Archive for the 'letters' Category

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.


Love, straight from the fruit of his loins

Dear Daddio –dad-and-me-on-balcony.jpg

It’s only fair.  Ma got one of these letters on Mother’s Day.  So…being that it IS Father’s Day and all, I feel a few words are necessary here.  Words of thanks.  Praise.  Adulation.  But first, of forgiveness. 

You know how when someone has a slightly untoward facial feature, like a large hairy mole or a wickedly crooked nose, and they complain and long for surgical intervention but everyone around them says something like “Ahhh, keep the mole/nose, it builds character!”??  Well, and I mean this in the most loving and affectionate way, you were the hairy mole ON the crooked nose of my childhood.  And MAN did you build character!  Perhaps it was that you used to run around the super market screaming like a child with a large salami stowed away under each armpit.  Or that you somehow thought it permissible to fart loudly in public as long as you announced the arrival of your gaseous eruptions with the following statement:  “Shhh….do you hear that?  I think I hear the call of the yellow-bellied sap sucker!”  Or maybe it was that, during my formative years, you sized me up and said to me “Hmmm, maybe we should take some of that ass of yours and put it where your tits are supposed to be.”  And in the same vein, it might have been the fact that you just generally SAID out loud what most people would keep to themselves.   Like that time when I was in college and you told my dear childhood friend Miss LegsForMiles that you were “relieved to see what a lovely woman she’d grown into because you were worried for a while there…when we were younger she resembled a large, goofy, gangly giraffe.”  Yeah.  You built character alright!

But no single incident built more character than that one visit we made as a family to Boston Market.  For whatever reason, we were all in a sour mood that afternoon. So it certainly didn’t help matters when you ordered a Quarter Chicken Deluxe Dinner Meal only to look down at your plate and see a large drumstick where your quarter chicken should have been.  This, apparently for you, was The. Last. Straw.  This measly leg, you pointed out to the meek 17 year old behind the counter, WAS NOT WHAT YOU ORDERED…YOU ORDERED A QUARTER CHICKEN WHICH THIS LEG WAS CLEARLY NOT!!! THIS WAS MORE LIKE AN EIGHTH OF A CHICKEN, MAYBE A SIXTH, BUT CERTAINLY NOT A FOURTH!   After he crapped himself, the 17 year old managed to squeak out that this was Boston Market’s version of the quarter chicken.  And just as you were about to quarter the poor kid with a combination of your drumstick and sheer will (as a demonstration on the technique of quartering, of course), Mamacusa grabbed you and quietly begged you to get ahold of yourself. Reluctantly, and not without a huff, you took your chicken leg and sat down at the table.  We ate in silence except for the sound of mom’s forced smile (which read “Isn’t this nice?  We’re all together!  As a family!”) and your occasional grumblings about how no one on this god-forsaken planet knew how to quarter a chicken these days, honestly, what was the world coming to, anyway?  When lunch was over, we all got up to go back out to the car and when I looked back to make sure you were coming, I saw you make your way to the front counter, cut the line and demand to speak to the manager.  Mamacusa and Homeslice made a mad dash for the car as I froze in horror.  I thought your bulging neck veins were impressive, but when you stepped behind the counter uninvited, bare handedly snatched a whole chicken off the rotisserie, and quartered it with the knife from the manager’s hand, THAT was impressive.   

But, alas…while you did repeatedly create scenarios in which I would have gladly dived into the soft, purulent center of my biggest forehead zit to live out the rest of my painful adolescence, I have long ago forgiven you.  Afterall, it is you I have to thank for the depths of my obnoxiousness, for my rancid sense of humor (and my gas), and for my deep appreciation for a respectable serving size of chicken. 

And, actually, thanks in general.  Thanks for injecting a constant infusion of humor into the household.  Had you not been there, Mamacusa might have actually succeeded at having a dinner table around which no curse words were used.  Instead, when she’d reprimand us for swearing (which we only ever did with good reason, of course), you’d support her by adding, “She’s right!!  I never want to hear another motherfucking swear word spoken at my god damned dinner table ever again, coño!”  Any protest on our part was met with a stern wet willy (in which you stuck your index finger first into your mouth and then into our ear) or a sometimes-dry-but-often-damp willy (in which you ran your index finger under our nostrils and said “Guess where my finger’s been!”). 

Thanks, also, for being the kind of father that really made a vested effort to educate your daughter about the biggest threat to her mature development:  the adolescent male.  On my thirteenth birthday, you sat me down at the dining room table, the place where our family only had serious talks, and you looked me straight in the eyes and said, “I want to raise you like a man so that you never get taken advantage of by one.”  You then proceeded to tell me that I needed to know that there was one thing, and one thing only, that boys my age were thinking about:  SEX.  When I was fourteen, you sat me down and proceeded to tell me that you’d be remiss as a parent if you didn’t inform me that THIS year, there was one thing, and one thing only, that boys my age were thinking about:  SEX.  And so it went, every year, the same talk at the same dining room table…except for the year when I turned 17 and you let me know that that  year, the one and only thing boys my age were thinking about was ANAL SEX.  You really cleared up a lot for me, Dad. 

I have you, in large part, to thank for many of my successes growing up.  Mostly because I lived in perpetual fear of you showing up to my classroom or my school dance dressed as Bobby Brown, with a piece of cardboard and a boom box…to breakdance in front of my friends if I ever did anything wrong.  MAN did that possibility scare the shit out of me.  I think I might have even written about it as the basis of my motivation in my personal statement for grad school.  In fact, I’m pretty sure I got in because of it.

Frankly, I think you’ve proven that effective parenting can be achieved by keeping the potential for utter embarrassment and unmitigated mortification at a constant threat level.  (Our household was in a perpetual state of DEFCON 1.)  And per your fine example, I plan to embarrass my future children as much as possible.  And I’ll count myself successful if they don’t end up crack dealers and hookers.  Just like Homeslice and I didn’t.   

In all seriousness, thanks for sacrificing so much for your family.  You’ve never been a man of many words, but I always knew, deep down, that WE were your top priority (well, AFTER watching The Simpsons, which was your TOP top priority).  You always provided for us, and though we may not have always gotten everything that we wanted, we always had everything that we needed.  And above all, there was, and still is, the most important element of all:  Love.  In vast and heaping amounts and served in abundant quantities.  And now that Homeslice and I have been out of the house for several years, it’s nice to know that you’ve found La Italiana to share some of that love with.  Though…easy on the gas there, you might scare her away. 

Now, if you’ll kindly put down that cigarette which you are invariably smoking at this exact moment (and never pick one up ever again), I’d appreciate it.  I’d like to be able to enjoy many more years of your fatherly brand of humiliation. 

My sincerest thanks and utmost gratitude,
Te quiero muchisimo,
La Cubana Gringa

PS – I don’t think I ever want to know where your finger’s been, by the way.

The Big & Nasty about my Mamacusa

Querida Mamacusa,

Being that it’s Mother’s Day and all, I feel I should say a few words. Words of thanks. Praise. Adulation. But first, of forgiveness. It’s taken me a long time to arrive at this station in life, but arrive I have. And I’m ready now, [deep breath] to forgive you for a couple of things…

First and foremost, I forgive you for my general appearance between the ages of 8 and 12 and SPECIFICALLY for that outfit in which you let me repeatedly leave the house (to go Out In Public, might I add) in the 4th grade. Don’t look at me like that. [Shrilly:] You know full well which outfit I’m talking about:

The aqua colored tie-dyed Minnie Mouse t-shirt
Which I used to wear OVER the white long-sleeved turtle neck shirt
Paired with the matronly knee-length floral print denim skirt
And my white, high-top Reebok sneakers
Accessorized with those three pairs of assorted colored tube socks that I used to wear AT THE SAME TIME…like nightmarishly partitioned leg warmers.

That monstrosity of an outfit is the sole reason I “won” the title of Most Likely To Become A Fashion Designer at the end of the school year. Surely Mr. Bergdorf, on his break in the teacher’s lounge with all of his colleagues, had a hearty laugh at my expense when deciding the award categories and their respective “winners.” Poor, blissfully unaware me. I was all WATCH OUT, Donatella Versace! When really I should have been like: Watch out, Members Only!

Anyway, I was too young to be humiliated then. But let me tell you, I woke up one afternoon Freshman year of college in a post-tequila haze with visions of tie-dye, floral print denim, and Reeboks…and almost needed counseling for the whole debacle. Almost. And though I will never understand it, I forgive you.

Secondly, I forgive you for chaperoning my middle school dances. I understand now that you were doing it out of concern and love. Out of concern that I might sneak off to make out under the bleachers with Chad from Sex Ed (because, naturally, who wouldn’t be in the mood with MC Hammer as the accompaniment?) and come home “knocked out” (your version of the more widely used expression “knocked up”). And out of love…not for me but for shakin’ it like a salt shaker out on the dance floor. My only consolation from the embarrassment of having my mom accompany me to my school dances was that you at least refrained from doing the lambada with any of my teachers and administrators. But only because I put my foot down.

Thirdly, I also forgive you for the fact that I can no longer step foot into a McDonald’s. You may not remember this, because your forgetfulness at times approaches the level which is needed to hide your own Easter eggs, but about 10 years ago, we went to a McDonald’s. You’d forgotten your glasses, and you were holding up the line while squinting up at the menu choices. Just in time to spare us the spite of the hungry masses accruing in line behind us, finally and triumphantly, you declared your selection: “I’ll have the Big and Nasty please.” The 16 year old behind the counter looked at you with disgust upon your lurid request…and no amount of reassurance (that what you really meant to order was the Big and Tasty) could have convinced her or the police officers that were called to the scene.1 For fear of being apprehended as the family member of an unregistered sex offender, I have never stepped foot in a McDonald’s since.2 Which has been difficult. Sometimes the fries call to me at night. But I forgive you nonetheless.

Considering the career we’ve all made of humiliating each other in this family, I could go on. But, instead, I will move along to my words of thanks.


Thanks for surrendering your youth to marriage and motherhood. You married my father when you were 16 and, while I question your mental health at the time (wouldn’t you have rather been sneaking out, sipping beer that one of your friends stole from their dad, getting groped by an entirely forgettable pimply-faced boy?), I thank you for your job well done. Now, because if it, we’re very much like sisters. Which affords me the opportunity to relate to you as such in everyday conversation. For instance, when you say wistful things to me on my birthday like: “Ahhh, I remember when I was 29,” I can say: “Yeah. So do I. I was 10. And in my opinion, you wore entirely too much make-up and, Jesus, THAT AFRO OF YOURS!!”

Thanks for tolerating the teenage years of eye rolling and sighing and Oh My God Ma, You So Totally Don’t Have a Clue what Cool is. Duh. As I read through my recently uncovered anthology of adolescent diaries, I can only imagine how much fun I was. And indeed, I’m sure I will be equally tortured should I have daughters in the future. I’m sure the planets and the stars (and the semen) will align to make that happen. It’s only fair.

Thanks for being the kind of mom that makes family the number one priority. (Well, let’s be honest, after chocolate chip icecream.3) It really did make me proud to be related to you when you dropped everything to fly to Florida to take care of Abuelita for the last three months of her life. No one in the galaxy could have taken better care of her and I’m thankful that you were able, willing and happy to do it. I hope that someday, I can do the same for you. By finding a very lovely nursing home that has a communal café con leche and “I Love Lucy” hour in their recreation room.4 I promise I’ll visit.

In all seriousness, I love you. I love you despite your strange predilection for napkins with logos on them, despite the fact that you hog all the chocolate chip icecream, despite the fact that you are incapable of orchestrating surprises, despite your ability to screw up just about every cliché that exists in the English language…and despite the fact that, for a brief period after you and Dad divorced, you gave me a few gray hairs.

You certainly threw me for a bit of a loop when you decided to get remarried…and only 8 months after meeting The Love Muscle on that fateful plane ride. If I hadn’t known you’d had a hysterectomy, I would have thought you were knocked out up. But in all fairness, for as skeptical as I was at the wedding, I’m now convinced that The Love Muscle is not only the best possible person you could have sat next to on that plane (especially considering that on my plane trips, I usually get sandwiched between a Chatty Cathy with nothing but elbows and a corpulent guy with an anus more outspoken than Chatty Cathy’s oral orifice) but also the best thing that could have ever happened to you period. He’s great. He makes you happy, he calms the Cuban in you, brings out the Rational in you, and he makes a mean burrito with your leftover pernil. I could ask for nothing more. We’ll keep him.

And we’ll keep you. Thanks for being such a great mom. The older I get, the more I appreciate exactly how much a mother gives of herself not only to bring children into this world, but also to raise them in such a way that doesn’t mandate years of expensive time spent on a couch speaking to a paid professional about it all. Toughest job in the world, I’d have to say…and you made it look easy. So, bravo you. (You can hog all the ice cream you like!) Even though we don’t live in the same city, I know that, should I ever need you, you’d be here in a second. (You should know that I’d do the same for you.) This simple fact is one of the greatest comforts of my life. So thanks. A lot.

Te quiero muchisimo,
Feliz Día de las Madres,
La Cubana Gringa

1. The actual involvement of the police may be a slight exaggeration.
2. As might be this.
3. This, however, is entirely factual.
4. Obviously a joke. Clearly, there needs to be dominoes as well.

You should still respect your elders

My dearest, beloved Brit –

It is your birthday. And as we cross this annual threshold where you catch up to me in age (and I therefore forfeit the ability to tell you to respect your elders for the next six months), I feel a little celebratory expression of love is in order here. I know. I profess my adoration for you all the time. But this year, I wanted to do something special. Like parasail over the city of San Francisco, naked except for hot pink legwarmers, with a long banner attached to my sail that reads “THE BRIT HAS THE CUTEST 29 YEAR OLD DIMPLES IN THE WHOLE WORLD.” But I looked into it, and that turned out to be a bit pricey…and let’s face it, the city of SF has seen enough ass in its time. (And besides, hot pink legwarmers are so last season.) I’ve decided, instead, to profess my love for you by broadcasting it to the world via this blog. And by ‘the world’, I mean ‘my five readers’ (three of which are my Mamacusa, my Abuelito, and one friend from high school). But it’s the thought that counts, right?

It’s been, what? 2.25 years now since we met up for dinner that one night? You remember? The one where we had a lovely meal, we enjoyed some intellectual conversation, then you drank a few too many Chimays, I drove you back to your house, and we made out for a while, until you passed out (as evidenced to me by your snoring into my cleavage)? Yeah. That was a great first date. You recovered nicely, though, when you made me that spectacular dinner of Butter lettuce, Persimmon, Feta, & Hazelnut Salad, followed by the Moroccan-Spiced Cornish Game Hens with Roasted Beet Mashed Potatoes and Yogurt-Mint Sauce, and, of course, the ever-so-unforgettable Winter-Spiced Molten Chocolate Lava Cake with Rum-Ginger Ice Cream. Oh, that Chocolate lava cake…with its warm, mushy, uncooked, chocolatey-licious center. Mmmmm. That’s when I decided to keep you. And I’m glad I did, because over time, I’ve realized that, not only can you cook consistently well, but you very likely have a mild case of undiagnosed narcolepsy…as I’ve witnessed you fall asleep while drinking wine, eating popcorn, and taking a wee. (Though, thankfully, not all at the same time.) So, in other words, since you clearly can’t help it, consider the narcoleptic first date episode long forgiven. (Feel free to make another chocolate molten lava cake though, I’ll forgive you all over again.)

After 2.25 years of dating, I can’t say we’re without our problems. Problems which have mostly to do with your inexplicable love of movie soundtracks, your dislike of coffee and tea (you’re an embarrassment to your Queen), and the fact that you live in a world where you seem to think that everything, short of driving down to LA to pick up some milk, will only take 20 minutes (that, with your sense of time, would probably take an estimated 30 minutes). There is also the issue of your forgetfulness. You’ve forgotten wallets in taxis. Laptops at the airport security check point (which you realized after about an hour of being in the air). Either you’re putting on a charade right now so that I’ll never think you responsible enough to care for our future children (in which case, wisely played!), or we really need to figure out how to create a system by which, when you step outside of three feet of your possessions, your nose will start blinking. (And if we succeed at this, I think we could patent it and retire with our earnings!) The next issue, that of your Gift of Gab, I am still kinda on the fence about. On the one hand, the fact that you can, as CruJones once put it “make conversation with a stuffed moosehead,” comes in handy. For instance, I can leave your side at a work party where you know no one and trust that you’ll entertain yourself (and likely others) sufficiently. On the other hand, for the love of GOD!! Do you ever come up for air?? (On the upside, you’ve only got a little ways to go before you can beat the world record holder for longest soliloquy.)

Lastly, and perhaps most seriously, there is the matter of your level-headedness. You really are entirely too reasonable. This, I find, is particularly troubling. And if you weren’t so friggin’ reasonable, this would be the root of what would be most of our arguments. But since we don’t argue, we’ll never know. Allow me to offer a hypothetical example:

Me: OH MY GOD!!! Coño!! Did you see how that asshole just cut us off! I mean, who does he think he is? Some super rich famous person who is above the laws of traffic??

You: Well, maybe his pregnant wife is in the back seat and her water just broke and they need to get to the hospital urgently.

Me: Oh for fuck’s sake! MAYBE! But if so, he’s endangering the lives of many, including that of his unborn child, by driving like a maniac! What about that, huh? Huh?

You: You’re right. He probably could stand to be a little more careful.

See? That’s exactly the kind of thing you’d say to NOT get a rise out of me. And it’s just entirely too reasonable. I really wish you’d stop that. It’s annoying. I’m far more accustomed to the Cuban way of doing things. Like the time some guy cut my dad off on a single lane highway. My dad sped up just to cut him off while flipping him off with his left hand outside the driver’s side window. Then that guy cut my dad off again and flipped him off in a similar manner. Then my dad sped up again, cut him off, while flipping him off. With both middle fingers. While on a curve. That’s the kind of passionate angst I’m lookin’ for here. Is that too much to ask for? 🙂

Problems aside, I do think we make a good team. I find the fact that you are always warm, though a strong argument for the theory that you are not of this world but instead from the planet of Astrometria, quite convenient for me. Since my fingers, toes and nose are always freezing. (My Dad says our family comes from a long line of dogs and I think he might be onto something there.) The fact that you delight in culinary experimentation is a plus as well. Though my ass has gotten bigger since we started dating, so cancel out the benefit of your cooking. Though, speaking of my ass, you do like that, and you find the dance I have to do to squeeze it into every single godforsaken pair of pants I own absolutely adorable. So, bonus points for that. You tolerate my gas on the principle that I was raised in a family where farting wasn’t an embarrassment, it was a contest. Though, since you’re no stranger to dropping a silent-but-deadly bomb yourself, that cancels itself out as well. You scratch my back for me, even when I’m too lazy to walk the two steps needed to get the back scratcher that you bought me. More bonus points for you. (And thanks, by the way.)

What pushes you over the edge into the range of having so many points that you have unlimited rollover points (all of which carry over at the end of each month) is this: You’re the brand of good looking that comes from having outgrown an adolescence of chubbiness. This is the unaware-of-your-good-looks brand. (Which is the best kind.) You don’t just tolerate what I do for a living, you love what I do, and ask me about it all the time out of genuine interest and curiousity. And, perhaps most importantly, you always understand when my job makes me late for plans we’ve made. You are thoughtful and generous, not just to the people within your circle of family and friends, but to strangers as well. You volunteer your time at food banks and homeless shelters, travel to places like Thailand to do tsunami relief work and Louisiana to help rebuild houses leveled by Hurricane Katrina. You believe, as I wholeheartedly do, in the power of one individual to make a strong impact, change the world in some way, make a difference. And you want to be that person. (Which I fully support. Just as long as it doesn’t interfere with our sex life.) Soooo, basically you’re like Mother Teresa. Only alive and much younger. And hotter. And with a penis.

And for some reason, you love me with the enthusiasm and loyalty of a proud, rabid soccer mom. Minus the rabies, the obnoxious blow horn, and the fluorescent signage that reads, “My daughter will kick your ASS!” Oh, and more like a boyfriend than a mom. But you know what I mean. You seem to think I’m great, which makes loving you waaaaaaaay more fun than loving Joey McIntyre from New Kids on the Block those long, difficult years ago. He never answered my many love letters, which makes the love we shared, Joey and I, the unrequited kind. Whereas with you…you always answer my love letters. And that makes me a very lucky girl. Ahhh, sweet, sweet requited love. Suck on THAT Joey!

So, happy 29th birthday, my dear Brit. I love you and look forward to celebrating many, many more birthdays with you. (If you don’t tire of scratching my back for me first. Or of having my cold hands shoved down your pants.) (Or of my obnoxiousness.)

Con amor, muchos besos, y un pincho en el culito,
La Cubana Gringa

PS – No, we cannot have the Grand Suite from Star Wars played at our wedding. Maybe at the reception. And only on the condition that I get “I’ll be loving you (forever)” and “Hanging Tough.”


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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