also watery. I don’t know. I decided to buy some Claritin when I got out, but then my eyes stopped being itchy and watery. Could I be allergic to the subway? Who knows! Anyway, I didn’t even take the Claritin. Who needs it, ha ha!”

No one really responded, probably overwhelmed by my profound thoughts.

And then it was show time!

I was in Act One, which meant that I got to sit on stage during the entire Act and listen to show. It was very humbling to be sharing the stage (for the others, I mean.) Really, though, it was an incredible experience to be on the same stage (in case you weren’t sure what sharing in the previous sentence meant) with so many talented performers and writers, some of whom also happen to be dear friends. I had the privilege of hearing Rebecca read a piece that makes me tear up every time I hear it, and Sasha Schreiner’s essay that reminded me about the power of words.

There were others. So many others that made me laugh and smile and nod and cry and blow my nose while trying to look dainty.

And I got to be part of this group. I got to read my piece (coming soon to the Listen to Your Mother YouTube channel!) and it was so important to me. I read a slightly revised (to make me look better and slimmer) version of this post. And then I got to talk to audience members after, who told me that they could so relate to the horrors of calls from school and that I was basically a saint and a gift to the universe for writing about it so bravely (or words to that effect, I don’t walk around with a stenographer).

It was an amazing night.

And it was the first time that my parents, husband and children heard me read. I’m pretty sure they thought I was illiterate until then.

It was also the first time that I told my real life friends about my reading and I was stunned by how many showed up. My friend Charlotte, my friends and book group cohorts, Susan C., Susan W., Lara and Ines and my mah jongg ladies, Robyn and Jeanine.

This is the concluding paragraph where I wrap it all up in a bow and make you reflect on motherhood. Unfortunately, I’m already exhausted, so that’s not happening.

But I have to say a huge thank you to Ann Imig, who came up with the whole Listen to Your Mother concept and is its National Director. In addition to being an incredible humorist, and the brains and heart behind LTYM, she has also been a really amazing friend to me (and no, that’s not why I was cast in the show. I worked the casting couch like everyone else in NYC.)

So, thank you to Ann, and to Amy and Shari and Varda and Holly and the entire NYC cast. And the sponsors and the audience members.

I’ll never forget Mother’s Day 2013. Unless I get dementia or something, but why did you have to bring that up and end everything on a sour note?! Sheesh. This is why no one likes you.

One year ago ...

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

barb Patrick May 14, 2013 at 9:18 am

You have a gift my friend. You were the hit of the show for sure! Congrats!


May 14, 2013 at 9:37 am

You know what’s fun? My face breaks out in huge weird hives on days of big events–like dime- size welts. The disappear and re-appear randomly. As I looked at a quarter-sized bump on my chin, I told Husband “this is just like on our wedding day.”

Marinka, I’m dying to see the video. DYING.

Love to you and thank you for this.


May 14, 2013 at 9:53 am

I was terrified the day of the D.C. show, but when you are done, it is the most amazing feeling. I’m sure you were amazing, I remember when you read in Blogher VOTY.

And on Candy Crush, I’ve been stuck on 135 FOREVER.


Stephanie Precourt May 14, 2013 at 9:55 am

I, too, can’t wait to see the video! Also, I am here to tell you that you WILL make it past level 65. Keep on keeping on!



Mexmom May 14, 2013 at 11:29 am

I used about a 1000 lives to pass level 65, but you will get thru it.


Susan Weinstein May 14, 2013 at 12:55 pm

It was a total treat and therapeutic too, needless to say, to hear all those women are just as nervous and crazy about their kids as I. And then to hear the performers great variety of experience! From a guy whose’s embarrassing mother shouted out instructions heard a block away, to the reader whose belly-dancer mother was a marvel and a total humiliation and then there was your piece, which was totally practical! I immediately blocked the school’s number, wondering why I didn’t do that years ago. It was a complete triumph and you were, in my opinion, the best. Shall I contact Tina Fey for you?


anna see May 14, 2013 at 7:58 pm

I’m really looking forward to the video!


May 14, 2013 at 8:40 pm

So, really, the goal of this post is to make those of us who were not able to fly 3000 miles and attend this event to be furious that we missed it and jealous of those who were there. Mission Accomplished! ::fume::


the mama bird diaries
May 14, 2013 at 10:43 pm

Congrats lady!! So proud of you. Wish I could have been there. xo xo


Roshni May 15, 2013 at 12:01 am

Go you! I’m sure you were just awesome!! Wish the show also came to San Diego!


Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes May 15, 2013 at 7:18 am

I envy the people who shared a stage with you. I envy the people who got to hear you read even more.


Jennifer May 15, 2013 at 8:26 am

Your piece was one of my favorites! I am thrilled to have found you; you are a wonderful writer!


dusty earth mother May 15, 2013 at 12:04 pm

You were spectacular, even on Claritin. I said it before and I’ll say it again, without a trace of sarcasm: a star is born. Your writing (and your pitch-perfect delivery) was thrilling, which comes as no surprise to me. Love you so much!


joeinvegas May 15, 2013 at 7:05 pm

video! video!


Alexandra May 16, 2013 at 1:02 am

“that I was basically a saint and a gift to the universe for writing about it so bravely (or words to that effect, I don’t walk around with a stenographer).”

You kill me, in a way I am so dang grateful for.

THANK YOU for being something I can’t describe, other than laugh out loud funny. You make me laugh out loud, and that feels so good. xo


May 16, 2013 at 7:58 pm

sheesh this is WHY everyone loves you.


Varda (SquashedMom)
May 17, 2013 at 7:43 am

It was awesome sharing a stage with you, my friend. I make ’em cry & you make ’em laugh. Everyone WAS talking about you afterwards – and in a good way. (The husband: “That Marinka, she’s very funny.”) xoxoxoxo


kim @the fordeville diaries
May 17, 2013 at 7:52 am

You had the audience in the palm of your hand!
I sat there, in the front row, awaiting my turn to read/vomit in Act II, and hoped that I could get a fraction of the laughs that you got. So well done.


anymommy May 18, 2013 at 11:09 pm

I love you and I’m so glad you had a great night! Also despair deep enough to end a thought with a preposition is deep indeed.


Lady Jennie May 21, 2013 at 3:35 pm

Through all the humor that made me giggle, I could hear what a victory it was.

Congratulations! (you’re literate).



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