My Russian Heritage?

For the second time in my life, I have been approached randomly for my Russian-ness. The first time it happened, I was in an overpriced coat store at the Mall of America. The clerk walked up to me and babbled some confused sounds. I gave him an equally confused look, wondering if my ears had swashed up the phonemes and created new and novel sound patterns unexplored by language. My ears have, on many occasions, distorted real English and Spanish phrases into a systematized series of Wah-wah's and bu-bu-bu-bu's.

"Oh," he said, "You are not Russian?"

I thought of this incident in a few ways.

1)I must look really fucking Russian for a stranger to approach me with the language.
2) That clerk had come up with a clever rapport-building dialogue, sure to make me more friendly and coat-interested.
3)It was a fluke. The clerk was unaware of how unRussian I actually look.
4)I have all the characteristics of a bitter soviet flower, but these characteristics apply equally well to bitter american flowers who don't wear enough make-up.

Today, a similar event took place. I stood outside the Starlight, smoking a cigarette, as an old man walked past me. He turned around, walked back, and asked me if I was from Russia. I told him no, but some people in my family do have eastern European backgrounds. He talked about how Russian I looked, and how his friend has a Russian wife, and, apparently, she could be my stunt double when I finally take my free-wheeling, tin-whistling, essay-writing self to the silver screen.

But for this to happen twice in one lifetime? Should I explore the possibilities of a mysterious Russian heritage further?

To begin my search, I used google image to find pictures of "Russian." Here are a few of my findings.

And after all that, I learned something important. Unless Russians are spies or poisoned, they all look pretty...non distinct. There are many Russian faces, and I can't isolate any features, until they've been poisoned. Then I can quickly locate my sunken eyes, bulbous nose, jutty cheek bones, pale skin, my illness-haute-couture-a-la-mode.

Yes, I look like a dying Soviet spy. But I wear it well.


madam tyrant said...

Do you have multiple large moles on your face with course black hair growing out of them? I'm pretty sure that's one way to tell.

Anna Nym said...

While I do have several moles on my face, they are all small and none of them have hair...yet.

But if I ever did get hairs, I'd have the good sense to pluck that shit.