In November of 2006 I called my ma to talk turkey about Turkey Day.
"We're invited to some friends for Thanksgiving," said Mamma M. "Would you like to come along?"
"Sure," I said; I didn't have anything else going on, and my parents' friends are generally pretty diverting.
"Great!" said ma. "I should warn you, though - there's going to be an old Russian woman there."
"Oh?" I responded, wondering idly where this topic could possibly be going.
"Her name is Svetlana," ma continued, "And the thing you need to know about her is that she's Stalin's daughter."
"As in...Josef Stalin? The mass-murdering tyrant?"
"The same. And here's the deal - she really, really doesn't want to talk about Stalin."
"So...ixnay on the Alinstay?"
So...it's Thanksgiving, and we arive at a cozy farmhouse in rural Lone Rock. We go in, make our introductions, and sure enough - there's an older woman with a notable Eastern European accent sitting by the fire. Being an obliging sort, I sit down next to her.
"How are you?" I say to Stalin's daughter.
She grunts at me. "When's dinner?" she asks, with a discernable petulant note to her tone.
"I'll check," I respond obligingly. I get up and seek out one of our hosts, who is busying himself in the kitchen.
"Hi Jack," I say. "Svetlana wants to know what time dinner is."
"We'll eat about six," Jack responds; then adds, "Tell her there's pie."
"Dinner's at six," I announce to Svetlana upon my return. "Jack told me to tell you that there will be pie."
She brightened notably at this. "We can eat pie, then?" she asked hopefully.
"Well, typically you eat the dinner first, and then the pie."
Her face sunk. "I suppose that's right," she grumbled.
So - when people ask about what I said to Stalin's daughter, I always tell them that we mostly talked about pie.
Which seems fitting, somehow. If I had survived life with a monstrous tyrant, I'd be one pie-eating son of a bitch.