Just when I could use a laugh, I got a call from Mamichki this evening. My Russian Jewish mother. (After a threshold number of friendship years with Dochechka, Mamichki and the rest of the family have deemed me “Russian-by-proxy.”) (Oh, and also, “Jewish-by-Proxy”…good thing, too, Lord knows I could stand to throw another religion into the mix.) Anyway, I knew why she was calling. I could just imagine her bunkered up in her apartment, wringing her hands, checking her email every five minutes. Still no word from Dochechka.
“Have you heard from Dochechka?????” she blurted. THEN she said hi. (I wish the accent translated into written form. It’s my favorite.)
“Not since Monday…but I’m sure she’s doing fine.”
“I have not heard from her in four days and she said she was a gonna email me but she hasn’t and I worry for her hip because it is painful when she walks and (breath) she was gonna write but nothing so you haven’t heard from her since Monday, well, if you hear from her, anything, you will call me?”
I always love that…the demand with a question mark on the end. Suggests that I have a choice. But I have no more choice in how I should answer than I did when I was 13 and my Cuban mom would ask me questions like: “You’re not smoking cigarettes or skipping school or anything like that, ARE YOU???” No, mom. And yes, Mamichki, ofcourse I will call when I’ve heard from Dochechka.
I chuckle to myself as I swear by my first born child that I’ll call her.
[Doch, write soon. If you don’t, our Jewish mother will start calling me Q5 min.]
As I got off the phone, just for kicks, I went into my archived voice mails and listened to perhaps my most favorite message I’ve ever gotten. Ever. Mamichki’s message to me on my 29th birthday this past June…
“Hi Dochichki. (Dochechka and Dochichki both, aside from being my nic names for my best friend, mean “daughter.”) This is your Mamichki. [Loud giggles from Dochecka in the background.] Happy birthday to you!! I…wish you…all...everyting what ya wanna. Best tings in da world! I kiss you…many, many, MANY times!! [kiss] [kiss] [kiss] [kiss]"
I love my Russian family.