I usually collect other people’s writings and rarely write myself. However as Melanie, one of my dear followers and frequent visitors, indicated a few weeks ago that she enjoys my stories best of all on my blog, I decided to make her a special treat and post one of my old little stories that was sitting on my computer for a few years. Hope you’ll have a few giggles while reading it, Melanie 🙂
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( Russia, 1990s )
“Long ago in a faraway kingdom, three sisters were outside in the courtyard talking, imagining what they would do if they were married to Tsar Saltan. One said that she would prepare a great feast for the entire world. The next said that she would weave linen for the entire world. The third said that she would give the tsar “an heir, handsome and brave beyond compare.”
It did not take long for Ivan’s mum to pick up that I was totally useless in anything practical, so one day when we came to his home she greeted us with the following words:
“Hm, you won’t get any feast from that one. I doubt you’ll get any linen either. Well, from that one we’ll take heirs then,” she giggled and gave him a wink.
I don’t think I ever blushed that much in my life, while Ivan gave his mum a fierce look.
“She surely does not mean that “making heirs” is the only thing I’m good at?” I whispered to Ivan as soon as we got to his room. “And who are the other ‘ones’ she is talking about?”
“Do you think any other ‘ones’ will be hanging around with a mum like THAT ONE?”
A few days later I did point out to THAT ONE, that there were neither heirs nor wedding bells on the horizon.
“Oh well”, she giggled, “you’ll still make a good daughter for me, whether it is in-law or without any law”, she gave me a wink.
“I always wanted to have a daughter, you see,” she continued. “Ended having two sons instead,” she sighed. “Hope you’ll have at least one daughter. From a daughter you’ll always get a smile and a hug, while the only tender words you’ll ever hear from the sons are ‘What’s for dinner, ma?!’ “
Right at that moment the door flew open and her two sons rushed into the kitchen: “What’s for dinner, ma!?”
We both burst into laughter.
“What are you laughing about, YOU TWO?” her both sons looked at us with suspicion.
That’s how THAT ONE turned into YOU TWO.
from Menu Monday
“That’s unfair,” pointed Ivan a few weeks later. “Every time you come to my place, it is all the giggles between YOU TWO. THAT ONE is my mum after all, but she seems to make more fuss about you than about me!”
“Come on, we can share THAT ONE,” I gave him a wink with a giggle.
Giggling with THAT ONE was like a breath of fresh air in the suffocating environment of obscure ‘cultural’ notions and norms when even at the University professors every now and then were ‘lecturing’ us, female students, about catching ‘princes’ before finishing the Uni on the grounds that there won’t be any ‘princes’ left afterwards. As one of the popular songs went, “there were only 9 boys for every 10 girls” at that time, which is not surprising taking into consideration millions of males killed during the revolution, civil war, First World War, Second World War, Stalin’s repressions, in Afghanistan and later in Chechnya. And Russia in those days was not the country where girls could easily live on their own. It looked like the whole purpose of girls’ existence was catching a prince – and the better the catch, more ‘worthy’ the girl was perceived…
No cohabitation was ‘allowed’ before wedding bells – that ‘cultural’ notion puzzled me the most. After all, no one would be getting a new dress or a new suit without trying it first. Why were we forced to make important decisions in our lives after having just a few dates? How much can you learn about another person if all your ‘shared’ experiences are limited to a movie and a few ice-creams?
THAT ONE fell into that trap herself with a quick marriage at the age of 19 that ended up in an even quicker divorce and a long spell of solo-parenting. No way she would fall for any of these “cultural” notions again.
“Listen to no one but yourself,” she used to say to me. “That’s your life – live it the way you want. Don’t let anyone else to write the story of your life”, she gave me a wink.
I smiled and gave a big hug to THAT MOST EMPOWERING ONE. My own family had no respect for my views, feelings or choices… Only princes – no trials and no frogs…