Browsing Category

Stories

Vintage Love

06/15/2017

We deal with love as we see it or as we are. Love it’s always different throughout a lifetime. It’s platonic when we are children, it’s passionate in our 20s, it’s based on friendship when we are adults and we seek for partners when getting married.
Sometimes we say “I love you” or we just want to possess and to get back as much as we give or even more. Sometimes we blame love for being painful or harsh. Love is sophisticated, we are getting often confused, trapped and it’s hard to distinguish the pure feeling from superficiality, attention seeking or, as Dua Lipa sings “We are scared to be lonely”.

But love wasn’t the same almost a century ago. It was prohibited, limited, judged, not a fundamental right, for sure.

An Eastern European Story

Ana was 21 years old when her mother announced her she has to move to a new house and get married. Not so long ago, at 21 girls were considered to be old spinsters.

In 3 days everything was decided. Nobody asked Ana if she would like to marry Petru. She barely knew her future husband.
No dates, passion, kisses, emotions, engagement ring or making plans for the future. The future was decided without their consent.
Anna was wearing a white dress with long sleeves and black boots. It was autumn, it was raining, so old boots were perfect for such an occasion.

Petru was staring at his wife and smiling.

Ana moved to a new house, after taking with her just a few clothes (not tons of suitcases as nowadays). The stranger became The husband.

The good thing about Petru was his smile. He never stopped smiling. It was like a balm for Ana in those days. As we like to say nowadays “fake it till you make it”, apparently worked for them. Sometimes life is kind and gives us the best with very little effort. The stranger became The loved one. 

Happiness is what we fight for, but it’s never guaranteed that we’ll keep it forever. The World War II reached their lands. Petru as many other young men had been enrolled. During those years Ana saw him just once, but he never met their daughter. Ana had only sweet memories to keep warm during cold winters in the time of peace.

After the war, Ana had only sweet memories to keep warm during cold winters in the time of peace.

Iubirile de altadata

02/15/2017

Fiecare din noi suntem obisnuiți să tratam dragostea diferit in perioade diferite. Simtim fluturi in adolescenta, pasiuni puternice la 20, atasament si loialitate in casatorii, etc. Uneori spunem ca iubim sau doar vrem sa posedam, adesea lipim la loc bucatile de suflet dupa dezamagiri dureroase, devenim imuni si egoisti. In asa fel din “omul viselor mele”, barbatii se transforma in “kazioli”, iar femeile in “suki” (limbaj specific Republicii Moldova care nu e considerat obscen). Iar asta e dilema ultimelor 2-3 decenii peste tot in lume.

Dar dragostea nu a fost la fel acum aproape un veac. Dragostea a fost imposibila, interzisa si furata. Vreau sa va impartasesc o istorie.

Ana avea 21 de ani când pe neprins de veste maic’sa o anuntase ca venise timpul sa se duca la casa ei si sa-si faca propria familie. Cand fetele ajungeau la varsta asta, parintii mereu isi faceau griji de soarta lor, ca nu cumva sa ramana la parinti pentru tot restul vietii.

In 3 zile aranjamentul a fost facut. Intrebarea “daca iti place Petrea sau daca accepti sa te mariti cu acest barbat” nu a fost pusa.

Fara intalniri, pasiuni si tinut de mana, fara primul sarut peste portita si planuri de viitor, nunta a fost jucată repede, cu tradiții, colaci si buchet de romanițe. Ea purta o rochie simpla, alba cu volanase cusute la repezeala si bocanci grosi mai putin asortati cu albul rochiei, deoarece era toamna tarzie, iar drumurile erau pline de noroi.  Petrea zambea linistit.

Ana abia de il stia pe acest tanar nu prea inalt, dar chipes. Il vazuse de cateva ori prin sat, pe la hora, de rand cu alti baieti, dar nu vorbisera niciodata. Cu tot cu zestrea ei de la parinti si cu agrafele pentru parul lung, mireasa s-a mutat in aceasi casa si in acelas pat cu un barbat aproape necunoscut.

Crezuse ca zambetul si buna lui dispozitie fusesera doar o masca in ziua nuntii. Se bucura ca pana si dupa luni de casnicie, surasul si firea lui blanda erau tot acolo. Poate fusese o coincidenta, sau poate asa ii fusese destinul, dar Ana era fericita alaturi de strainul ei sot, care devenise cel mai apropiat si mai drag om.

Dar fericirea nu este o constanta, ci mai degraba o variabila. Cel de-al doilea razboi mondial nu crutase nici meleagurile lor. Petrea a fost inrolat. Cateva luni mai tarziu, Ana si-a vazut pentru ultima data sotul. Ii ramase micuta Maria ca si dovada a iubirii si dorului. Urmau vremuri si mai grele, caci razboiul nu fusese ultimul necaz abatut asupra Basarabiei.

Ca si incheiere vreau sa va reamintesc citatul rostit recent de actrita Meryl Strep: “If you have a broken heart, make art” si nu incetati sa credeti in iubire. Ea de fapt este peste tot, noi insa suntem uneori prea saraci cu duhul ca sa o remarcam.

 

What’s going on

01/31/2017

immigrant America

If you are reading this blog post you’ve probably seen some of my previous articles here and since October 2016 no sign from me. I’m okay my dear reader, I’m fine, just facing new and new transformations, every day.  Probably every immigrant knows very well how chaotic is the life when we are still in the “Americanization” process.

Well, the truth is that my life and me changed a lot in the last 9 months. I’m still learning to be open and to accept everything that happens to me.

Before moving to another country, we all dream about changes, because we are bored about the routine, but when we literally face all those transformations that we wanted so passionately, we discover how painful is to change, how hard it is to adapt.

We, immigrants, do not like Holidays anymore, because we miss our sisters, brothers, parents and close friends tested for many years. Actually, we don’t accept so easy new people in your lives, as we did when we where kids and teens.

We do not like anymore romance books, we’d better prefer to read “The Art of War” and we switch from Ashton Kutcher as favorite actor to Anthony Hopkins.

We check less Facebook, just because we are far away geographically and we feel likewise, away from previous life, away from people in our past.

We talk less, we do not complain and we think more about building the new future. We still don’t know too much about democracy and we read a lot about politics. We prefer to work instead of celebrating Thanksgiving or Martin Luther King Holiday. We google the meaning of those important days.

We learn to embrace our loneliness, to love walk alone, watch a movie or eat alone. This way we listen more, we notice more.

We suffer often and sometimes we regret of being so courageous about changing our lives. But one day we understand this pain is making us stronger, this pain is making us the better version of ourselves. In this new life we are willing to make hard decisions, because it’s a must and because the rules are totally different.

This transformation’s pain, not in physical form of course, sometimes is making you unhappy, sometimes is making you proud of yourself. And damn, it feels good when you win small fights. And it feels even better when people living here like you because you are different.

When it feels hard abroad, please remember how they says in Romanian fairy tales: “and this child was growing in a year as much as others grow in ten”.