Dare to ask Dare
Expats and Russians alike ask celebrity columnist Deidre Dare questions about life in Moscow.
Photo by Maria Savelieva
I do not understand why Western girls do
not use attractive pictures of themselves
on their Facebook profiles. Sometimes
they even use photo of a flower or mountain!
Why don’t they do it like Russian
girls and be very sexy?
Dear Likes a Good Visual:
You’ve got me. I have absolutely no
idea and have often wondered about
this myself. Though I agree with you
that flowers and mountains are awful, I
find the Western women who post their
child’s picture as their profile shot even
What it basically means when they do
that is that these women have subsumed
their entire identity into their offspring.
They have simply disappeared as individuals
- and it seems to me that since
that is what is expected from mothers in
the West these days, they are only blindly
reflecting the society they live in. See?
This is one of those Western “values”
that I hope never arrives here. It would
only oppress Russian women, who I admire
a lot for their naked individuality
whether they are mothers or not.
As for your scenes of nature ladies, I’ve
decided that the only possible explanation
for posting such a picture is that
these chicks must be really butt ugly.
And Russian women never are.
I am an expat woman and I want to fix
up two people I know here in Moscow.
The guy is an expat friend of mine who’s
been looking for a wife and the girl a
Russian I met in my building. Any advice?
Dear Matchmaker, Matchmaker,
Make Me a Match:
I was in the middle of doing the exact
same thing recently when I realised that
I was fixing up the man of my dreams.
I think it was all that “Oh, he’s very
smart and kind” and the “Yes, he does
work out and make a lot of money”
stuff that finally clued me in: there
aren’t a lot of those guys running
Best we keep them to ourselves, eh?
If I’ve learned anything, I’ve learned
that Russian girls can take care of themselves
in this department. They really
don’t need a helping hand from us.
I got fired and my husband left me. I feel
just awful about everything and feel very
depressed. What would you do if you
Dear Troubled One:
Think of yourself as going through
your own personal Russian Time of
Troubles. Something that happens to us
all on occasion.
In America, a lot of people get comfort
from the acronym WWJD, which
means “What would Jesus do?”
I invented a different question however
and it might just help you.
I use WWSD. Which means “What
would Scarlett do?” and refers to that
hell-bent-on-survival character, Scarlett
O’Hara from GWTW (which means
“Gone with the Wind.”)
In any crisis as difficult as yours, I ask
myself “WWSD?” and take whatever actions
I decide Scarlett would take if she
were in my shoes.
Frankly, my dear, TIAD.
Which means, chin up! Tomorrow is
How are you doing in this smoke? I am
thinking of leaving Moscow very quickly.
Dear General Kutuzov:
Hopefully, by the time we go to print,
the fires will be out and this question
will just remind us all of how lucky we
are that the bitter unbearable winter is
coming at last.
I try to think of these smoky days as
Napoleonic. In other words, I like to
imagine that this is what it was like for
the Grande Armee when they entered a
burning and deserted Moscow in 1812.
Sure, most of them died. But remember:
it wasn’t the summer that got them.
It was the winter.
I am an American and I married a Russian
woman and now I realise she is
crazy. I am very unhappy – what do I do?
It is a disaster.
It almost always is, my friend, it almost
Scarlett’s unhappy marriages always
ended up with her husband dying in
some battle. But since the Grand Armee
is gone from Moscow, that probably
doesn’t help you very much.
I suggest you volunteer in Iraq and
pray you die in some battle.