Two Hands

by Marinka on June 27, 2012

On the one hand, things are fine. My family is with me, my daughter is working at a summer job, Young Ladrinka is playing baseball and loving it, Husbandrinka and I are getting along As Well As Can Be Expected After a Century of Marital Blisss, Add An Extra S for I’m Going to Strangle You. But on the other hand, I’m lost. I don’t feel like a humor writer.

Not many people know this, but when my daughter was two years old , I enrolled in NYU Law School’s LLM in Taxation program. If you’re a normal person and don’t speak LLM, that’s a post-graduate degree in tax law. I think it stands for Like the Least Mostinterestingpersonever. I know what went through my mind when I decided to get the LLM– that tax law sounded like a very grown up subject (and it’s true, very few children are tax law experts) and now that I had a child I needed to be a grown up and that if I mastered this then I’d always have job security because aren’t tax experts always in demand? I believed in education, so I could not understand how getting more education could be a bad thing.

Fortunately that mystery was cleared up for me during my first class.

I went in an enthusiastic student excited to have a spiral notebook and handouts again. An hour later I was wheeled out in a coma.

It’s not fair to say that I was bored. Bored is sitting in solitary confinement, bored is hearing the same not very interesting story twice.

I experienced a dose of boredom sprinkled with what the fuck is the teacher talking about and will this class ever end and garnished with please dear Lord let me die right now so that I can escape this torture.

It took me two more semesters to realize that I didn’t belong there. I had no aptitude for tax law and I had no interest in it. I would have to find other ways to be a grown up and make a living.

And I did.

And I learned something that I’m trying to apply today–that it’s ok to have a plan, but if it doesn’t fit, I need to make adjustments. Like maybe being a humor blogger doesn’t fit anymore, the way that being a “mommy blogger” didn’t fit after a while.  Or ever.

I’m not sure I have a term for what kind of writing I want to do yet, although I’ve tentatively crossed coupon blogger off the list.

And then Young Ladrinka sits next to me and asks me if I want to hear a song that he just wrote.  And I say of course, because what kind of an idiot doesn’t want to hear a song that her kid just wrote and he says, ok, it’s about eyes:

Eyes, they’re in your head! 

Eyes, without them you’d be dead!

You’d run into a pole and then your head would have a hole!

Eyes!

Catchy, right?

So yes, things are fine.

I may even stop worrying about labels and just write.

 

_____________________

I’m at The Mouthy Housewives today, giving a fellow baseball mom some advice. Check it out.

 

One year ago ...

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{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

tracy@sellabitmum
Twitter:
June 27, 2012 at 7:53 am

Oh please oh please become a coupon blogger. Even just for a week? Please?!

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Alexandra June 28, 2012 at 9:21 am

I know, right??

BLOGGING GOLD.

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suburbancorrespondent
Twitter:
June 27, 2012 at 9:30 am

I wince whenever I hear someone describe him/herself as a humor blogger. It just sets the bar too high, and I know that whatever I am about to read will not be funny enough. It’s like when someone starts off a blog post with “Guys! The funniest thing happened today!” It’s dead in the water, right there.

And really, I don’t want to read someone who is just trying to be funny. I want to read someone who manages to be funny because they have an actual story to tell and they know how to tell it well. The best bloggers can make a great story out of the most inconsequential things. Tell your story – if you are a funny writer, the story will be funny.

But I think you know this. Because you ARE a funny writer…and let’s face it, the genetics are stacked in your favor – you’re a Russian Jew. Jews are funny. Russian Jews are even funnier. I once mentioned to Suzy Soro that there was no such thing as a not-funny Jew, and she said, “Oh, yes, there is – they’re called Catholics.” Best. Line. Ever.

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suburbancorrespondent
Twitter:
June 27, 2012 at 9:33 am

I wince whenever I hear someone describe him/herself as a humor blogger. It just sets the bar too high, and I know that whatever I am about to read will not be funny enough. It’s like when someone starts off a blog post with “Guys! The funniest thing happened today!” It’s dead in the water, right there.

And really, I don’t want to read someone who is just trying to be funny. I want to read someone who manages to be funny because they have an actual story to tell and they know how to tell it well. The best bloggers can make a great story out of the most inconsequential things. Tell your story – if you are a funny writer, the story will be funny.

But I think you know this. Because you ARE a funny writer…and let’s face it, the genetics are stacked in your favor – you’re a Russian Jew. Jews are funny. Russian Jews are even funnier. I once mentioned to Suzy Soro that there was no such thing as a not-funny Jew, and she said, “Oh, yes, there is – they’re called Catholics.” Best. Line. Ever.

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suburbancorrespondent
Twitter:
June 27, 2012 at 9:34 am

Gah – this showed up twice. Delete one of them, will you?

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SFTC
Twitter:
June 27, 2012 at 11:52 am

Tell Y.L. thanks for saving my favorite blog.

Also, maybe his next song could be about tax law. Think he could come up with a good rhyme for “amortization”?

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Amy Windsor
Twitter:
June 27, 2012 at 1:23 pm

I think it’s safe to say that WHATEVER you decide to write, we will be there to read it.

P.S. My SIL has that same tax lawyer degree! She is also, surprisingly, NOT the most boringest person ever.

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deb June 27, 2012 at 1:32 pm

i know suburban correspondent already said it twice 🙂 but ditto to what she said! And as you said: forget the labels and just write. I am a new blogger, and definately not a “humor blogger.” But some of my posts are funny. When people started commenting on and appreciating that, I suddenly felt so much pressure to be funny. All kinds of subjects went out the window. I was paralysed. If you’re feeling that way, then don’t write with the intention of being funny. Just write about what matters to you and I bet it will come out in your naturally funny way. When it doesn’t, it will still be interesting because it mattered. I bet you didn’t expect this post to be funny, but I laughed out loud and read the line about the coma out loud to my 15 yr. old son (he didn’t laugh as hard as i did, but i think that’s because he’s in a coma before he goes into class and can’t relate!).

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Tea
Twitter:
June 27, 2012 at 2:11 pm

My favorite writers are extremely humorous, but aren’t humorists. That’s what I’d like to be when I grow up- someone who manages to be funny without having to try to make a joke out of everything.

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Cheri June 27, 2012 at 2:47 pm

Please don’t change a thing about your writing!

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Hope June 27, 2012 at 3:00 pm

we will read you, even if you become maudlin. for a while. so just write. yeah.

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Carinn @welcometothemotherhood
Twitter:
June 27, 2012 at 4:08 pm

For a not-sure-if-you’re-a-humor-blogger you made me CRY with laughter in this post. I swear. (and it happens often).

I fancy myself funny (sometimes) and look up to you as a blogger .

I linked to you here (http://welcometothemotherhood.com/2012/06/15/im-right-youre-wrong-the-mulligan/) and here (http://welcometothemotherhood.com/2012/02/16/this-aint-the-boy-scouts-you-will-be-prepared-for-nothing/)

And told a really funny story here (http://welcometothemotherhood.com/2012/06/22/dont-worry-the-bible-confuses-me-too-kimmie/)

And had a writing identity crisis here (http://welcometothemotherhood.com/2012/06/01/hello-my-name-is-carinn-and-i-am-a-writer/)

And through all of it, I’m inspired by your writing. I’m sure I’m not alone. Don’t give up on us now.

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Carinn @welcometothemotherhood
Twitter:
June 27, 2012 at 4:10 pm

In case my first comment gets caught up in moderation, I really wasn’t trying to make this about me.

You are really funny and your writing inspires – ALL of it. That’s all I really wanted to say (I haven’t learned to edit much).

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Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes June 28, 2012 at 8:20 am

1. A just adore your sense of humor, please keep using it.
2. I had high hopes of becomming a food blogger. Guess who hasn’t posted a recipe in say – oh – a month… So yeah, just write.

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Alexandra June 28, 2012 at 9:11 am

Oh, OH.

I will never be able to make you understand HOW MUCH I love that you can make me laugh.

Good laughing, out loud laughing…the kind that makes me cry I’m so happy.

I count on you, Marinka, my private humor blogger.

You have added so much to my life. Necessary humor and a moment of thinking of nothing else but that you’ve tickled my funny bone.

I don’t care if you get hot over tax law numbers, you are stone cold hot fox mama humor blogger to me.

And a coupon blogger? PLEASE. We should be so lucky.

Reply

Alexandra June 28, 2012 at 9:19 am

Before I forget, don’t know if you want to share this with Ladrinka or not, but here’s Auggie’s new song:

I’m a king with a crown.

Everyone’s mad in my town

So they want to cut off my head

And walk with it around town

They want to wear my head on their heads

And make it their crown.

(yeah so maybe not so much a good share for your kids)

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deborah l quinn
Twitter:
June 28, 2012 at 9:41 am

here’s a term for you:
Writer.

And clearly Ladrinka gets his writing genes from….the other side of the family?

Although I have to say that the concept of you as a “coupon blogger” does make my toes curl in delighted anticipation.

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Ann
Twitter:
June 28, 2012 at 10:34 am

I often tell myself that I am the only one keeping myself stuck to this humor label.

I relate!!

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annie June 28, 2012 at 11:54 am

I don’t care if you write funeral notices….I’ll read them! xoxo

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Mary June 28, 2012 at 12:54 pm

Your blog is one out of many, many blogs that appear in my mailbox that makes me very happy and excited. (All of them are wonderful in their own way, of course.) I love how you write, I love how you can be both poignant, irreverent and hilarious at the same time. I have even been known to memorize some of your short posts and repeat them verbatim to some of my friends, who laugh out loud – even though I’m not nearly as funny as you are. Even this post is genuine, honest, concise, vulnerable and fearless. You are a keen observer who is unapologetic and you are able to communicate that beautifully in your blog. I am grateful.

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Jessica June 28, 2012 at 2:19 pm

Because I work in a “when it rains, it pours” corporate job, it comes with its share of, “when it doesn’t rain, it gets …really really dry” (Ok… that’s probably not going to make it into the vernacular any time soon). Anyways… I have been filling the most recent dry spell with your blog. And I don’t mean, like, casually clicking over each morning to see what you’ve posted. I mean that over the past week or so, I am now on page 363 of your old entries (just read about Husbandrinka’s allergy diagnosis in 2009…). But don’t worry – I live too many states away to actually stalk you in the creepy way that this comment sounds!

It is funny to read someone’s life in reverse (i.e. reading about the RESULTS of a cancer biopsy before reading about the possibility of a biopsy… saves anxiety!). Also your children get younger and Wanted Cat unwrites itself 🙂

I have only found one other blog that was entertaining enough to keep me clicking for that long (and actually, her blog doesn’t go back as far as yours does, so technically you win…) and that was The Bloggess – which, coincidentally, is how I ended up here.

Anyways, I assume that this type of dedication should qualify me as one of Your Biggest Fans. And to fulfill the duties of such a title, I wanted to post a comment. But any good blogger knows that comments on a post from 2009 are much less fun because no one sees those statistics! So I came up for air for a moment to tell you how much I love all of this. And that I will buy your book (or MS hehe).

Now, it’s back to 2009 for me 🙂

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Kate Coveny Hood
Twitter:
June 28, 2012 at 6:48 pm

Don’t label yourself! Some of the most poignant and/or heartwarming posts I’ve read were written by “humor bloggers.” Of course, humor will prevail in most of your writing (because – you know, you’re funny). But you are more than just that. In fact, I think everyone is more than just one thing. So I say, write from the heart, own whatever comes out and consider your label to be “Marinka.”

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Corporate Wife
Twitter:
June 28, 2012 at 7:40 pm

It seems as though myself and most of my friends (who are also moms in their mid-forties) are torturing themselves through the whole “what do I want to do with my life” dilemma. Men have it easy–they just buy expensive electronics or vehicles.

I have to say, your writing and humor inspired me to try my hand at this blogging thing, so thank you (even though I will never be a Marinka). I will be reading whatever you write–couponing tips, obits, beautiful songs about eyeballs……..

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Rebecca June 28, 2012 at 8:43 pm

I get where you’re coming from, I do; but your humour writing is so, so very good. It would be such a shame for us all to lose that.
And a couple coupon codes at the end of the post wouldn’t kill you either.

Reply

the mama bird diaries
Twitter:
June 28, 2012 at 9:43 pm

I absolutely love this post. When someone is talented (like you), it doesn’t matter what you write. Your readers will keep coming back.

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dusty earth mother June 29, 2012 at 4:26 pm

All I can say is thank God tax law didn’t get you and we did. I would have such a hole in my head without you.

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Suzan June 29, 2012 at 7:57 pm

I soooo get this Merinka –
I do a decor type of blog – and happily show my makeovers with ( I try ) a little bit of humour infused into them – until I posted this:
http://suzyq-vintagous.blogspot.ca/2012/04/thing-with-creativity_05.html
about Trayvon Martin because I really really needed to.
And…………….
No comments at all – nothing – zilch – nada – bubkas ( as you can see I’m multilingual )
It’s difficult to be so one dimensional – even though most of the time I probably am just that, lol
Big Hugs from Montreal
Suzan

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MommyTime
Twitter:
July 2, 2012 at 6:59 am

I may even stop worrying about labels and just write. The perfect solution. Though if you follow my lead and mostly stop writing altogether, many many of us will be very sad.

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Ester Jean October 11, 2012 at 1:27 pm

I used to have a blog roll a mile long an I’d read every single one of them. Nowadays I have a newborn (is 5 months still close to newborn?) and don’t know where my blog roll can even be found, but I read what you write. And SOMEtimes what Wendi writes, but only when she’s not on friendship probation. …that lucky bitch. Your friend…. Anyway, I would still read even if to didn’t make me laugh for like, two posts in a row (loyalty!), but I always do laugh, an I laugh out Loud and wake the baby up, and then since there’s no reason to be quiet anymore, I read it out loud to my husband so we can both laugh. Basically, I love your brain for working as it does and your fingers for doing the typing (unless you’ve outsourced to Young Ladrinka, in which case, good job always using spellcheck).

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