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 38. A wedding ring

Maybe it is a disputable statement that our Tanya Yanchilina looked like a famous Soviet actress, her namesake Tatiana Doronina, though, on of the characters of the story insisted on that in the distant1968, and keeps stating the same even now. Tatiana was tall, had a fine figure and a pretty, open face lit up with a radiant smile, sure enough, she was showy and a blonde, too. And she was a blonde not in the sense, which is implied, when they talk about blondes now. My batya (father) when talking about women like Tanya always made a rounded gesture, depicting the figure. To cut it short, men liked Tatia. No wonder that Kostya Romashov, the younger brother of Yevgeniy Romashov from our group fell in love with her. Whether it was good or bad, it's not for me to judge, but Kostya was shy. He had kept his feeling to himself for a long time, but when could not bear that any longer, told everything to his "senior", as he called Yevgeniy among the family with a stress on "o". Well, as for amours, one could address Zhenya without any hesitations. He always was ready to help, if had a chance, or give an advice, and one could be one hundred per cent sure that he would not tell anyone, would not blurt out a secret. Zhenya could keep a secret. He listened to the "young" and started contemplating how he could help Kostya.

Well, first of all, we were old-timers compared to Kostya, both by age and experience. In fall 1968 he was only in his second year, and we were already in the third! The second, Tanya Yanchilina was well known as a person, who easily made friends, but not more than that. For the two previous years nobody heard anything about Tatiana's affairs and amours. It is though true, that we even did not try to interfere into Tatiana's personal life. Zhenya cared for Kostya very much, but he also liked Tatiana as a friend, and did not want to perform a part of some pander. And suddenly Tatiana herself helped Zhenka.

At that time gold came into fashion. Well, there is no need to say that gold has always been in fashion. I am talking about the medical students. Anyway, female students started wearing golden earrings and golden rings with small gems. Though, that was expensive. And a golden wedding ring one could buy quite cheap, if one had an invitation from the registry office (after putting in an application for registering a marriage at the registry office, they were given coupons for a jewelry store). And do you think the students did not use the opportunity? You are very wrong, if you think they did not. First, pure adventures went that way, one can say, reconnoitered, well, and after that, it was like to go out to a restaurant. Though, the topic is not about the beginning of the campaign of selling wedding rings by invitations (coupons) from a registry office.
And how could Tatiana not have what was all the go of that time? What, when and where? Like in a popular TV show, the questions were haunting Tanya. She wanted to wear a golden wedding ring on her finger way too much. More than that, in her group Petya Kozlov had it already, and your humble servant, too, was wearing it on his ring finger, and she as well wanted to. And Tanya approached neither me nor Petka Kozlov, perhaps she knew, that we would start fooling around, lying obnoxiously that we were given them (the rings) and things like that. Tanya approached Zhenka as the oldest in the group and offered him to go to the registry office and apply for getting married, then receive the coupon and buy rings, Zhenka for himself and Tanya for herself. And forget about the application. Before that Zhenka was making fun of Petka and me, meaning, what for one would need that? And there he was deep in thought. He could not turn down Tatiana's request. So he decided to buy the same ring for himself as well. Though when Tatiana and Zhenka looked into his passport, they'd better did not do that; there were so many stamps of registered marriages and divorces in it, that none of registry offices would ever give him a coupon. The coupons were for those who were getting married for the first time.

And there it occurred to Zhenka; he offered Tatiana that instead of him his younger brother Kostya would go with her to a registry office to apply for registering a marriage. There was it, an opportunity: to help Kostya to get to know Tatiana and to buy a ring. Zhenya wanted just to introduce Kostya to Tatiana and with that implement his brotherly duty of help, and then let Kostya to fuss around and charm Tatiana, though he knew beforehand, what all that would result in. But the experience would be important for Kostya. Oh, what a sly Yevgeniy was. He told Tatiana that his brother would go instead of him, that he was trustworthy and would not blab. Though, he had to be talked into doing that. And he left it for Tatiana, saying that even though he was the elder brother, Kostya did not obey him that much. Tanya hemmed, it was unlikely that Kostya did not obey Zhenka, but her desire to have a ring was too strong. Well, do I have to say that Tatiana put a lot of effort into persuading Kostya? No, she put not much effort at all, as Kostya (he himself said that) had a crush on her. And the love was Platonic, like of a school boy to a female teacher. Finally, Kostya, a model Young Communist League member, and even more - Komsomol group leader, agreed to go to the registry office, agreed to commit the fraud. And at that time his idea of marriage was like the one of Kisa Vorobyaninov, that "marriage is for one's whole life!!!" It was later when three of them, to be more exact Zhenya and Tatiana in his, Kostya's presence, were discussing the scheme, Kostya made a feeble attempt and asked: "And could they be made to get married in spite of their will?" Zhenya understood his brother's timidity and cut short: "You are doing this". Oh, how wet Kostya's palms were, how his full, sensual lips were quivering, and how bright crimson his cheeks were! He was scared, as he was brought up following the example of Pavlik Morozov (A Russia's Civil war hero of 1918 - 1921) in, he was going to deceive the state! Though he wanted very much to please Tatiana and make a "heroic deed". At the threshold of the registry office Yevgeniy threatened Kostya with a fist, and the latter new, that Zhenka never warned.
To Kostya's surprise, everything went smoothly at the registry office. Tatiana took the lead, even the registry office director said: "Well, it's clear to everyone, who will be the master in the house."
From the registry office Kostya and Tatiana went to a store for those who were getting married, but without Zhenka. Kostya did not know, where he disappeared. In the store Tatiana was leading again. She was looking at rings picking out one for herself and the other for Kostya, who got a thin little ring of 375 standard.

From the store Tatiana took Kostya to a pancake place, which was in Lenina street, next to the central book store. And there Zhenka was waiting for them with a bottle of "Promontor" (there used to be Hungarian red wine then) and two helpings of pancakes with fried eggs for each.
And at the pancake cafe thay made that kind of pancakes in the following way: pancake dough was poured on the hot frying pan and at the same moment an egg was beaten in the middle of the pancake. And when the pancake was turned over, the egg appeared in the center of the pancake under the dough.

Personally I liked when yolk was fried until it was hard, but was "soft-fried".
So, Zhenka was waiting for Kostya and Tatiana to celebrate the event. They drank the wine, ate the pancakes and started trying the rings on. Well, what was the reason for Tatiana to do that? It was she who selected them, but Zhenka tried hard to put a ring on, but it was small to him. An attempt to blame her for that was instantly brushed aside by Tanya, who snapped that Zhenka had himself said that he and Kostya had fingers of the same size. It turned out to be wrong, the fingers were different. But Zhenya would not be Zhenya, if he did not say in high-and-mighty manner: "Have it, the young, let it be my gift for you" and added right away: "And you will work off eighteen rubles!!! (that much was the cost of a ring)".

PS: Kostya and Tanya's relationship became nothing, but friendship. And Kostya was wearing the ring till 1998. It could not be removed off his finger and already started causing skin atrophy, and it was taken off being cut by a wire cutter.

august 3, 2011

© Copyright: Oleg Syedyshev, 2012
Publishing licence #21202110325

Translated by Viktoria Potykinato content