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Sunday, January 27, 2013

If Maryna Says It, Eet`s True

A repost from February of 2011.  I had drinks with Maryna and Mike last night and therefore, um, failed to get any real writing done.

Go figger.  :-) 

Maryna is from Kiev, Ukraine, where apparently they speak a language other than English. It’s crazy, but there you have it. Her English, while heavily accented, is, for the most part, pretty darn good. She’s an intelligent woman, physically beautiful, and a good little drinker.

She also makes a mean chicken soup.

One of the truly charming things about Maryna, however, is that she is learning the majority of her English from her husband.

This could be a problem.

“You see Mike?” she says to me. “He ees broken man.”

I look at Mike, who grins at me. While it is true that he has back problems, he is not what I would term a “broken man”.

I laugh. “Did Mike tell you that?”

“Yes,” she says. Much of what she says has a downward inflection, as if the information she has to share carries great sorrow.

“Come. Come,” she says, patting the seat next to her. “You seet. You are hungry? I feex beet and potato salad. Maybe you like some herring.”

“Maryna, baby, she doesn’t want the beet and potato salad.”

Maryna looks at me expectantly. She very much wants to feed me. “Why not? Ees cold salad. Ees new year salad. Very good.”

I’ve seen this salad. There are layers of beets, onions, fish, mayonnaise, potatoes, maybe olives.

This salad. It does not speak to me.

Mike, standing behind Maryna, grins at me, blue eyes sparkling. He shakes his head. “You do not want the beet and herring salad,” he mouths, silently. “Trust me.”

I trust him.

“Please,” Maryna says. “Keed ees at Grandma’s. We dreenk. We eat.”

“OK,” I say, “Let’s drink and eat.” And Maryna runs upstairs to empty the fridge, returning with trays of food and drink.

“Mike,” she says. “You see Pearl’s car? Ees piece of sheet.”

My mouth drops open, and I turn to Mike. He closes his eyes and shakes his head, smiling. Maryna continues to load food onto my plate, buttering a slice of pumpernickel bread for me, then laying a slab of cheese and some sort of Ukrainian bologna on it.

“Eet’s true,” she says, handing the bread to me. She shakes her head, the sight and sounds of my dreadful little car heavy on her head. “Ees piece of sheet.”

My car. A 1998 Honda Accord. While it runs and has heat – and is fully paid for, mind you – it is a terrible little car in all other respects. The front end is held on with shoelaces, wedged into place with balsa shims. The driver’s side window can only be rolled down one-quarter of the way. The passenger’s side door – a hitchhiker’s nightmare come true – only opens from the outside. The heat is on either full blast or not at all, and – perhaps my favorite aspect of The Little Car That Could – it makes little noises when you steer it, like R2D2 with indigestion...


Maryna’s right. The car is a piece of sheet.


vanilla said...

Now, two years down the road, are you still bundled up in that sheet?

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

There's something to be said for 'paid for'...one can put up with a lot of sheet for that.

R. Jacob said...

It is true, we do empty our fridge for company. And everything we have to drink.

jenny_o said...

One of my favourite posts :)

The car, is eet still running now?

jabblog said...

You have to eat to absorb the alcohol - Maryna knows this.

Joanne Noragon said...

A piece of sheet car is another spice of life.

Geo. said...

Don't give up, Pearl. I've been driving the '71 VW bus since 1980 and have almost got it running right.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I always get a kick out of the "pull no punches" kind of old lady.

mapstew said...

Missus, you do have some fun friends! :¬)


HermanTurnip said...

While in the Air Force stations in Japan I purchased a car from a friend we called the "Dain-mobile". The entire floor was covered with peanut shells, the trunk was filled with sea shells, and there was a boat anchor in the back seat.

It was, and still remains, my favorite car of all time.

River said...

It runs AND has heat. What more do you need?

Roses said...

Still makes me laugh.

Thanks honey!


Daisy said...

HA! I guess Maryna calls them like she sees them. :D That salad sounds downright scary.

Jo-Anne Meadows said...

Bloody great post........

Pat Tillett said...

That was really good Pearl! Really good and very funny! It most certainly is not sheet...