Tuesday, March 17, 2009


One of the things that Husbandrinka and I have been wanting to do with our kids is volunteer work. Husbandrinka thinks that it was important for them to learn to give back to the community and grow up to be caring human beings and I think that it was a good idea for them to be someone else's problem for a few hours each week.

Unfortunately we weren't seeing eye to eye about the best volunteer opportunities for our children. Husbandrinka was thinking along the lines of helping the homeless and I was thinking of something less hardcore. I mean, the homeless are so...without a home. Isn't that a little extreme for young minds? I mention this to Husbandrinka and he says, "Ok, so you want them to volunteer with people who feel that their apartments are too small?" which makes it sound like I am a small-minded person who doesn't get the point of volunteer work, so I automatically become defensive. "You're in love with someone else, aren't you?" I ask him. "What are you talking about?" He says. "I didn't hear a 'no'," I fume. "I'm not playing this game," he tells me, but the great news is that he seems to have forgotten about the whole homeless thing.

So I asked my kids what kind of volunteer work they are interested in. My daughter said that she wanted to work with homeless animals. I'm not sure what kind of work she envisioned, perhaps we'd chase stray cats down the street. I asked, with great trepidation, if she would want to work with homeless people and she said no, animals were cuter. My son, in a testament to my parenting skills and the values that I've instilled in him, didn't know what "volunteer" meant, but after I explained the concept, he said that he would be willing to teach underprivileged kids how to play the Wii.
Then my daughter had a great idea. She was going to knit hats and scarves for poor people. In Africa. Fuck.

Finally, Husbandrinka had it with these high level negotiations and signed himself up for the soup kitchen.

"Good for him," my mama said. "He should see how the other people are live, to appreciate all that you have."
"Exactly," papa said. "And after the soup kitchen, he should go to morgue, to get more fuller appreciate."

Five minutes later, mama called me in a state of alarm. "He knows not to eat the soup, right? It may be the poison."

So now Husbandrinka is doing volunteer work. On behalf of all of us.  Because I'm still exhausted by the planning stages.

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Anonymous Andrea's Sweet Life said...

As long as you don't go feeding any of that soup to any homeless animals, I think you'll all be alright.

March 17, 2009 at 12:14 AM  
Blogger blognut said...

He's not going to the morgue next, is he?

March 17, 2009 at 12:21 AM  
Blogger ella said...

Ok all serious here: A great volunteer op is to be a Cake Fairy (stop smirking). I ran a group of volunteer bakers, but your kids could just do it themselves. We baked for Juvenile Hall. You'd have to get approval of course and bla, bla, bla, but it's really a nice way to have the volunteer thing be mostly in your own home and at your own pace. I can tell you more about it if you're interested.

March 17, 2009 at 12:59 AM  
Blogger Janie at Sounding Forth said...

Volunteering is good for everyone.

But dang, this post is funny! Thanks for volunteering it!

March 17, 2009 at 1:04 AM  
Blogger mo.stoneskin said...

...while you, presumably, are still looking after the children, they're still your problem I mean...

Your daughter is right though, animals are, on the whole - I wouldn't want to make any sweeping generalisations - 'cuter' than the homeless.

Way to go Husbandrinka, we're all proud of him.

March 17, 2009 at 2:23 AM  
Blogger Your escalator operator said...

Wasn't sure it was possible, but MiNYC just keeps getting funnier.

March 17, 2009 at 2:24 AM  
Blogger Jennifer H said...

I totally didn't know we could pick a family delegate for volunteering. It's brilliant, really. My husband's schedule is going to get a lot busier, I tell ya.

March 17, 2009 at 4:09 AM  
Blogger Kylie w Warszawie said...

I am the volunteer delegate in my family. I volunteer at both schools and I'm a volunteer teacher for church. I used to be in the choir.

My husband either feels that I volunteer enough for the both of us or that his altar serving every Sunday for his whole childhood counts for his volunteer credits for the rest of his life.

March 17, 2009 at 4:48 AM  
Blogger Vodka Mom said...

only YOU can make something like volunteering for the good of our country and our people - so damn fucking funny.

March 17, 2009 at 6:36 AM  
Blogger Belle said...

I suppose it's better than MY daughter, who wanted to send a starving child in Afica she saw on the cover of National Geographic, her Barbie Doll.
I told her I thought they might try to eat Barbie. She was horrified and has stopped all talk of altruism since then.

March 17, 2009 at 7:02 AM  
Blogger melissa said...

very funny post. it took me 5 years to decide where to volunteer. i ended up with the blind. very rewarding and not too hard core. i mean anyone can say if that shirt matches those pants and open a little mail...

March 17, 2009 at 7:39 AM  
Blogger michelle said...

Volunteering starts in the home. Go with that. Donate some random crap. Food Banks are a good place to give. Very easy to drop off soem stuff, smile nicely, then leave.

If I had known you can do the "family delegate" thing, I would so be singing my kids up for all the service hours at Temple and then staying home Sundays to catch up on Tivo!

March 17, 2009 at 8:55 AM  
Blogger *Akilah Sakai* said...

This is some funny shit! Why don't your parents have their own show? They are hilarious without even trying.

March 17, 2009 at 8:55 AM  
Blogger Kabbalah Rookie said...

Volunteering is all very well and good (I volunteer myself) but you were right in your concern. Not so much for worrying that dealing with homeless people and animals might be a little too much reality for your children to bear.. but more for the possiblity that they will start bringing them back to your house!
A very, very funny post...

March 17, 2009 at 9:01 AM  
Anonymous Kristine said...

I had no idea that we could just send a delegate! Something to try for next year.

March 17, 2009 at 9:05 AM  
Blogger Heather, Queen of Shake Shake said...

If your daughter wants to knit/crochet, a lot of NICUs in hospitals have groups that make tiny hats for the babies.

At least it's closer to home and she can't bring them home.

March 17, 2009 at 10:09 AM  
Blogger Lyndsay said...

Husbandrika doesn't think that there should be assistance for people living in apartments that are too tiny? I call that a dire emergency and worthy cause.

March 17, 2009 at 10:19 AM  
Blogger Amy @ Milk Breath and Margaritas said...

So your mom isn't concerned that he might be feeding poison soup to the poor, just so he doesn't eat any? That is pretty funny.

I think...

March 17, 2009 at 10:43 AM  
Blogger ShallowGal said...

My 8 year old is growing her hair for locks of love. "To make wigs for poor people with cancer" she says. Hair growing is a 24/7 commitment. That's about all we can handle right now.

March 17, 2009 at 11:15 AM  
Anonymous peajaye said...

i hate to go against the grain here, but in these times of such high unemployment, isn't volunteerism somewhat un-patriotic? i mean, it seems as if husbandrinka is taking away a job from someone who could be getting paid by the gov't. i think you and the kids have the right idea and should refuse to volunteer on moral grounds and for the love for our country.

March 17, 2009 at 12:07 PM  
Blogger Amy@Bitchin'WivesClub said...

Pretty much anything your parents say cracks me up.

I'm with your son, though. Certainly there are poor people out there that need help figuring out how to play Rock Band and Super Mario Galaxy! The nation's (wealthy) youth are ready to help!!! ;-)

March 17, 2009 at 1:13 PM  
Anonymous LadyFi said...

Hysterical! Love your son's idea... hey - you could teach the homeless how to play Wii while chasing stray cats... Just sayin'

Got a mail from Rama and a message from Braja and new info. You surely have received the same mail, but if not leave me a comment and I'll send you a copy of the mail...

March 17, 2009 at 2:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love it when you quote your parents. It always cracks me up.

March 17, 2009 at 2:07 PM  
Blogger The Mind of a Mom said...

An amazing place for the kids to help out is the food bank! Here in Ontario (Canada) our kids are required to complete 40hrs of volunteer work (between grade 9 and 12) before they can get their Graduation Diploma. No volunteer No paper! So when the year starts the list goes up and it reads
"Potential Graduates"
What a wonderful think he is doing!

March 17, 2009 at 2:45 PM  
Blogger Deb said...

If he goes to the morgue, we will need pictures.

March 17, 2009 at 3:39 PM  
Blogger lizspin said...

Okay Marinka, I know a lot of people say they laugh out loud while reading blogs. . . I don't. . . I never have. . . But I just did . . . for the first time. . . really!!!

and p.s. I wouldn't drink the soup at the morgue either. . . could be toxic. . .

March 17, 2009 at 4:33 PM  
Blogger for a different kind of girl said...

Just be sure to remind him to wash his hands if he goes to volunteer at the soup kitchen after he's been to the morgue. I don't think it probably matters as much if it's the other way around.

March 17, 2009 at 4:46 PM  
Blogger MommyTime said...

I also have spent a very long time recently thinking about volunteer opportunities for my children, and have come up with nothing. I'm afraid to give them knitting needles. Should I teach them to cook soup?

March 17, 2009 at 5:07 PM  
Blogger bernthis said...

MF laugh out loud funny M. Seriously.

March 17, 2009 at 5:10 PM  
Blogger derfina said...


March 17, 2009 at 6:26 PM  
Blogger anymommy said...

Oh and think of the germs he could bring home. You can blame all future illnesses on his saintliness.

March 17, 2009 at 7:41 PM  
Blogger Petra a.k.a The Wise (*Young*) Mommy said...

hahahahaha, that was hilarious. I wish my husband would do some volunteer work on our behalf. Or anything really.

March 17, 2009 at 9:45 PM  
Anonymous Sophie, Inzaburbs said...

I only know soup kitchen volunteering as something which gets done when cameras are rolling. Is Husbandrinka a celebrity?

March 17, 2009 at 10:32 PM  
Blogger the mama bird diaries said...

I'm always talking about how we should volunteer as a family. And then I get sleepy and turn on the TV.

March 17, 2009 at 10:40 PM  
Blogger C ♥ said...

Hmm that's a tough one.

You could always volunteer at the 'humane society' or even at a pet store, helping change ...err...stuff. HA!

March 17, 2009 at 11:48 PM  
Blogger A Woman Of No Importance said...

Marinka, this was just so funny - I have to say! Your mama's response is priceless, and your children are wonderful! Is giving last season's clothes to the homeless not the same as volunteering in the soup kitchen, then?!

March 18, 2009 at 8:16 AM  
Blogger Coffee with Cathy said...

I think I have officially turned the corner -- your mother's comment is so something I would say to my 20-something-year-old children. Does that make me The Mother character now instead of the vibrant, vital and lively young-at-heart blogger I know I am???

March 18, 2009 at 9:55 AM  
Blogger Roshni Mitra Chintalapati said...

hahah!! thanks for volunteering all this info! I just love your son's idea about teaching Wii... you know, it could become a compulsory school subject!

March 20, 2009 at 4:38 PM  

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