Irkutsk journalist Marina Lykova, who married an American a few years ago, continues to tell curious things about life in the United States and about her marriage. Today - about "true love", myths about the material condition of Americans and the ability to survive.
Yesterday I was asked to write a song. More precisely, try to compose lyric poems for a future hit. I had never studied versification in my life, and therefore the idea came to my liking: beginners, you know, are lucky. The set theme of the future hit is "True Love". No more, no less, - writes Marina for Baikal info.
In order not to squeeze a teaspoon of myself in an hour, I did this: in search of fresh ideas I arranged a survey of my colleagues and acquaintances. Realizing that you can't do without Facebook, I posted a short one there in both Russian and English: “What is“ true love ”for you?”
What started here! Messages poured in hail, but mostly from Russian speakers. The English-speaking part of the audience was limited to dry: “True love is friends and family.” Or - "family and friends." Or: "My husband." "A friend of mine". "My dog". Everything!
One young Hindu, with whom I once worked for a long time and who was fired for hard drinking (by American standards) drunkenness, wrote: “To love is to give all of yourself for the happiness of your beloved. To sacrifice yourself, even if you are not asked to do so. ” Not really in Russian, is it?
It should be noted here that for almost seven years of life in America, I, who are always easy to get acquainted and just playfully make good and loyal friends to myself, have never acquired American “real friends” here. Friends and acquaintances are a dime a dozen, but I have no friends among Americans. (Husband doesn't count.) Not because I'm bad. We are just different. And the fact that for us "is not a reason for dating," for them, the most ardent and selfless friendship. Just because before our “to be friends in Russian” bar, they don’t fail at all. Americans do not know how to be friends. No, my friends here still appeared. Anyone, but not American. Filipina, Nigerian, Armenian are friends, but there is no American.
What are my real friends? Those with whom she grew up and with whom she ate more than one pound of salt? Who connects me with not only virtual friendship, because we live on different shores of the ocean, but also real, earthly?
Not the one where all communication and imbibed with mother's milk “for a friend and life is not a pity” is reduced to the American “Hello! How are you?". It's all much more serious.
On the subject: Married in America: money and American men
Complicated to my familiar Americans turned out to argue on the topic of True Love. The task has simplified to just "love." I heard this:
- To love is to be together. Do everything together. Walk everywhere together. Go shopping together.
- Yes, but in order to walk together everywhere, it is not necessary to love each other. You can just be friends - I add fuel to the fire, trying to squeeze at least something from my staff interviewees. No, not squeezed.
“Love is a series of rewarding oxytocin releases,” said a gay co-worker. And that's all. And no help for song verses.
Among the chaff come across rare grains:
- ... I will not say that love is beautiful. She can hurt, so much so that for a long time she will not want to trust anyone: having burned ourselves with milk, we are blowing on water. I do not believe in love !!! - A thirty-three-year-old three-child American mother told me with a challenge in her eyes. - I have all the children from different men. With the first, however, we were not painted. My second husband was neither fish nor fowl. And my current man so generally pisses me off. I married him only because it is very expensive to be ill without insurance. So you can say that I got married because of health insurance. After all, if you start to talk about the topic of love and the correctness of the choice made once, then you can be in a depression to thunder. After all, how many people around? Yes, the whole planet! And why did I suddenly decide that this particular guy is the best for me? Because it just so happened that this person was there? And then - oh, a coincidence! - the right atmosphere, the right lighting ... and now we are happy to lie to ourselves that this is love. After all, there are those who cannot live alone for a single day. There are those who, in the smile of the usual politeness of the first counter maiden, are ready to see passion. I realized a long time ago that I can be quite happy without a husband. And if you asked me again what “true love” is, I would probably answer that “this is life together and without a single conflict. Years so until 60.
“I love that I give to him” - we, the children of the USSR, absorbed it with mother's milk.
As, however, sometimes completely strange concepts of "about love." A friend of mine years ago 15 told me about how much she loved her boyfriend. And she loved so: “He drinks without drying - I love him. He walks recklessly - I love him. Pregnant women are calling home from him - I cry and I love him. He does not notice me, and if he suddenly notices me, he wipes his feet on me. And I love him! ”
I always knew that “love has no limits” and that “all ages are submissive to love”. I knew about all this firsthand. As well as the fact that love has no international coloring. White can love black. Black - yellow. Blue - pink. And with all of this, for the sake of hardening their feelings together, they should eat a pound of salt or, together, experience some dark tinged, frightening event.
And I hear again and again about love, which my dad's African student called a dog:
- True love - when each other is comfortable. Secrets when you can tell.
- To love is to have fun together! Support each other in life. Go shopping together ...
Every second interviewee is interested in what “true love” is for me. I avoid the answer: “For the sake of the purity of the experiment, I will not talk about my ...” I still wonder about the question by the end of the day.
For me personally, true love is the love of a pelican. When a pelican can live for a healthy life, pull a piece of flesh out of his own body and feed it to those who want to eat the children. Not to go to a cafe with them, not to go shopping, not to the cinema, but to take and donate yourself. In general, to love is, in my opinion, work. Hard work Love is not a sweet molasses, which we are fed from TV screens and from the pages of romantic stories. Real love is pain, bruises and blows. And the same thing, when "the soul is obliged to work." And the desire to give. And action, not just words. And the main thing is when it’s not just good with a person, but without a person walking alongside you through life, it’s bad. When life is not good. “Look for the wrong person to live with. Look for someone you can't live without, ”she heard from the lips of an elderly white lonely wolf.
It is known that the ability to love deeply, selflessly and faithfully depends directly on the intellect. And no matter how sad it is to admit it, but out of a hundred, only one, as life shows, is capable of feeling.
On the subject: Personal experience: how I met with a greedy man
America and poverty
If someone still thinks that only millionaires live in America, that is a great mistake. Millionaires are also here, but rarely. Basically, poverty lives here. The real one. Just like in Russia. But the local people, I think, would not be so poor, were they able to tighten their belts at least a little, as is customary for us Russians. In other words, the problem of the American goal is not how to get more money, but, as it seems to me, how to spend less money than this money. But! Americans live exclusively today and are able to spend money the best in the world (80% is interrupted from paycheck to paycheck, or from one government handout to another). Here in general, I heard that every year those who declared themselves bankrupt are more than those who graduate from the walls of Alma Mater. The average American owes 50 000 dollars to the bank (and that's not counting the money that was borrowed to buy a house!).
More than half of university students in our state of Idaho are studying for money, again borrowed from banks.
And this money (on average 24 000 dollars) will have to be given sooner or later. With interest. And payments for the car. For rental housing. For the phone. For medical insurance. And this is despite the fact that more than 30% of students, having received a bank loan for education ... drop out of school. And the bank will still have to pay.
And the sooner - the better.
And more to the conversation “about rich America”: about 60% of the US population hardly hasten 25 000 dollars (about 800 000 rubles) with savings.
And this is despite the fact that if it is time to think about retirement, then in the pocket (savings), according to experts from finance, there should be at least 25 times as much as you plan to spend in the first year of your retirement holiday. (Americans are accustomed to spend almost from the cradle.
And therefore, to live in something denying themselves - not about them. Therefore, only few people can afford to retire to retire to enjoy life.)
I have long, thirty years ago, realized that the more crazy the idea, the easier it will be picked up with great enthusiasm. I was only four, and even then I said that if you say anything stupid, but in a calm voice and with a confident look, people will believe and stand under your banners. But it was like this: I could not sleep a warm July night. In the group of around-the-clock kindergarten (my mom was then trained by a flight attendant, dad was a student. So they gave me to the kindergarten for weeks) stuffy. She rose, trying not to make noise, with her baby cot. Wandered around the group. One was sad. Began to wake the children. Those woke up, disgruntled, and asked what I needed from them. She offered the first thing that came to mind - to move the latches on the window frames and start throwing from the second floor into the open wide windows ... toys.
I was hoping that the night nurse would begin to enter and, started by me, a little fat blond driver, the nightmare would stop. But in less than a few minutes, as many as six dozen chubby children's hands scooped all the toys on the black grass under the windows. One and all. Nobody wanted to sleep. My peers entered into a rage: sandals and all of our clothes flew into the abyss of the window opened at night. Boys and girls in shorts and T-shirts silently and smoothly climbed onto chairs to remove glazed frames from the walls with illustrations of Russian folk tales. Glass, flying out of the frame, broke with a cheerful bounce. It also went well into the wide-open windows, flying apart in a multi-colored hail, a plastic mosaic. The one where in the plastic black pancake, dotted with holes, it is necessary to stick multi-colored mini-mushrooms. Then the turn came to pillows, blankets, sheets, mattresses ... We worked in total silence. No sound. Not a word. They moved in pitch darkness, barefoot, on tiptoe, and, amicably frozen at the window, silently watched the landings of plates, mugs, spoons ....
At seven o'clock in the morning, the nightly nanny who had just woken up found bare walls, bare folding beds (how could we not fold the folding beds?) And half-naked sleepy shuddered children from the wide-open windows on the second floor. The whole coming day we, the children, barely moving after a sleepless night, “ran” outside and back, drawing cubes, parts from designers, balls, hula hoops, cars, jumps, dolls, rabbits, bedding and kitchen utensils into the group. The teacher made us wash all this with soap and place it in its place. Nobody grumbled. I worked more than others, because “the cat knows whose meat has eaten”. But what a night it was! Like in a dream. I, without too much thought, moved the “thought” to the masses of four to five years. And just like me, tots, my “idea” was picked up. Is this not happiness?
... I still remember the times when I bought eggs in the store not in cells, three dozen each, and not even dozens, but individually. By xnumx. By xnumx. By xnumx. I collected empty glass yogurt and milk bottles on the street and, having washed them, dragged them to the collection point for glass containers. Hand over. To buy bread, milk, kefir and, if lucky, a couple of all the same eggs for the money. Life itself taught me to save. On all.
In those days before and after the perestroika times, the kitchen garbage cans and the bodies of the urban garbage truck were empty: my people had no garbage. Nothing was thrown out, because there was nothing to throw out. And if there was something to emit, then that was used. Remember? "Marina! Do not live for today! - Baba Valya instructed me, watching me catch the meat from the pilaf. “Think of others and that tomorrow, too, there will need to be something!”
And life has taught me to survive through labor. “As long as you know how to do something with your own hands, you will always be in perfect order,” the old uncle taught me, who taught wood carving and wood burning in school. I went further and began to paint an already burned gouache and varnish chopping boards, and then sell them at the market. I was not then fourteen. Teacher's words, like the smell of burnt wood, I remembered forever. And now, living in America, I clearly understand: with us, whose native language is not English, with our training, our upbringing and education, everything will always be good. It can not be in any other way.