Syedyshev Oleg
Syedyshev Oleg

Humorous Essays Based on students' memories

"All have died
except for those who are alive, and those whom we remember"Confucius

Essay 37. Whyte chrysanthemums

I believe my readers will forgive me for deviating from the student life topic. What can I do? I am itching to write about my guardian angel called Natasha. Yes, by a happy accident she plays three roles for me: my wife, friend and guardian angel. If you are honest to yourself, my dear readers, you will agree with me, that this is a rear case. I got lucky - my case is exactly the one. I will add that I also call her "My deputy at the home front".
I met her on a number eight bus. One day I was going from Kemerovo to Yagunovka and saw as an extremely beautiful young lady was getting on the bus; there was one misfit about her - a huge bag, which was just a bit smaller than its owner.

As a rule, the notorious "number eight" was overcrowded, and that time, it was surprisingly half-empty and there were many vacant seats. I'll give a credit to myself, I immediately jumped up and helped to drag the damned bag inside the bus. The girl was pleased. I trivially asked her: "How many bricks are in the bag, I wonder, and in what street in Yagunovka are you building a house? Otherwise what for does one bring bricks from the center to Yagunovka?" The girl appreciated the joke and agreed to sit next to me on the back seat. Those who in the olden days used to travel by LAZ buses, know that the warmest seats in it are the back ones, because, there is an engine under them. And the event I am describing took place in November, it was cold then.
Though, Natasha and I were not cold on the back seat. We introduced ourselves, and Natasha told me that she was carrying not bricks, that she would be happy if there were bricks in her back for construction of her house, but...
The reality was that Natasha worked as a laboratory head at the Meat Department of Kemerovo Food Institute. The lab was at the meat processing and packing factory, and that was the way she delivered reagents to the lab for the study process.
She was complaining, and I was listening. I was sincerely sympathizing with her. I thought it would be better, if the bag were full of the produce of the meat processing and packing factory, or, as Natasha and I had already agreed, with bricks. Talking like that we did not notice like the bus got crowded. We did not look out of the windows, we were innocently talking and looking at each other; and when we had a look out, we laughed as we were coming to Yagunovka. We had passed the meat processing and packing factory long ago. Later Natasha blamed me that I on purpose had distracted her to make her miss her stop, and I reasonably answered that she herself had missed her stop to get to know me better.
And what is significant, is that even then we already had consensus - we agreed that everything happened to our mutual pleasure.
Of course, I did not leave the bus in Yagunovka, and Natasha and I returned to the meat factory on the very same bus, and I helped her to drag the bag with reagents to the lab.
Then the events were developing swiftly. We met every day. On the dates I used to bring a jar of plum compote, or some canned food. I will explain: at that time I worked as a district psychiatrist - narcologist of Leninskiy district of Kemerovo; my patients and their relatives did not want their doctor to die of starvation. It was the time of Perestroyka, and stores' shelves were as bare as a bone.
Well, Natasha invited me to her place to meet her parents. It was 24 December, the birthday of her mother, Mareya Nikolayevna (the correct pronunciation of the name is Mariya). It is not a misprint; that was how I called her mother because of excitement, and later called her that way permanently. Mareya Nikolayevna was making a fuss demanding me to pronounce her name correctly, but from the silent approval of Parfen Safonovitch, Natasha's father, I was consistent in that. All that was later, and on the eve of the visit I was rushing around looking for gifts for my fiancee's parents. Natasha did not know yet that she was a fiancee; it was me who decided that way. It happened so that a wife of one of my alcoholic-patients worked at a greenhouse, where flowers were grown. I will remind you once again that Perestroyka was in a full swing. And where could one get flowers in December? It is now that there are no problems. And then I was helped to put together a chic bouquet, and in a similarly tricky way I obtained a bottle of "Dvin" cognac produced at Yerevan factory for Parfen Safonovitch, and for Natalka I prepared an awesome terry bathrobe with a hood.
Finally loaded with the gifts I rang the bell of the door of the Kaygorodov's apartment. The door opened, and I was met by all three of them: the mother, father and Nataleok. The first greeting smile I received from my mother-in-law, excuse me, my mother-in-law to be, when I presented her the bouquet. Well, I gave right away the cognac to my father-in-law to be. He saw the label and dropped his jaw. A credit should be given to him; he knew much about cognacs. At that time one could trust a label. It is now that with the extensive development of printing, one can make a label of any kind. Parfen and I shook hands, and he offered me to feel like at home. Then there came the turn of Natalka, when she saw the bathrobe, and it was really great, she kissed me and immediately put it on. Birthday dinner went wonderfully. Home made sausages were the most delicious. We talked, and during one of the intermissions of the party I proposed to Natalka, and she accepted the proposal, and I right on the spot asked a blessing from her parents.

And at the very dinner it became clear, that I had not brought even a single flower to Natasha, and my first bouquet was presented to the mother-in-law. Yeah, it was an awkward situation, I tell you. Since then we have always had a bouquet of flowers at our place, and in December we have chrysanthemums, white chrysanthemums.

july 31, 2011

© Copyright: Oleg Syedyshev, 2012
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Translated by Viktoria Potykinato content