Category Archives: Fun

A few things that get on my nerves

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1. Excessive proliferation of technology.

Do you know that old engineer joke? 😉 What do engineers and dogs have in common? They both have intelligent eyes but can’t express themselves… And what’s more, they’re trying to change the whole world in their image. Applications, gadgets, the “Internet of things”, remotely operated toilet paper rolls…

They simply can’t rein themselves in. They simply won’t give up until they make every single human on the planet (including themselves) superfluous.

They should have stopped after the fridge and the washing machine.

2. What is the deal with this inflation of titles and positions?

Heck, everybody’s a CEO of some kind, everybody’s a specialist, an expert, a consultant. Every shitty job has a pompous title these days. The housewife selling insurance policies is a “Financial Consultant”, the student bringing coffee and operating the Xerox machine in an advertising agency is some kind of a “Junior Support Officer”, somebody writing content for the website is “Online Business Development Manager”.

How do simple shop assistants even get out of the house anymore without feeling embarrassed? Or cashiers? Or drivers? Don’t they want to be called “Chief Combustion Officer” or something? Or at least “Mechanical Motion Responsible”? What about plumbers and constructions workers? They sure got the short end of the stick.

I look forward to the days when the baker will be called “Senior Dough-Kneading Specialist”, the hairdresser will become “Chief Hair Officer” and the toddler will be “Junior Fart Dispenser and Dictator-in-Chief of the Stuffed Animals”… Gee!

All things German

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Well, maybe not all of them. But a few. What on Earth is the deal with this weather in July? To paraphrase an old Romanian joke, of the 4 seasons typical of this latitude, Germany only has 3: rain and… more rain. 🙂

I realize this is subjective. From my window, I can see people in T-shirts as busy as a beaver in the pouring rain. Let me explain my problem. We don’t do squat in the rain. Where I come from, a south-western Romanian city with a rather Mediterranean weather pattern, the winters are short and wet (with the occasional bout of ass-freezing temperatures, -15 Centigrade and so on), but the summers are long and dry and sun-soaked. July is called “the month of the oven” – that’s how unbearably hot it can get. When it rains, people just stay inside, bundle up, and wait for it to go away. Unless it’s the usual bubbling summer rain that lasts for 20 minutes… That’s why I could never grasp the concept of “dauergrau” and why I was so confused by the institution of the “Matsch-Hose” and the “Gummistiefel”. Why would anybody need those? What?! You mean you want to take my kids out in this weather?!…

Whenever it rains, my Timisoara gene kicks in and I cannot get myself to do anything that involves going outside. Not to mention that I do not take off my winter jacket until it’s at least 25 degrees Celsius. To the horror of small children playing barefoot in 18 degree weather. I no longer buy any dresses, it’s too cold for me to wear them. To my dismay, I discovered that I no longer own any sandals, either. I only wear them when I travel south (or south-east) and it simply does not pay off to keep closet space occupied. 🙂

So, people, if you’re reading this, could we, maybe, please, make some kind of unanimous mental effort to dispel the clouds? Otherwise I am going to keep writing blogs, tweets and Facebook posts until the rain lets up. That’s a threat! 🙂

But now, in all fairness to Germany, my lovely second home, I would like to end with another Romanian joke my father used to tell me when I was a child:

“Soccer is a game played by two teams of 11 players each, for a period of 90 or 120 minutes, and in which Germany always wins.”

Go, go Germany, on Friday, against France! I bet you have nice weather in Bahia, where you are. Which is probably why you’re not completely focused on the ball, either ;-). Tststs… Where would this country be if it had nice weather and warm sand beaches all year round? Who on Earth would still be working?

Awestruck – My evening with the Cirque du Soleil

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The sleet hit my face, dabbing a zillion tiny wet spots on my winter coat as soon as I stepped out of the underground station at Theresienwiese. The tent was white, rather tall and easy to identify. The only one there, this time of the year. I located the entrance and made my way around and sometimes through the puddles that were beginning to form on the asphalt. If I was walking fast, it was because of the cold. I had no idea what time it was. I don’t wear a watch and my smart phone was turned off, in my purse, because it was Sunday. I didn’t see any crowds. If anything, I thought I was too early.

So when I entered and the lady at Door 3 kind of blocked my path saying, ‘they are having a dark phase now, a phase where it has to be dark, please, you need to wait 5 minutes’, I smiled, completely relaxed. I loitered around their lobby and checked my e-mails as men and women were sweeping the floor. Not once did I check the time. I didn’t buy any popcorn. Not for this kind of show. Other people came. A few were still buying tickets. I heard devilish shrieks from inside, music and drums, yet suspected nothing. They’re probably still rehearsing, I thought.

And then I was allowed to walk to Door 3. Climb the stairs. A thick, dark curtain slit open for a second, with a young lady in black clothes beckoning me inside, through the darkness. And suddenly, there I was: explosion! Of sound, of light, of color. Things were happening on the stage that I never would have imagined. Contorted bodies in refined, glittering fabrics, throbbing and moving to the mesmerizing music of mermaids. It was surreal. I had entered a dream.

People, lots of them, sitting down, wide-eyed in the dark, and me, standing alone in the aisle, close to the stage, still not figuring out what had happened. I slide into my seat and think to myself this was deliberate. They do this for their guests, to add to the mystery. They let you in at different stages, depending on how expensive your ticket was. To confuse you. To shake you. To sweep you off your feet and take you on their journey.

Kooza, Cirque du Soleil’s latest tent production, is an exuberant journey where you will see flying men on stilts, bikes on a tight rope and acrobats with wild manes. Where blood-curdling fiends stare death in the face and 1001 oriental fantasies lash your senses, all exquisitely choreographed, to a background lyrical story. Where time and reality are suspended, where kings turn to fools and fools are crowned kings, where fairy tales exist for grown-ups too, and where the child inside you just received a new pair of wings.

It was only after I settled into my seat that I furtively opened my purse and glanced at my phone. It was a quarter past 5. I had arrived late…

Kooza by Cirque du Soleil – and the magic lives!

Kooza

 Source: deviantart.net

 PS. If you have a serious heart condition, or if you don’t want to be dragged on stage as a volunteer by two shamelessly horny clowns ;-), I suggest buying a ticket further back. Some of the acrobatic performances are really scary – and they sure know how to add drama and glamour to them. But if you don’t mind your palms getting sweaty at times only to experience the artists’ sweat-laden breath upon you as they tumble through the air, as they twitch and bend and twirl, then the first five rows next to the stage are great for that extra closeness and intensity. I was in row E, central area, and I loved it! In Munich, where Kooza is currently touring until March 2nd, tickets are still available (either through eventim.de or directly on cirquedusoleil.com, or even at the Abendkasse, if you’re lucky). However, these are dispersed tickets, you won’t find two next to each other. Prices around €80 – 90 apiece. Well worth it. Great gift idea.

Laughing stock

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My daughter (2yrs. 7 months) just chose a profession.

I was putting nose drops into her nostrils, an action which – as was to be expected – led to a certain amount of hysterical yelling and rivers of tears rolling down her cheeks.

Me:

“Lady, you sure have a nice pack of loudspeakers on you! People can hear you all the way to the stadium… I think you’ll be a soprano when you grow up.”

Her (quick at repartee):

“Nooooo.”

Me:

“Oh, really, then what are you going to be?”

Her (as if, ‘duuh, mom, that is soooo obvious‘):

“A clown!”

I think she is well on her way.

PS:

Oh, and my son, who dreads blood but wants to be a veterinarian, was quite concerned yesterday when I complained about feeling lonely. He got so emotional, he actually allowed me to play with his stuffed elephant while he’s in school. Like, ‘Geez, mom, use your brain! You’ve got all these toys to keep you company…’

You see, I already live in a circus. Right there, just off the rails, in the mothers’ compound…

PINING FOR A PINT? The romanticized history of Oktoberfest

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Lederhosen und Dirndl erwünscht!“, reads the big sign in my son’s kindergarten. It is a mild but grey autumn morning and the children are celebrating “Wiesn Breakfast”, one of those many strange offshoots of Oktoberfest which testifies to its local appeal and international success. Little blond and dark-haired children of German, Russian, Turkish or Balkan origin all dressed up in Bavarian folk dresses and leather shorts eating heart-shaped gingerbread with gaudy sugar coating. This is Munich 2013, after another weekend that has seen 1,000,000 visitors and 1,000,000 beer mugs sold on Theresienwiese –  the real Wiesn, that is.

Bavaria is no stranger to folk festivals. In fact, some variety of it, whether it be the church anniversary, parish fair or the annual meeting of the local marksmen’s club is present in all but the smallest villages. Most of these events take place in autumn, traditionally the harvest season, when the brewers need an excuse to empty their kegs of last year’s production and make place for new beer. Oktoberfest is special because, in its 200-year history, it has muted from sporty wedding festivities to the largest folk festival on Earth. With beer at its core. Its number one attraction. After all, an alcohol-free Oktoberfest seems barely plausible.

And yet.

The year is 1810. Europe is in turmoil. The French Empire has reached it peak, Russia is battling Persia, Spain is occupied by Napoleon. Only three years earlier, the relatively small principality of Bavaria had become a kingdom in its own right. And against the backdrop of a restless international stage, on October 12, 1810, in Munich, its Crown Prince Ludwig marries Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen. Among his subjects, an ambitious banker and cavalry major, Andreas Michael Dall’Armi, who well knows His Royal Highness’s taste for ancient Greece and Olympia-style contests. The wedding celebrations last for five whole days. On the last one, October 17, 1810, Dall’Armi throws his monarch a party that Munich had never seen before. He organizes a horse race on a field then still outside city limits. Immediately, the field is named in honour of the Prince’s bride and becomes Theresienwiese. It is the birthday of today’s world-famous Wiesn. Ludwig and the citizens are delighted. He suggests repeating the celebration the subsequent year, a suggestion accepted with some enthusiasm at the time. And so the tradition begins.  And no, there is no hint of beer.

In 1812, France attacks Russia, and by 1813 Bavaria is too involved in the Napoleonic Wars to feel much like celebrating, so that autumn the Oktoberfest is cancelled altogether. It carries on, however, the following years and it keeps getting bigger. Jungle gyms, bowling alleys and swings are added to the horse race track. 1818 sees the inauguration of the first merry-go-round. The city’s poor inhabitants get drawn into the festivities – but not by beer. Lot booths and raffles offering prizes in china and silver are the real attraction. In 1819 Oktoberfest becomes a fixture and its organisation is taken over by the Munich City Fathers. In 1824, in recognition of his extraordinary contribution, Dall’Armi, now 59, receives the very first Gold Medal for Civic Merit issued by the City of Munich. And all of this, without any (yet) drop of beer for the public.

But times are changing. Despite being now guarded by a gigantic bronze statue (the Bavaria, erected in 1850), the festival has some inauspicious years.  In 1854 and 1873 it is the cholera epidemic, in 1866 and 1870 war that dampens the mood. The frigid October weather doesn’t really help either. Gradually, the festival advances into the last weeks of September, known for milder temperatures. In 1880, Prince George of Bavaria, the favourite grandson of the Emperor Franz Josef of Austria, is born in Munich. In the same year, Carl von Thieme establishes the Munich Reinsurance Company, or Munich RE, later made famous by the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. And lo and behold, that autumn at the Oktoberfest, the Munich city administration allows the sale of bier for the first time! By next year, beer shacks and barracks have turned into enormous beer halls and electric light illuminates over 400 booths and tents. Sobriety is defeated and inebriation becomes the rule.

Fast forward to 2013. Theresienwiese is now a 42-hectar paved estate in the heart of Munich. The city has grown and engulfed it. There is no more horse racing, but if you want to make your heart race, there are plenty of roller coasters that will do that. 6 million visitors spend about 1 billion Euros in Munich each year for the Oktoberfest. 1800 toilets take care of the 60.000 hectolitres of beer imbibed. And in kindergartens around Munich, blond and dark-haired Germans and immigrants alike nibble on heart-shaped gingerbread with gaudy sugar coating, prancing around in Bavarian leather shorts and pastel folk dresses.

Of tools and men

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Seriously, what is the deal with men and their tools? What is the bond of virility that connects them? Give a man a (preferably loud and useless) tool, and it’s like a shot of Viagra. Oftentimes have I wished I were a big red button, a pair of pliers or a screwdriver – these babies get a lot of action.  Not to mention how much care men take of their precious tools. My husband never once offered to drive me to the beauty salon or the hairdresser’s, but if as much as a petal falls on his beloved car, he obsesses for weeks and just HAS to have it washed.

Men.

Take today for instance. The first sunny day with temperatures above freezing of what has so wrongfully been dubbed “summer” this year, and no shortage of men hard at work with their demonic instruments. After two of the most deplorable, bleak weeks of May ever recorded (I’m pretty sure the razor blade industry had a small boom this year – and it wasn’t for shaving, if you know what I mean), you’d think people would be desperate to just soak up as much light and warmth as they can (the prognosis for the following days isn’t great either). There’s always time to cut the grass, right? Wrong. It just HAS to be cut during the most beautiful lunch hour. I am having soup, but it feels like I’m constantly swallowing larger-than-life meatballs. The frigging noise. Sounds like they’re tearing down the building across the street. Oh, no, wait,  it’s just the lawn-mower!

You’re trying to have a pleasant healthy stroll with your children for the first time in weeks, or play nicely outside to give your skin the chance to remember what it was created for, and the garden crew from hell arrives. Every square meter of hedge has to be trimmed with engines that could easily propel a Boeing 747, patches of grass no larger than your comforter are being run over by lawn-mowers the size of a small tractor. The louder the better. Oh, and let’s not forget the futility of all futilities: the leaf-blower. I just love that machine. Good results, too, last for about 3 minutes, until the next gust of wind. But, it’s probably procedure. No way around it. No way. I used to think the Germans work so hard because there’s nothing else fun to do, with it raining the whole time and all. But now it appears they can’t enjoy a sunny day either. Duty calls.  If tomorrow were the end of the world, most of the Germans would be toiling fervently away to leave everything preppy behind them. And it takes heavy machinery. A man’s job, you see, is to let engines work for him.

Has anyone even heard of good old sweeping anymore? I am pretty sure I can handle a broom faster than that guy pulls the cable on his leaf-blower.  And ride one, too! 😉

PS. I tip my hat to the Ukrainian construction worker who still has time to bawl Italian operas up high on my neighbor’s roof. At least he is still taking it slowly and enjoying himself.

Barcelona humbled in the Allianz Arena

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I haven’t lived in Munich for long, but I am already a big FC Bayern fan. There simply is no way around it. I live 200 m from their headquarters. I see them drive in and out of training as I walk my kids to the kindergarten. So obviously I watched the game (on TV; tickets were going for €599…). Obvioulsy I believed in their abilities. What I didn’t expect, however, was to see the end of an era heralded in the Allianz Arena last night, with Europe’s premium football club FC Barcelona shattered by an impressive FC Bayern four nil win.

Although Barça’s ball possession was superior to the Bavarians, their defence was not.

A handball by Barcelona defender Gerard Piqué could have awarded the Germans a penalty kick, but it went unnoticed by Hungarian referee Kassai.

Bayern took the lead in the 25th minute with a header by Thomas Müller after Dante’s pass.

For the remainder of the first half, the scoreboard remained unchanged at 1:0. Early in the second half, Bayern forward Mario Gomez tapped a corner ball from Robben, via Müller, into Victor Valdéz’s goal for 2:0. Although slightly offside, the goal was allowed.

Barça awoke but briefly with an inexperienced shot from defender Marc Bartra, no match for German goalie Neuer.

The Catalan midfielders remained uninspired and Barcelona’s golden boy, Lionel Messi, was efficiently neutralised by the Germans throughout the match.

FC Bayern revved its engines twice more towards the end of the match. An ambitious Arjen Robben scored his team’s third goal after a counterattack, with the assistance of Müller’s uncensored body-check on Barcelona defender Jordi Alba.

It was the same Müller who closed the deal in the 82nd minute with goal number four. (A result that would prompt an upsurge in visitors to the FC Bayern headquarters and official store in Harlaching, where I live, during the next day. 🙂 )

Bayern is now one giant step closer to the Champions League Final at Wembley, while Barcelona must find the strength to recover from a bad case of wounded ego. (Either way, further excitement in my neighborhood is guaranteed. I can watch them train for free…)

 

My Dad’s gone digital

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How the technology we take for granted can leave our parents clueless.

It was always a mystery to me how my Dad managed to be the CEO of a  large construction company right up to the turn of the 21st century while being completely computer-illiterate. Don’t get me wrong, he wasn’t just impartial to computers or indifferent to their “charms”.  He had an outright aversion to the stuff.

Truth be told, he did buy me a computer when I turned 21. He brought in his chief IT consultant and installed in my room this new and expensive PC which, besides being the devil’s contraption, also took up a hell of a lot of space. (We used to live in this communist-era apartment building and my room was a meager 10 square meters. But at least it was square, you know what I mean? I had friends whose rooms were downright trapezoidal…) Anyway, I was a real poet at the time and swore to myself I would never end up writing on that thing, that profane, inhuman device, where words became numbers. (Fast-forward to 2013… and boy, did I betray my own ideals!) But even though that computer has been there, in my room, for like 15 years, my father has never touched it. Until recently.

What’s happened? He’s retired, that’s what’s happened. Not only that, but he has an enlarged prostate, and he likes to make himself crazy reading apocalyptic scenarios on the web, which invariably end with the word “cancer”. He still adheres to the no-emails policy, and, until recently, he had my mother look up pages for him. But he is definitely branching out into new areas and conquering territory. Last evening, his car fan broke down, so now he’s frantic to get his hands on a new one, and he’s heard there are some to be found on the Internet.

My dad entering the age of pixels

My dad entering the age of pixels

So this 63-year-old tough guy with an incredibly well-rounded classical education, who knows all of Verdi’s operas by heart and who read the entire European canon of literature in his teenage years, calls me up to get instructions on how to “ask” Google for the object of his desire. This old-school connoisseur of communication etiquette and himself a writer of finesse then asks the sweetest, most genuine question any pair of postmodern ears has heard in a decade:

“… So, when I type my search, DO I ALSO HAVE TO PUT A QUESTION MARK?”

🙂

St. Patrick’s Day 2013

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Shamrock, flutes and black bier on the streets of Munich.

St. Patrick's Day Munich 2013

St. Patrick’s Day Munich 2013
Foto: Andreea Sepi

Forget for a second that it’s a frigid mid-March afternoon. Try to ignore the whizzing wind too, although your nose feels like it might fall off any minute now. The sun has slashed its way through the ceiling of aubergine-colored clouds, and – perhaps even more oddly – the Germans are willing to behave like the court jester all of a sudden. There aren’t that many occasions during the year when both of these conditions are fulfilled simultaneously. So odds are, it’s St. Patrick’s Day again.

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Ludwig’s subjects turn to Guinness
Foto: Andreea Sepi

Several thousand friends of Ireland have gathered in Odeons Platz in the heart of Munich on Sunday, March 17, to celebrate the one party where you have to wear green to fit in. And, in an attempt to be as close to the Parade as possible, they’re defending their turf on the curb of Leopoldstrasse like it’s the family inheritance dating five generations back. If you want to sneak a peek, you have to be either:

a) taller than their Guinness hats,

b) willing to wiggle your way between their armpits, or

c) down on all fours.

I was neither, but all that tasty thick bier is bound to make people a little wobbly after a while. That is when I took my chance, stretching out my smartphone-carrying hand and thrusting it in front of the front-liners. At last the parade arrived, complete with drums, leprechauns, dancers, bagpipes and flags. A long-haired fellow dressed as St. Patrick in bishop’s garments opened this procession, which always includes the blessing of the shamrock, the Irish national symbol. Marching right past us came people in traditional gaelic clothes, skinny ceili dancers on tiptoes, enormous, purple-faced and fur-clad warriors brandishing swords, and people dressed as sheep, baahing their way through the ranks.

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Herd them sheep!

As the parade drew to an end, throngs of revelers began to line up for black bier, bringing the waiting time up to a staggering 20 minutes. What better indication of a good mood than people willing to queue 20 whole minutes for a glass of bier?… After a few greetings from the guests of honor, it was time to get the party started with Caladh Nua, Blackie O’Connel and Connor Keane, Bunoscionn, Mutefish, the Munich Ceili Band, and the Tir na nOg dancing ensemble among the highlights. Here’s a taster of what they can do.

The Munich celebration of the Irish National Day will continue with an Irish Mass in the St. Michael’s church at 18:00. And, to crown the festivities, the Allianz Arena will shine a bright green tonight – as part of a worldwide Irish “greening” offensive. Enjoy!

Gloriosul sentiment al maternităţii

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Scriu de pe budă.

Aici m-am refugiat ca să am o clipă de linişte. Fiu-miu ăl mare vânează dragoni prin casă iar pe aia mică am culcat-o, dar tot o mai aud prin perete. Îi ies dinţii. Trebuia să mă ascund. Am minţit că-mi vine pişu şi m-am încuiat frumuşel în baie. Da, domnilor, de când sunt mamă mint. Mint de sting, de dimineaţa până seara. Asta am ajuns. Mint de îngheaţă apele. Mint cu neruşinare. Mint fără să clipesc.

« Ce carne-i asta ? », întreabă strâmbând din nas vajnicul vânător de dragoni (până mai ieri şi vulpi, dar a văzut unele drăguţe pe Animal Planet şi nu-l mai lasă inima să le ucidă).

N-am petrecut decât vreo oră jumate în aburi şi miros de ceapă ca să-i gătesc sănătos, şi prin urmare nu-s tâmpită să-i spun că-s ficăţei.

« De viţel, iubire », mă aud gângurind tandru. Expresia de pe chipul odorului, deşi încă sceptică, se mai relaxează puţin. Ia două guri, fără să le scuipe. Mă simt victorioasă la modul suprem. Sunt zile în care îmi vine să-i îndes spanacul şi pe urechi, când văd cu câtă scârbă râmează prin el, lopătându-l cu lingura dintr-o parte într-alta a farfuriei şi desenând în el fortificaţii imaginare.

Mint că am mult de lucru la o traducere urgentă doar ca să pot citi presa, să rămân şi eu la curent cu ce se mai întâmplă prin lume. Mint că îmi place să merg la cumpărături, şi fac aprovizionarea de trei ori pe săptămână, numai pentru şansa de a ieşi din casă. Liberă.

Şi apoi nu doar că mint. Am ajuns să mă ascund, ca drogaţii, cum nici de maică-mea nu mă ascundeam, ca să pot lua şi eu o gură de ciocolată. Cum aude fiu-miu fojgăit de celofane, cum apare şi mă interoghează : « Ce ai acolo ? » Îl văd cum îi sclipesc ochii, cum simte în nări mirosul de dulce (în caz că nu v-aţi prins încă, toţi copiii de cinci ani sunt sugar junkies absoluţi, capabili de violenţe extreme pentru orice soi de jeg zaharat gelatinos sau crocant, cu cât mai sinistru colorat cu atât mai bine.)

Acum m-am ascuns în WC ca să vă pot scrie vouă. Am dat drumul la ventilator, în felul ăsta nu mai aud decibelii chiţcăicioşi ai fiică-mii, din dormitor. Şi ce dacă stau pe budă în aburi insalubri? Şi aşa îmi petrec jumătate din viaţă cu mâna în rahatul altora. Or fi ei pruncii mei, dar – ce mai tura-vura – tot urât pute. Stau cu izmenele în vine şi laptopul în poală şi uit de mine. Ah, cât e de bine! Mă fură visarea… Aud valurile clipocind şi spărgându-se de nisipul alb al unei plaje însorite şi pustii, mă văd pe mine din nou bronzată şi suplă, călare pe bărbată-miu…. preţ de o secundă.

Uşa se zguduie de bufnituri violente şi bietul meu soţ, îngenunchiat şi la capătul nervilor, mă imploră să ies, că îl doare pe fiu-miu burta şi vrea neapărat lipsa mare. Nenorocita de mine, cad în capcană. Ies. Inocentă, micuţa făptură masculină se aşează pe tron, se bălăbăne vreo două zecimi de secundă după care decretează că nu, de fapt nu-i vine caca, a avut doar o picătură de pişi. Ei aş, crezi că nu te cunosc, mişelule? 😉 Ai vrut să ştii ce fac acolo înăuntru. Mi-ai mirosit ascunzătoarea, prădător mic de stepă şi ţi-ai zis, cum, să stea mama 5 minute liniştită fără să o pot tortura? Fără să-i procur dulcele infarct de toate zilele? Aşa ceva nu se poate, ia să remediem noi situaţia.

Bine, bine, lasă. Data viitoare nu mai pun eu botul la vrăjeală, să ştii.

Vedeţi, lumea nu înţelege ce sectă persecutată sunt părinţii.

Să vedeţi ce ingeniozitate am dezvoltat pentru a putea face dragoste. Copiii mişună peste tot. Dormitorul a devenit camera ei. Camera copiilor a devenit camera lui. Nouă ne mai rămâne numai sufrageria, care are geam la uşă şi e plină ochi de jucării. Deci, dacă nu ne scrântim picioarele până acolo, din când în când mai ajungem şi la pat. Sau mai bine zis, cădem pe el. Laţi. De oboseală. Uneori, în serile noastre magice, în stările noastre de graţie şi extaz, reuşim chiar să articulăm şi câteva cuvinte de amor : « Ai pus biberonul la vaporizat ? » « Îhîîî » « Dă telecomanda ». Ulterior, se aud sforăituri. A mai existat la un moment dat şi varianta bucătărie (baia e prea mică ca să faci orice acolo în afară de ceea ce fac eu acum), dar ne-am dat seama că momentan fundul meu e prea lat ca să mai încapă între vaporizator, chiuvetă, încălzitorul de sticle, plită şi coşul de fructe. Plus că oriunde te aşezi te lipeşti de ceva care seamănă dubios de mult a mâncare regurgitată. Şi asta numai de la unul dintre ţânci, întâiul meu născut. Cea mică nu are încă un an şi e hrănită cu linguriţa în altă parte, într-un scăunel special care îi dă aerul unui monarh absolut şi incorporează mai multă tehnologie decât tot Star Trek la un loc.

Că veni vorba şi de hrănitul ei, ce experienţă înălţătoare! Îmi înalţă de fiecare dată tensiunea. Îmi creşte inima. Muşchiul cardiac mi se dilată la propriu. Cu palpitaţii. Ah, cum aş putea să-l descriu? Hrănitul ei e ca şi cum ai încerca să hrăneşti un ventilator cu cap mobil care vizionează un meci de tenis, împroşcând pretutindeni cu piureul. Peretele din lateral a cunoscut deja şfichiuitura virulentă a perelor cu cereale, iar cel din spatele televizorului îmbrăţişarea fină  şi pufoasă a grisului cu lapte. Arată superb cu bulinuţe, e tocmai ce-mi doream. Cum ziceam, n-are un an încă, dar nu vă iluzionaţi, copiii de astăzi sunt inteligenţi. A mea a dezvoltat multiple strategii de refuz al mâncării, preferata mea absolută fiind de departe strategia de tip “hârciog”. Acceptă linguriţa, îşi umple gura cu mâncare, se face că înghite, dar, în realitate, stochează totul în obraji. Iar când ţi-e lumea mai dragă te trezeşti dintre buze cu o cascadă de mâncare molfăită de mai mare frumuseţea. Evident, exact în acest moment în care totul ameninţă să se prelingă pe scaun şi să umple toată tapiţeria, apare şi fiu-miu cu o falcă în cer şi una în pământ, răcnind ca un apucat de streche, de parcă toţi dracii iadului ar fi pe urma lui.

Eu:  « Ce e, mami, ce-i? Ce s-a-ntâmplat?”

El:  « Nu pot să deschid astaaaaaaa….. !!!” (plânsete sufocate).

Respir adânc şi mă rog să nu pocnească nici de data asta vena care-mi palpită furibund în creier.  Iată, mă gândesc, încă o zi în care mi-am pus nervii la pilit. Bine ar fi fost de erau din titan. Faptul că lumea supravieţuieşte ca să se mai bucure şi de nepoţi este pentru mine un miracol inexplicabil…

Şi uite încă ceva care sfidează logica. Continui să fiu amorezată de copiii mei. Pain is so close to pleasure, as they say... Să nu mă ţii mai mult de trei ore departe de balamucul ăsta, că mă podideşte dorul, plânsul sau panica. Apăs pe acceleraţie, fug cu paporniţele în sus pe deal, fluturându-mi în spate fularul ce stă să cadă, sau plătesc 15 euro pe taxiu numai ca să ajung mai repede acasă la chinuitoarele mele iubiri. (Deşi intrând pe uşă am deja vagi regrete că nu m-am mutat în Noua Zeelandă să mă apuc de pescuit solitar…)

Se mai îndoieşte cineva de masochismul femeii ? 😛