Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Day of Infamy, For Some

About a dozen years ago, I was living in Minneapolis and, uh, dating someone else when Matt started coming by with his canoeing plans and promises of long drives on sunny autumn afternoons and tickets to see the Jayhawks and Sugar and Uncle Tupelo. Great fun, but, you know, I was dating someone else. So when I left Matt (and the erstwhile, uh, boyfriend, never to be seen again) to live in Russia, I would miss our good times, but it wouldn't be that hard.

Except it was.

I missed Matt every day. I missed him before I left the United States. I pushed it aside and immersed myself in my work, the language, the life -- and then wrote him seven-page letters about it. We e-mailed and sent telegrams and mailed packages back and forth. I sent him a license plate. He sent me a hard hat. I sent him tapes of the Soviet Navy Chorus Anniversary Special. He sent me tapes of Robert Johnson and Quadrophenia. He wrote that he wanted me to be a bigger part of his life. I e-mailed that I thought I was falling in love with him.

Then came the phone bills.

A year later, he came to visit me in Russia. After a friend's birthday party we sat in my kitchen in the dreamy light of the White Nights and decided to get married.

Six months later, on December 7, 1996, we did.

Wasn't that a nice story? It is. But because we never really dated, there were a few problems. We didn't know how to argue. We didn't know each other's peeves. And beyond an almost-two-year separation of about 9,000 miles, we hadn't really shared any adversity or worked through any problems.

In honor of our 10-year anniversary, I was going to share some of our low points. But the primary partner in all of them has put a temporary hold on publication.


  1. Have you learned how to argue since then?

    We sort of never have--- it's interesting. I think for us, we try to out-pout each other. Or, I think because we both had peacemaking roles in families with other strong arguers, we both avoid arguing to the point of mutually retreating, and then things fester for a few hours (or days), and then emerge in other ways.

    I'm not saying it's good, mind you--- a flat out argument would be more efficient!

    Happy 10th!. =)

  2. Sharikov9:43 AM

    Mate in two moves, Katka.

  3. How we argue depends on what we're arguing about. I tend to get all fake-sensible, while Matt's sense of righteousness carries him through any adversity. We're both a lot of fun when we argue.

    And Sharikov, I've been throwing that line around a lot lately -- John's learned to play chess.

  4. Sharikov9:58 AM

    I highly recommend downloading "Think Like a King" for the boy. http://www.schoolchess.com/

    Great program! Daughter number 2 is kicking my butt now. (Not that that was hard, but still.)

  5. "Not that that was hard." Gee, thanks. How many times did I beat you? Like, once?

  6. Sharikov11:28 AM

    I let you win.

  7. Just like I let you win.

  8. Sharikov5:14 PM

    I can see where this is going, and I refuse to participate any further. (I don't think you ever won anyway, at least without Kostya.)

  9. Can that really be called winning?