Saturday, 2 January 2010

The duck and I.

The New Year’s Eve is a majorly chmominating event. You always feel like you should be having an exciting evening. Even if you are a big fat chmo* for the rest of the year, you feel that,somehow, it is absolutely critical that you try your best to not be a chmo on that one night. And it is no good telling yourself that it means nothing to you and it is just another evening. Deep inside, you still know what it really means. That you are a chmo. `

I ask my local friends about their plans.

Oh, we are invited to our friends’ place!”- they say excitedly.- “With a few other couples. For a sleep-over with children!” Or “Oh, we are going to a party!”. Or “Oh, we are going to Barbados!”.

And I admit, a couple of years ago, I would feel like a chmo. Because, I have not been invited to an exciting party. With a lot of good-looking, young and trendy people laughing and drinking cocktails all night long. And it does not even matter that, realistically, I might not even want to go. It is like being asked to marry someone. You might not want to get married, but it is still nice to be asked.

Yet, none of this is important now, because it is not just me and Husband anymore. It is me, Husband and a duck.

There is just something satisfying about having a duck for New Year. Honestly, who needs cool friends and cocktail parties if you have a duck?

A duck makes everything OK. It also makes your New Year sound a lot better.

Just compare this:
-So what did you end up doing for the New Year?
-Oh, nothing really, we just stayed in.

With this:
-So what did you do for the New Year?
-Oh, we stayed in and had a duck...

Straight away, you are elevated from the chmo position to a position of someone cool, who might have had a few party invitations, but decided that she preferred a quiet, cosy evening with a duck.

So I am quite satisfied with my New Year’s Eve now. Also, this year we had a visitor from abroad- a friend from the states came to see us. Why would a handsome single American male in his late thirties chose to spend his New Year’s Eve in an English suburb with a married couple, an old smelly Rottweiler and a loud 4-year old is beyond my comprehension. Yet, I can work with that. I mean, I can make that sound cool.

What did you do for the New Year?
Oh, a friend of ours came over from Chicago....

So, I sat there on the sofa, G&T in my hand, surrounded by tasty smells coming from the kitchen, and I thought to myself: this is cool. This is what the New Year should be like. In the company of Husband, G&T, a good friend (who decided we were an exciting enough company to fly across the ocean for) and....the duck. Yes, very importantly- the duck.

*In case you are new to this blog, CHMO is an abbreviation for Chelovek Moralno Obosranniy. (Russian) Means a Person Morally Shat Upon. I cannot think of a better expression for a total loser.


  1. I usually tell coworkers the day after if I cook anything with lobster. "Oh nothing, just whipped up some lobster bisque"

  2. I always liked and wanted to be invited to some cool party. But this year I told my husband: Just imagine go somewhere in the middle of night with kid. Stay up even if you feel tired and want to go to bed.
    No. I prefer to stay at home and have cozy quiet evening with my family and ...sushi! Yes! That is what we had for our New Year table!

  3. My advice for next year - send the husband to a party, tell any overseas friends who want to call that they can't because you'll be busy washing your hair, buying shampoo, listening to the radio or something and just let it be you and the duck. Confit de canard is the name they should have given to ambrosia. It truly is divine.

  4. I haven’t heard word chmo used in a sentence since 7th grade, kudos on that:)
    I was a nerdy kid growing up & never concerned myself with being cool, still don’t & highly recommend it to everyone, it’s strangely liberating :) The only fun party I went to for NY in Baku was with my friends from «Что? Где? Когда?» (nerds again) during my 3rd year in Institut. It was at someone’s dacha, there was no electricity after a storm on Absheron, but we didn’t care, we had a blast.
    Not until we moved to Milwaukee and met our group of friends from ex-Soviet republics, that we were introduced to the extravagant Soviet-style gatherings that I only heard about back home. Uh, the irony isn’t lost on us, but who cares, it’s fun.

  5. Hi Scary. Happy New Year!

    I wuv your blogs. I have tried unsuccessfully to make duck and it always turns into a solid brick. How do you make a duck ?

    Another fellow Chicagioan sit at home did nothing for new years eve :)

  6. Every New Year's Eve, here in Lima (as everywhere, I guess) people HAVE to party as if it there were no more days left. Since my teens, I dislike crowded noisy places. So you can imagine I dislike those noisy parties. I am aware how boring this may sound.
    But having New Year's Eve with a duck. That's a new one. Maybe I'll try it!

  7. @ Anonymous: I just follow instructions. the trick is to get it from a reliable shop.

    M&S here just give you the precise timings, etc...Just take a duck...put it in the oven. Take it out. eat a lot of it. :)))

    @ Nata@ Really? Since the 7th grade? I love that expression, it is the best. what do you say then, a loser? It is not quite the same though. a saddo? :)

  8. @ Scary: well, I didn't give it much thought before, now that I think of it, I call myself "chushka nemitaya" when I do something loser'ish :) which I do a lot and often :):)

    @Anonymous: Chicago is an ex-Soviet party central. Serious Milwaukee party people go there for of all their fancy events: Petergoff, Versailles, Zhivago, etc. I haven't been to any of those places myself, they sound pretty kitschy, but probably fun every once in awhile.

  9. You see i'm normally too tired as we start celebrations on Christmas eve and eat herring, then dear husbands shows us english christmas (no herring) and then all visits from friends and relatives and i wish new year was a month away. And this year i was looking forward to eating my russian salad at home and watching crap TV, but husband thought differently. And it was great as the firework display was great and it was worth it just to see kiddies faces light up. Happy New Yearxx