The Mrs. arrives in Moscow tomorrow. After not having seen her for several months now, I'm nearly going insane with anticipation, but luckily I have some pickles and beet salad to comfort me for the next few hours.
Though this is my fifth stint in Russia, this will be her first time over here. I'll confess, while Russia has always been a major part of my life, it's been a surprisingly small part of our relationship. While there was less of a boundary while we were dating in college, now Russia tends to get filed under "work," and is thus not something we spend a lot of time discussing at home in the evenings. After all, we have other mutual interests and hobbies, and we each have our own individual interests. Russia happens to be one of mine, in addition to being my career.
I also think that my fascination (bordering on obsession) with Russia has always seemed to her as one of my eccentricities, something she doesn't question but is patiently tolerant of even if she doesn't understand it. When we first met there were two Lenins, and I'm sure they raised an eyebrow. By the time we got married, there were 14, and by then they had just become part of the scenery. Now that there are 36 Lenins, I'm not sure what her reaction will be. Actually, I do know: she'll laugh at them (or me?), shake her head a few times, and then propose that we rearrange the Lenins to act out a fighting scene or something. "But they're all friends!" I protested the last time she suggested this...
Needless to say, I'm looking forward to seeing her in Russia. And I don't just mean seeing her, I mean seeing her experience Russia. I want to see how she reacts to the "other woman" in my life (Mother Russia), the woman who has kept us apart for the last several months and made me smell perpetually of garlic. I want to see what Russia looks like through my best friend's eyes since I know it will look entirely different than how I see it.
To be honest, I secretly want her to fall in love with Russia too. Maybe not as head-over-heels as I did (although I won't protest if she wants to start her own Soviet statuary collection), but enough so that it's not so foreign to her anymore. It reminds me of the Soviet-era joke stating that newlyweds needed a triple-wide bed because "Lenin is always with us." In our case, Russia is always with us, and while the Mrs. laid down the law when we moved in together ("No Lenins in the bedroom" were her exact words), I'm hoping that Russia will become a bigger part of our lives together.
And I suppose what I'm really hoping for is that some of my "eccentricities" will be explained when she sees the place that created them...
So, I hope you'll forgive me if I'm lax about posting during the next couple of weeks, as we'll be wandering all over Moscow, St. Petersburg, and possibly even Ulyanovsk (birthplace of Lenin and home to the Lenin memorial museum and complex!!!) discovering ourselves and the mysterious woman called "Rossiya."