Archive for August, 2007

Hi Dochichki!! This is your Koshichki!!

Dearest Dochechka –

I thought about throwing you a really massive, obscenely baroque birthday party at the De Young Museum with hundreds of exclusive guests (and by “exclusive guests” I mean “your drunk relatives”), perhaps a few freely flying exotic birds1, and an open bar with a small army of shirtless, chiseled waiters carrying Grey Goose Vodka-based cocktails and exclusively deep-fried hors d’oeuvres around on silver trays. I thought about it. But we all know what happened last time we went to one of those gala events.2 You ended up having about five too many cocktails, eating off of every single hors d’oeuvres tray that came your way (while exclaiming loudly: “OHMYGOD…I’VE NEVER EATEN OFF A TRAY BEFORE…I FEEL SO SPECIAL!!!”), getting a little too friendly with the dinner wait-staff and then making off with a bottle of wine from someone else’s gift bag and one of the fancy seat covers from another table. (I swear…we leave you alone for ONE SECOND!) So you’ll just have to settle for a smaller, more “intimate” party in which you can embarrass yourself among friends…and, of course, for this blog post in which I can embarrass you amongst my seven readers.

We’ve come a long way in 8 years, haven’t we? I remember way back when you first encountered me in med school, you didn’t think much of me. In fact, you thought I was loud and obnoxious.3 To my credit, though, you probably caught me in one of my less becoming moments, like when I was stretching, burping +/- scratching myself out on the lawn in between pulmonology and cardiology lecture. And I really only did that kind of shit, like, in between every lecture once in a blue moon. So, really, what were the odds? Regardless of why you got that bad first impression of me, I was tainted in your eyes from the get-go which, you later confessed to me, was of great disappointment to you because you thought I had great hair. And what a waste of great hair, right? Ahh, but the tide did turn to my favor eventually…though neither one of us can pin point the exact moment you had a change of heart. You seem to think it was something deep and meaningful I said about honesty and trust and friendship (you probably just misinterpreted one of my burps) but I think it was that jar of apricot jam I gave you from the vat I made when I was in my Crazed Phase of Relentless Jam Making.

Let’s be honest. It was the jam.

That jam was so frickin’ good, you decided we should be roommates our third year in med school. I was apprehensive because I didn’t know if my future batches of jam would live up to that which won you over, but what the hell! We were young! We were spontaneous! We engaged in lots of things that involved pants and their seats and flying by them! We were wreckless! We were wrong!

I think you and I can both agree that the year we shared an apartment constituted perhaps the darkest days of our friendship. We disagreed on a lot of things during that long year…things like how to properly store soup, what is the definition of good coffee, the importance of onions in cooking, where to keep the temperature on the thermostat, whether or not to renew our lease. I get hives just thinking about the Argumentathon that was that year of shared living quarters…honestly, we should have gotten Jerry Lewis on board, secured a toll-free hotline, solicited some sponsors and at least given the money raised to a charity or something! We could have called it FIGHT FOR THE CHILDREN!!

Of course it wasn’t all bad…for as many things as we almost bludgeoned each other’s eyes out over, there were things that drew us together. For one thing, we shared an equal interest in learning each other’s primary languages. I taught you all the important phrases one should know in Spanish and you taught me their equivalents in Russian. Take, for instance, this high-yield tid-bit we taught each other…

Spanish version: Yo quiero montarte como la caballera cochina que soy.
Russian version: Ya hochu poierzat na tiene kak griaznaya kovboika a naturie.4
English version: I want to ride you like the dirty cowgirl that I am.

Ehh? Now tell me you haven’t used THAT line at least ONCE A WEEK in your dating life? Yeah. I thought so.

There were other good things that came out of that year…mostly I think we just learned to listen to each other and understand that differences of opinion didn’t necessarily mean that one person knew better than the other. (Yeah. Right.5) Actually, what it really came down to was that you finally came to your senses and realized that I was right all along about The Importance of Onions. Seriously, for a while there, it was the onion or you…and I’m glad you finally joined me over on the more sane, savory side of the fence6, because otherwise I would have had to rethink our friendship. (Which would have been a shame because you smell a whole lot better than onions.) (Most of the time.)

Since The Divorce7, we’ve only grown. Our mutual love of shopping has strengthened our bond. Not to mention your collection of cute black tops. (Which, if I may say so, is getting a little out of hand…I think I may need to stage an Intervention soon. And by “Intervention”, I mean, “a brief afternoon spent deciding which ones you are going to give to me.”) We’re the only people I know who feel that eating and shopping should be regarded as sports that must be trained for with Olympic-caliber diligence and integrity. (We adhere to a strict NO STEROIDS policy.) (Blood doping’s ok, though.) To help with this, we’ve abandoned the widely held belief that hunger is a requirement for eating. (Bah! Child’s play!) And here we are today [allow me to pause for a moment to wipe the tear of joy from my eye]…inexplicably bound together by a mutual love of Avacado and a deep respect for Cheese. Come to think of it, our friendship goes well with croutons on a bed of baby arugula and a balsamic reduction…mmm, delicious.

Dammit. Now I’m hungry. But because I want you to let me borrow one of the birthday gifts that I’m giving you whenever I want of my love for you, I shall try to write through the hunger pains

Listen, I’m really glad that we didn’t drown in Costa Rica…that would have really put a damper on our plans to eat, shop, and save the world. Also, there would be no more we

Me: Are we hungry yet?
You: Why yes, we ARE hungry, good pick-up!!

You: I think we need to go to the bathroom.
Me: Indeed, we need to take a big dump!

Me: Do we really want to go on a second date with that guy?
You: Hmmm…good point, though we didn’t think he was entirely unpleasant, we really didn’t get a good vibe from him, did we?

Yes. We do this. Unless, of course, we’re talking about your family…in which case, you’re on your own there, kid. While I do rather enjoy getting invited to the Russian Jewish weddings your peeps throw (involving cabaret dancers and more caviar than I can stuff in the Tupperware I have…WOW, would you look at that, right here conveniently located in my purse!1) and while I don’t mind taking crap from your aunt for not being married yet (I believe her exact wording was “La Cubana Gringa, perrrrhaps some day I vill go to your vedding…or maybe I vill die first!”) I’d have to draw the line at having more than one dining experience like this one with your mother. Your Mamichki, I daresay, could ruffle the feathers of even the entirely too reasonable Brit…and we all know that takes some SERIOUS feather ruffling. Perhaps even some plucking. Big ups to you for blossoming into such a beautiful, somewhat normal, Dochechka in such repetitively trying, and often borderline suicidal +/- homicidal, circumstances. Now here…take this Xanax.

I know I don’t get all mushy and sentimental as much as you do, but I want you to know that this doesn’t mean I love you any less. You should know that years ago (probably after my then-toddler sized brother smeared his crap all over our bedroom walls) I looked up to the heavens and prayed for a sister…and I sincerely believe that God (though I sometimes do wonder if Satan had a slight hand in it too) sent me you. My sister from another mister.

You are like a sister to me. In every sense of the word. Cuz sometimes I want to stay up all night swapping clothes, doing make-up and talking about boys, and other times (particularly when you want vanilla ice cream with chocolate sprinkles…no! Blueberries…no! Strawberries…no! Chocolate syrup…NO!) I want to trade you for a piece of fresh mozzarella and nice glass of wine. THAT, is sisterly love right there. You are the Ooh to my Ahh…the Yeah Huh! to my Nuh Uh!…the H to my O…the Fo Shizzle to my Nizzle…the fart, if you will, to my poo. And I know you feel the same way. And, truthfully, there is very little that beats that. There is no greater feeling than knowing that should I have needed to take you up on your offer to go with me to my latest gynecology appointment and hold my labia for me, you would have moved mountains (and possibly even skipped a meal!) to be there. Thanks. Really. You should know by now that I’d do the same for you. (Though I might bring a snack.)

So, in the now-famous words of your Mamichki (as archived in a voice mail message she left me on my 29th birthday)…Hi Dochichki!! This is your Koshichki!! Happy Birthday to you! I wish you every ting what ya wanna. Best tings in da vorld! I kiss you. Many, many, many, many times! [KISS] [KISS] [KISS] [KISS]

Happy Birthday Dochechka. You deserve it. Now run along and put some make-up on…I can’t have you runnin’ around looking like this on your birthday…

old_lady.jpg 8

Love you, hug you, kiss you,

1. We once went to a riCOCKulously opulent Russian Jewish wedding where the bride was actually a bit miffed about the fact that her mother-in-law-to-be (at the time) granted her every wish except for the one about wanting exotic birds frying freely throughout the reception hall. Since then, this has been our “marker,” if you will, of absurd decadence.
2. Dochechka and I went to a De Young Museum Fundraising Gala a few months back and we sure did get our money’s worth! Well, actually a friend’s company paid for us to go…so I guess THEY got their money’s worth. Let’s see if they ever invite US to another one of their events! (PS – If that was your bottle of wine we took, sorry.) (PPS – It was crap anyway, so you didn’t miss much.)
3.We now know that this sentiment of hers had less to do with the fact that I was too obnoxious and more to do with the fact that she was NOT YET OBNOXIOUS ENOUGH!!
4. True story. In fact, I still have those two phrases written on the dry-erase white board that Dochechka and I had up in our apartment.
5. She and I both know that I’m right 99% of the time, and that 50% of the time, I just let her THINK that she’s right. (I gotta throw her a bone every once in a while.)
6. This is just one example of how I’ve made her a more civilized person.
7. The term of endearment given to our decision to live in separate apartments after failing to live together harmoniously.
8. Dochechka once sent this image to a guy online who kept pestering her for her picture. THIS is but one fine example why we are best friends.


Fairly accurate except for one thing…


…and that is that I’ve known more than one pathologist who was more than a bit crazy.

Exhibit A: I once worked with a pathologist, who, while holding an abdominoperineal resection specimen (complete with sigmoid colon, rectum (plus a gigantacular rectal cancer), anus, peri-anal hair, and a few stray hemorrhoids) in his thinly-gloved hands, told me with an absolute straight face that the reason he went into pathology was because he never wanted to perform another digital rectal exam ever again. Now THAT guy wouldn’t know Crazy Ironic if it came up behind him, told him to bend over, and inserted a well-lubed index finger into his anus.

Oh. And one other thing. I’m not mean. I’ve been called lots of things: Loud. Obnoxious. Built like a sista.1 But never mean.2

1. By a brotha, of course.
2. Subject to change should you make the misguided administrative decision to eat the last remaining piece of cheese.


The madness featured here is mine and mine alone. It does not, in any way, reflect the madness of my employers, colleagues, patients, nutty family, or my colorful friends. The privacy of my employers, colleagues, patients, nutty family and colorful friends is sacred & deeply respected, so no names. All words Copyright © la cubana gringa, no method, just madness 2006-2010. All comments © their authors. Don't steal; it's not nice. (And my Grandfather knows people.)

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