Ryan Mikel………

19 Mar

The day I announced my engagement to a Serbian, my mother started quoting lines from Not Without My Daughter.  In case you don’t watch Lifetime-that would be the flick with Sally Fields about a woman who marries a Middle Eastern guy and then can’t leave his country.  Well, can’t leave it without her daughter.

Insert my mother’s irrational fear.
Don’t ask me how she made the connection.  I distinctly remember her referring to the ‘tribal’ nature of Serbs, despite the fact that mine was about as Parisian as they come.

Regardless, during the course of my six-month engagement (no-we will not be diving into further details on that subject), she took to randomly calling me with questions about our future.

I should mention here that when it comes to pronunciation, my mom is handicapped.  So the day she called me to ask how to pronounce my would-be last name, I knew we were going to have problems.  It had taken her three months to stop calling him Lukas (his real name being Luka), so I just figured the surname was going to be a lost cause.

Nevertheless, this is the conversation that transpired between us when she unleashed the Spanish Inquisition on me:

Mom:  ‘Hi honey, just calling to see how things are going.  Say, how do you pronounce Luka’s last name again?  You are going to take it, aren’t you?  Or are you going to hyphenate?  Just want to make sure I can pronounce it.

Me:  (Deep breath) ‘Ok Mom, its Markovic.  Mar-Ko-Vich.

Mom: “Mykarvo?’

Me: “No, Mar-ko-vic’

Mom: ‘Mer-kar-ma?’

Me: ‘Nope, not Merkarma Mom, MAR-KO-VICH’

Mom: (deep sigh on her end) ‘Mary-Kug-vok?’

Me: ‘I have an idea, why don’t we talk about something else for twenty minutes, and come back to this.  Approach it with a new start a little later.

Mom: ‘k, yes, great idea.’

(We continue chatting about God-only knows what for the next fifteen minutes)

Me: ‘Ok Mom, are you ready to try the name again?’

Mom: ‘yes’

Me: Ok, grab a pen.

Mom: “Graaaaaaa-Baaaaaaa-Puuuuuuunnn’

Me: (pinching nose between eyes with one hand, deep sigh of concentration with the other)  “No Mom, Grab. A. Pen.”

Mom: ‘Gruuuubbbb-Aaaaaaaa-Piiiiinnnn’


(thirty second silence)

Mom: (laughing)  ‘Oh Whoops, did I really just do that?’

Me: (shaking head in disbelief) ‘Yes mom, yes you did’

She never did learn to pronounce his name.  God help me if I ever marry a Middle Eastern man.  Scratch that, God help that man.


18 Responses to “Ryan Mikel………”

  1. kacysue March 19, 2010 at 8:53 pm #

    I love when I read something where media is referenced and I actually know what the person is referencing. It doesn’t happen often! I’m a huge Lifetime Movie Network fan so I’m basically an expert 🙂

  2. Juliana March 19, 2010 at 9:49 pm #

    HAHAHA!!! oh your mom’s a riot.
    i remember that movie very well! it played often on one of the 8 channels we had in Brazil when i was a kid.
    the middle eastern ARE damn sexy. and french speakers. bastards.

  3. Barbara March 20, 2010 at 12:20 am #

    That totally sounds like my mother.

  4. Man-shopper March 20, 2010 at 12:34 am #

    I love stories about your mother. I demand more!

    As I recall, she had a bit of trouble with my name as well. And I’m hardly Slavic.

    Although that raises an interesting question… What does your mother think of Asians? I sense a potential post here…

    • wanderingmenace March 20, 2010 at 9:55 am #

      haha, that’s right, she did!

      I had a boyfriend who was half-vietnamese.
      That never bothered her.

      But yes, more mother stories to follow….

  5. Marina_Ukraine March 20, 2010 at 9:11 am #

    Hello from Ukraine !

    Ha ha, it the funnt story, made me smile, so, I want say you thanks !




    • wanderingmenace March 22, 2010 at 11:58 am #

      Well thank you for reading! Always happy to have new readers.

  6. Mom March 20, 2010 at 9:35 am #

    OKay That is not exactly how it all went down. First of all the “culture reference” was a book, not a movie. I don’t actually watch the Lifetime channel. The book was about different cultures in the slavic world, not the middle east. I was sure that you were never in danger of becoming a “Gypsy queen”, but not at all sure he was prepared to handle the “American princess” you are. It is true that there was some confusion about names & pens, & I am wiping away the tears as I write, it was funny. But please if you must blog about me, don’t make me sound worse than I am. Not sure I am talking to you now!

    • wanderingmenace March 20, 2010 at 9:53 am #



      It’s Iran.
      It’s also a movie.
      And me being an American princess is debatable.

      • Kid-Ginger! March 29, 2010 at 4:51 pm #

        I have Ry’s full support on this one Mom, remember the time I was dating a girl named Chloe and you kept refeering to her as Clue?? Names are just not your cup of tea there Mommasita.

  7. Charlie M March 20, 2010 at 1:52 pm #

    Ha! Ha! Ha!

    “Mom,” remember what Steve Martin said, “Comedy is not pretty.”

  8. Elle March 20, 2010 at 2:29 pm #

    I just about died when your mother started sounding out “Grab a peeeeeen.” Love this!

  9. Hema P. March 20, 2010 at 11:14 pm #

    Ryan, looks like all the interesting stuff happens to you, leaving the rest of us feeling dull and boring. Loved your last name confusion story (as someone whose both first and last names are construed as tongue-twisters – they hardly are in actual fact, but that hardly seems to matter – I could absolutely relate to your post) :).

    (Stumbled upon your site thanks to wordpress – it tagged one of your older posts as similar to mine… Will keep coming back for sure!)

  10. MSQ March 21, 2010 at 1:08 am #

    I laughed out loud when I read this post. I can completely picture my mom and I having this conversation. Mooooom!!!

  11. MsSittingatherdeskandpretendingtowork March 22, 2010 at 11:20 am #

    You have my sympathies! Still after almost 8 years together neither of my parents can pronounce his first or OUR last name. They even get the spelling wrong on letters!

    But my responses to the ‘Not Without My Daughter’ comments

    1. He was a doctor. My mother would be so happy if himself was a doctor. I could imagine her referring to him as ‘My Son-in-Law the doctor’.
    2. He was from Iran. He’s from India.
    3. They have CHILDREN. We do not have children. We don’t even have a dog.

  12. Heather March 22, 2010 at 3:11 pm #

    That is too funny! Maybe eventually she will get the name figured out 🙂

  13. Gnetch March 22, 2010 at 5:19 pm #

    I love that your mom commented on this blog post. Haha!

  14. ziazitella March 31, 2010 at 7:26 am #

    Ah, mom stories. Always good for a laugh. And love the mom comment. She wouldn’t have to feel bad if she butchered my last name, everyone does.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s