The Irish Mammy versus The Latvian ‘Mamma’

Today is Mother’s Day in Latvia and it’s got me thinking about the differences between Irish and Latvian mothers. Naturally, it’s a bit generalised but feel free to get offended anyway.

To an Irish mammy, two things are of the utmost importance – that you’ve eaten enough and that you’re warm enough. From what I’ve seen, the priorities of the Latvian māte are a little different. (There’s no point in comparing fathers as Latvian men never get a say in anything.)

IM: You’re going out like that? You’ll catch your death! 

LM: You’re going out like that? Maybe you should take off a layer or two. How do you expect to trap catch a man looking like that?

IM: Who’s your friend? She’s very pretty. 

LM: Who’s your friend? She’s very pretty. I hope she won’t be too much competition.

IM: Who’s your friend? He’s very good-looking. (I wonder if she fancies him?)

LM: Who’s your friend? He’s very good-looking. (I wonder if he fancies me?)

IM: Have you decided what you want to do at university yet?

LM: Why haven’t you started reproducing yet?

IM: Go on, have another biscuit. A bird never flew on one wing.

LM: You’re having another biscuit? Do you think men like fat girls?

IM: (Hushed tones) She has three children by three different men…

LM: She has three children by three different men. You could learn something from her. 

IM: Don’t cry, love. There are plenty more fish in the sea. It’s his loss. 

LM: Don’t cry. It’s not over until you play the fake pregnancy card.

IM: You’re getting married? That’s fantastic! I’ll put the kettle on…

LM: You’re getting married? That’s fantastic! Now you can start making him really miserable…

IM: You’re pregnant? That’s fantastic! I’ll put the kettle on…

LM: You’re pregnant? That’s fantastic. He’s properly trapped now. 

Cheers, mam!

Cheers, mam!

So there you have it.

Happy Mother’s Day.

(And mam, if you’re reading this, yes, I’ve just eaten and I am warm enough.)

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About BerLinda

Adjusting to life in Germany, after living in Latvia for four years. Should be easy, right?
This entry was posted in Humor, Humour, Latvia, Latvian women, Love and Relationships and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

304 Responses to The Irish Mammy versus The Latvian ‘Mamma’

  1. CatLady says:

    *** If this is like the gazillionth posting if the same content, then that’s because via Twitter link on my mobile it’s not showing as “submitted”. So here we go again-

    I’ve noticed that there are a lot of blacks / greys in their wardrobe.
    Oh! And men wear waistcoats A LOT!
    Plus loads of moustaches, a bit like hillbilly Americans, with an occasional mullet to boot.
    Bad BO. Not exclusive to men.
    I’ll probably come up with more observations now that the Pandora’s box has been opened.

  2. rigaenglish says:

    I dunno, I just find parents here ridiculously overprotective. I don’t know about taking the layers off, a lot of the kids I see are crazily overdressed – do they really need to wear hats when it’s 10 degrees?! One student I teach pays for a chaperone to take her daughter from Kalku Iela in the Old Town to the French Lycee on Elizabetes. The daughter is 13. Another student asked me to teach her son. I said I’d have to charge for 3 hours (they live in Marupe) or the son would have to come to me. She baulked at that in horror. “He’s only 9! I couldn’t have him travelling on a bus by himself! It’s dangerous in Riga, haven’t you heard of the Imanta pervert?” I was going to school by myself when I was 7 and that was in Belfast, a city which in the early/mid 80s, was far more dangerous than Riga is.

    • Expat Eye says:

      I haven’t taught many kids here but I did teach a few 11-year-olds for a while. They were allowed to ride the bus by themselves, wander around central station area and take the train. One of their friends was cooking dinners for herself, her brother and his friend. I thought they were far too young to be wandering around like that and being in charge of a kitchen. I see tots walking around Riga by themselves in the mornings, crossing busy streets etc and I also think they’re far too young.
      And I just went for a walk in 13-degree heat and needed a hat 😉

    • Baiba says:

      I think, it depends on the child and most parents usually know their child well enough to decide to let him/her go by bus alone or not. I wouldn’t let my 8 year old, but her kindergarten sweetheart:), for example, drove the trolleybus (Nr 22 – it’s route goes through the dangerous neighborhood, where Linda lives:)) alone at age 7 already. Or went shopping. He is just that kind of kid and maybe if I was his mother, i would let him too. But not my sweet and slightly lightheaded daughter:)

      • Expat Eye says:

        Ha ha, yeah, you’d better be careful letting her go through my neighbourhood by herself!! 😉

      • rigaenglish says:

        Baiba, yeah that’s fair enough and if I had my own kids I’d probably do the same. But I just compare these fears about bus routes to my own memories at that age. Some of my friends in primary school took bus 12 in Belfast. The route of that went through what was called the Murder Mile, as there were about 50 people a year being killed at that time, in an area with a population less than Ventspils. Avotu in day time isn’t any worse for kids than any other of Riga, after dark, different story as Linda will tell you 😉

      • Expat Eye says:

        Ah, plenty of drunks but nothing too dangerous – or maybe I’m hardened to it at this stage 😉

    • Baiba says:

      Yes, when I remember my childhood, we used to be on our own too much more than children these days. At age of 8 we used to play outside and walk arount till it was really, really late, in summer even till maybe 1 or 2 a.m. Seriously, now I wonder, why our parents didn’t mind (mine started to say something, as I turned 15, but then they must have had another reasons:)). But then on the other hand it was a 1) different time and 2) different place – I lived in a very small town, not in Riga. Although my husband says, that he used to walk around or ride bicycle also in Riga, as he was about 6. But now neither he, nor me would consider our child to do the same. Somehow the whole world seems now a scarier place, I don’t know. Maybe that comes with age too.

      • Expat Eye says:

        Scary things probably happened back then, we just weren’t bombarded with them 24/7 the way we are now I guess. But you’re right – my childhood was pretty much the same as yours! I’d leave the house after breakfast and be out playing until it got dark – with maybe a quick stop-off during the day for food 😉

      • rigaenglish says:

        Baiba, yeah I think it’s like Linda says, the media reports a lot more of it than in the past. Sociologists have been puzzling for the last few years about this. People are becoming more and more worried about crime, even though crime has been falling for the last decade. The older generation complains about kids playing video games too much, but I honestly think that, deep down, parents are happy with that. If the kid is upstairs playing Gran Theft auto, they know exactly where he is and don’t need to worry.

      • Baiba says:

        Sure, the hysterical mass media have contributed to this fear. And we also have to consider, that 30 years ago there were no such regulations like now. I don’t know how it was in Ireland, but here you can hear stories about mothers tying their toddlers to the radiator and going to work, because there just was no other way. A situation, that is not possible now. And all these children are grownups now and mostly even not overly traumatised 🙂

      • Expat Eye says:

        Mothers tying their toddlers to radiators??

      • Baiba says:

        Tying the leg of the child with a rope to the radiator so, that the child is on the floor and can not fall down, and the rope is long enough for the kid to move around within a safe distance. Probably my English is not well enough to explain it properly:)

      • Expat Eye says:

        Your English is fine. I’m just kind of horrified.

      • Baiba says:

        Oh, well… Yeah, sounds really horrible, but actually if you have no choice, if you need to do it in order to keep your job… There is nobody to help you, you are rising the child alone. And there is no barintiesa, like now…

  3. bevchen says:

    LOL, love this!
    “I’ll put the kettle on…” and there we see the similarity between Ireland and England 😉

  4. Kavalkade Krew says:

    So are you pregnant yet?

  5. Ann Koplow says:

    Hilarious. Thank you.

  6. Mārtiņš says:

    Remembered a joke about the topic.
    Mother calling from a balcony – Peter, come home!
    A little one raises his head – am I freezing?
    – No, you’re hungry!

  7. OMG, some of these had me laughing so hard! I especially found “LM: Who’s your friend? He’s very good-looking. (I wonder if he fancies me?)” totally hilarious!! And it is safe to conclude that Irish Moms and Latvian moms are very, VERY different!!

  8. Sharn says:

    lol

    Let’s not even go into what a Turkish mother would say… you’re ears would burn! My mother is a shocker.

    But I do love her. Crazy woman that she is!

  9. eNVee says:

    Linda, I hope you never have to hear something like that about your mom! (yes yes, I want to lecture you) Even if “it’s a bit generalised” so untrue and based exclusively on her nationality. Now feel free to get offended. 😛

    Thumbs up for Nikolajs version and your Daugavpils trip notes! 😉

    Probably my mum and grandmother are Irish-Latvian, will have to ask them again… hmmm…

  10. lafemmet says:

    Loved this!!! I think it applies here too! 😦 Again I could blog post in your comments, but I don’t have time.

    • Expat Eye says:

      I was wondering what you would think of it! Had a feeling it would be pretty similar where you are! 🙂

      • lafemmet says:

        I do think sometimes guys get the girls preggers just to have a kid…and so she can take care of it. and him. The men go from mamma’s boob to the wife’s! The men are def more pathetic!

      • Expat Eye says:

        Ha, from nip to nip 😉 Do you think the men were born pathetic or if the women made them that way? This kind of stuff fascinates me 😉

      • lafemmet says:

        Kinda of a chicken verses egg question… lol I do ponder the same thing, I do think here the mom’s tend to make the men the way they are. So frustrating! Why would women do that to other women? But I think they are so proud to have produced a boy… Whoopie! Another penis! 😉 They have fulfilled their duty of progressing the family name.

      • Expat Eye says:

        Ha, another penis! Definitely a matriarchal society here – for all the male posturing. One stamp of a stiletto has them quivering in their boots 😉

  11. I bet your mum is feeling very reassured.

  12. Very funny post. The Latvian momma sounds like fun. 🙂

  13. Diana says:

    “LM: Who’s your friend? He’s very good-looking. (I wonder if he fancies me?)” – – this was so funny!

  14. What about moms teaching sons? I could add few examples. 😀

    Me: Mom, I’ve new girlfriend.
    Mom: You’re not going to bring her to my house, are you?

    Me: Mom, me and my girlfriend just broke up.
    Mom: Thank god! I hope that you was smart enough to use contraceptives, wasn’t you?

    Me: Mom, I’ve met some very special girl…
    Mom: I won’t ever watch you kids. Don’t even ask!

    Me: Mom, what do you think about my girlfriend?
    Mom: You want honest or polite answer?

    Me: Mom, what do you think about neighbor’s daughter?
    Mom: Don’t you dear to even think about it!

    Me: Hi mom! I would like to introduce you my new girlfriend this weekend.
    Mom: You don’t expect that I will feed you, do you?

    Me: Mom I’ve met a girl. She is very beautiful.
    Mom: What’s her occupation?
    Me: She isn’t working right now.
    Mom: I’ll beat that greedy hoe with shitty stick!

    Mom: I’m fed up with your single lifestyle! When will you finally provide me some grandchildren?
    Me: I’m working on it.
    Mom: Do I know her?
    Me: You will soon. She is tattoo artist.
    Mom: I’ll kill her!
    Me: Stop whining! Do you want grandchildren or not?
    Mom: Excuse me for making a slip. I wanted to say that I’ll kill both of you!

    P.S. I love my mom!

    P.P.S. Tautieši, jēl aizņemieties no kāda humora izjūtu! 😀

    • Expat Eye says:

      Oh god, that made me laugh! I’m also laughing with relief that I did OK with your mum when I met her! At least I think I did 😉
      P.S. If she reads this, she really will kill you 🙂

      • Well, surprisingly she likes foreign girls a lot. 🙂 Besides in all conversations I’ve mentioned she was just joking. And I love her for that. 🙂 Probably she is the reason why I value sense of humor in women more than anything else. 🙂
        P.S. She doesn’t read your blog, but sends you best wishes anyway! 😉

      • Expat Eye says:

        Aw, tell her I said hello! And thanks again for letting me in the door 🙂

  15. Pingback: a little bit of this and a little bit of that | my year[s] of sweat!

  16. Mūdzis says:

    …wow. Now that was low.

  17. Actually, this post made me sad. After seeing so many “thank you” for Mums for their support, love and sacrifices they have made just to make their kids lives better, you choose to make fun of that, based on just some people you have met.
    Just sad. And obviously I don’t have to say I disagree.
    Here’s a post to think about: http://krista.lv/2014/05/maminu-diena/

    • Expat Eye says:

      That’s just too sad. I’m depressed now.
      And you know I’m never going to write an emotional, gushing post – I love my mam, she knows that!

      • For everyone – THEIR Mum will be the best, no matter what – the most beautiful and lovely, therefore, I think it wasn’t nice (especially on Mothers day) to laugh and somehow diminish someones mother by saying – this nationality Mums are better than these.
        And still waiting for the positive post.

      • Expat Eye says:

        The Daugavpils stuff wasn’t especially negative – just honest! Not sure what the next post is going to be about – will have to see if inspiration strikes… 😉

  18. I would laugh out loud if it weren’t somewhat painful to laugh on this. I’m 32, unmarried, no kids, haven’t got an apartment to call my own property, haven’t launched into successful career per se, so in the eyes of way too many people, and even some smug marrieds around me (and quite a bunch of my relatives) I’m a lost case. Lucky me, I do not feel all that miserable and ‘lost’, and would even call myself perfectly happy, if I weren’t a hot topic whenever my family gathers or I meet with some of those not so happily married but still smug friends with kids. Being constantly asked when I’m going to settle and start popping kids sometimes is getting on my nerves, and quite hard. I just don’t get it, why a young woman with no offsprings and attachments is such a big deal in Lithuania and apparently in Latvia too.

    • Expat Eye says:

      I really can’t see why it’s anyone else’s business! Some women want to get married and have a family, some don’t. Live and let live.
      Also ‘smug married’ – 🙂 It’s a while since I’ve heard that!

      • Me thinks so too, but somehow way too many people have a different opinion and they think they have a legitimate or even constitutional right to comment on my status pissing me off every time. And talking of smug marrieds, I wouldn’t be so pissed at them if at least 90 percent of them were indeed happily married with or w/o kids. Unfortunately, like 90 percent of my own ‘smug marrieds’ are just married and not so happy at all. I’d say even vice versa. And since I’m at this time am drawing conclusions judging from what I see of these marriages, I just don’t want to end up raising kids, one of which would be a fully grown up man, who spends most of his spare time slouching on a sofa with a can of beer or indulging on his hobbies such as fishing/drinking with his buddies, etc., leaving all house and child rearing duties to his tired wife. That’s definitely not my idea of a family. But if I snag meself a man who’s not a couch and beer potato some time in the future, then who knows, maybe I’ll step in my cousin’s shoes and start popping kids one after another until my mom would start complaining that she never wanted more than 3 grandchildren, just as my uncle now does since he has 15 grandchildren from his 3 kids, 10 of which are of his only daughter 😉

      • Expat Eye says:

        Jesus, 10 children?! Is she trying to start her own football team??
        And yes, I think you’re right – I think these smug marrieds are basically bored of their own lives, wondering where it all went wrong, and trying to drag the rest of us down to their level 😉 Well, I for one won’t be dragged 😉 I’m perfectly happy being single – if the ‘right one’ comes along, well and good. If not, I’d rather be single and happy than lumbered with some good-for-nothing couch potato 🙂 Stay strong 🙂

      • Amen to that 🙂 Single and happy is so much better than unhappy, grumpy and married.
        Regarding my cousin, I don’t know what she thinks. Maybe at some point she decided that being a housewife and stay at home mom is easier than trying to make it in a job market or something, but my uncle definitely has issued her some sort of ultimatum. Since he lives alone and is used to peace and quiet, his daughter is sort of not allowed to bring over for a visit more than a half of her kids, or he threatens not to let them into his house when they come knocking that much of ruckus this bunch is making 😀

      • Expat Eye says:

        I can imagine! And the cost of supporting 10 kids – wow! I can’t imagine that being a mother of 10 is easier than trying to make it in the job market but different strokes!

    • eNVee says:

      Somewonderland, there is an easy way to stop those ugly questions. Whenever they start this again – try to look very concerned, serious and ask them “when exactly are you going to die?” Trust me – there will be no questions anymore! 😉

  19. Azra says:

    I really wonder what kind of (and how many) latvian mothers you have really met to be able to generalise so much and so wrongly? It seems you’ve chosen one uneducated, self- (or diet-obsessed female prototype to generalise about all latvian moms. But sure, if you would write the truth about the average mother, there would not be much what to write and not many readers. It is a pitty though

  20. Very funny! Made me a tiny bit misty as well.

  21. barbedwords says:

    Very funny, you have a wicked way with words 😉

  22. Anta says:

    Well, I don’t know about your mum, but according to my mum nothing of written is true! She has only cared of my well being, wether I wear warm clothes enough, wether I finish the highest education to ensure my future. She never has seen me as reproductive maschine, actually quite opposite… Where u have seen such a mum I really wonder. Maybe u just were not lucky …

  23. MrJohnson says:

    Chinese moms are like Irish moms except at the end of those lines you have to add, “it better not cost me money or you’re dead.”

  24. Gunta says:

    Oh Linda, none of this applies to my mom and any other Latvian mom I know. Mothers are pretty much the same everywhere and Latvia is no exception.
    I think you need a breath of fresh air and a change of scenery – this last post was just plain bitter and mean and you know I love your writing!

    G

  25. Paul says:

    Happy Mother’s Day (belated in Ireland)! Nicely controversial post.

  26. I. says:

    Funny, Linda, but it is bull*t 😀 (i.e. not true at all).

    • Expat Eye says:

      I dunno – I think there’s always an element of truth! Of course, not everyone is like this but… 😉

      • Edijs says:

        And Ireland is full with fat slobs and large beer bellies who have prominent disregard to their own appearance. Of course, not everyone is like that but there’s always an element of truth in it. 😉

      • Expat Eye says:

        I would definitely say that the Irish aren’t as focused on their appearance as the Latvians. But I don’t think that’s a bad thing 😉

      • I. says:

        Well maybe some old fashioned mothers in the very deep countryside are like that. I must say that neither my mother, nor any of my grandmothers have been like that. Nor my friend’s mothers that I know. My mother has always been pushing me to succeed in my career, obtain the best possible education. An element of truth is in that you could probably find mothers like your “Latvian mammas” in Ireland, Latvia, USA, Argentina, etc.

      • Expat Eye says:

        Yeah, I think mothers should just want you to be happy – whatever form that takes 🙂

  27. Lana says:

    Well, wenn I was 20, my Latvian grandmother told me, that i won’t be so young and beautiful for long, so I need to hurry up, otherwise I’ll end up like my aunts. They’re not married yet( 35 and 37 years old) and is the shame of the family 😀 And thank you for the blog, as a Latvian expat in Berlin I’ve enjoyed its precision a lot!

    • Expat Eye says:

      Shit, I’d be the shame of your family too – 36 years old, childless, and owning my own business – what man would want that!? 😉
      I’m thinking of Berlin as my next home – we might meet at some point! 🙂

      • Lana says:

        Regarding the typical Latvian men i think you’re pretty hopeless(so am I). But then again, I believe that in understanding the charm of Latvian men genetic factors play the most significant role( I blame my slavic blood for my immunity against them) 🙂 And if you’re sure that you can leave these Gifts of God behind you and move to Berlin, we can definitely meet at some miserable autumn evening in Berlin and share the stories about being miserable in Latvia, that could bring some Schadenfreude!

      • Expat Eye says:

        Ha ha, sounds great! Yeah, I think I’m immune to the charms of Latvian man 😉 Or any man right now – just focusing on writing, learning German and making money before the move – men just get in the way 🙂

      • Lana says:

        Wow, learning German, my sympathies! I’ve done it, still can’t say that i love it( apart from Marcel Reich-Ranicki, he had the most beautiful German in this world, i can recommend him as an appetizer). And i wish you luck in your almost utopian wish to earn money in Latvia. And keep a safe distance from those Latvian men ( as a med student i can tell you, that sometimes immunity fails, and then it’s really ugly :D), Latvian women will be grateful as well 🙂

      • Expat Eye says:

        Yeah, I can live without the death stares 🙂 Rest easy Latvian women, your men are safe 😉

  28. zoja says:

    This is demeaning and plain rude. I hope that your Irish mom will have a nice mother’s day though.

  29. Gene'O says:

    Funny I should find this today. I wrote a post at one of my blogs this weekend about how strange and cool it is to have 20-30 Latvian twitter followers. No idea where they came from.

    • Expat Eye says:

      Ha! Maybe they came from me! 🙂

      • Gene'O says:

        Perhaps. That would be very cool and if so, thanks! 🙂

        I’m also a Melo-M fan, and post their videos sometime. Could be that, as well.

      • Expat Eye says:

        Could be that then 🙂 The Latvians get everywhere, without my help 😉

      • Gene'O says:

        Hehe. Funny, I don’t have much following from any other Baltic country, nor enough from any other country in that part of the world to show up in the Twitter stats. But the Latvian following is comparable to what I get from NY, Philadelphia, Paris, London, and California.

      • Expat Eye says:

        Interesting! I know a Canadian woman probably gets hits from mine as she comments on the posts a lot – mainly saying ‘Get out of that country’ 🙂

      • Gene'O says:

        I don’t know enough about Lativia to say that, but I do get on well with Canadians. U.K., Canada, and Australia together account for about 1/3 of my overall social media following. 🙂

      • Expat Eye says:

        I get most of my followers in Latvia – both expats and locals. The expats mainly agree with everything I say but say nothing as they’d rather I was the one to get shot 😉 Then I guess Latvians living abroad and other expats!

      • Gene'O says:

        indeed. I have to run, but I’m following you on Twitter before I do. @Sourcererblog is me 😉

        It’s been very nice chatting – we should do it again!

      • Expat Eye says:

        For sure! 🙂 Pop back any time! 🙂

  30. IM – This a great post, love. It really made me laugh, and I think other people would have found it funny too!
    LM – You think that was funny? You’ve probably ruined your chances of catching a man now.

    Sorry, I couldn’t resist – it was a great post and made me laugh out loud. 😀

  31. Juune says:

    Well, Latvian moms are obviously sincerely worried about our low fertility rates, doh! According to this http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SP.DYN.TFRT.IN Irish moms have much less to worry about, with Ireland’s fertility rate quite close to the replacement fertility rate of 2.1, while Latvia’s is only 1.4!
    More seriously, though, indeed as somebody posted already “mammy” is more likely to correspond “mamma” [“māmiņa”, if trust translate.google.com ], while “māte” is “mother” and sounds a tad disrespectful in the context of this post :/

  32. nancytex2013 says:

    Hilarious!! Oh…let the hate mail begin!! 🙂

  33. I think this time your observations are not very right. I didn’t find my mum or me as mum or any known Latvian mum in any of them.

  34. Paula says:

    This is just so rude! And mean! Really? Why do you need to spread such negative, generalized statements?

    • Expat Eye says:

      Just sharing what I’ve seen and heard – you can take it as seriously as you want to!

      • Paula says:

        Where exactly do you find these people? In the toilets of central train station? I’m just sad that you only see the negative. Guess you get what you look for!

      • Expat Eye says:

        I haven’t used the toilets at the train station. In the bus station toilets, I found a pantless homeless woman washing her knickers and trousers in the sink. I didn’t ask her if she had kids though.

  35. :) says:

    I wonder – what kind of people do you hang out with? it’s soooo not true

    • Expat Eye says:

      Getting married and having babies isn’t important in LV??

      • Baiba says:

        Sure it is. Just like everywhere else, I guess. Otherwise we would die out, wouldn’t we?

      • Expat Eye says:

        Here it seems to be the be all and end all for women though. I’ve had a student tell me that ‘if I don’t have children, I’m wasting my natural resources.’ Hmm. 😉

      • :) says:

        No, it is. It’s just, I have never met a Latvian mom, who would put that as priority. Priorities to them are the same as for your mom or any other mom in any other country – that you’ve eaten enough and that you’re warm enough. Rest depends on person, not on nationality.
        Anyway, I love your blog, please keep posting. It’s very interesting to see your opinion, even though, I may not agree with it sometimes.

      • Expat Eye says:

        Thank you very much! I don’t expect people to agree with me all the time – I know it has a negative slant! I just get irritated by all the happy clappy Latvian sites so I go in the opposite direction. Probably somewhere in the middle is the truth 😉

      • Baiba says:

        But you do understand, that it’s only those few people, that you have met? That it’s not all latvian women? And – we love our moms too… This was the first time since I was reading your blog, that I felt offended.

      • Expat Eye says:

        Sorry, you know I like that you read the blog – and your comments! It’s meant to be more of a message, than an attack on mothers – basically, that there’s life beyond men. Study, work, travel, eat, read… don’t rush into the marriage and babies thing. Don’t settle. Never settle.

      • Baiba says:

        I’m sure, there are such women, which are obsessed with this idea of getting a man, but happily I don’t see them. Would be frustrating.

      • Expat Eye says:

        Yeah, it would drive me insane 🙂 I once had an 18-year-old student, perfect English, about to go to university abroad etc, tell me that she didn’t have a boyfriend like it was the end of the world. I just find that so sad!

      • Baiba says:

        Ah, that’s the age. When your friends have something that you don’t and you have to have it too. Been there, done that. Luckily it passes soon enough

      • Expat Eye says:

        Yeah, thank god for that. I wouldn’t be a teenager again for any money!

      • Baiba says:

        What a terrible thought 🙂 well, in a few years I’ll be a mom of a teenager, lucky me, and will have a chance to see it from the other side. I guess it will make me love my mom even more 🙂

      • Expat Eye says:

        Ha ha! The terrible teens 🙂 Best of luck! And keep the antiseptic spray handy 😉

      • Baiba says:

        🙂 will do 🙂

    • Lāsma says:

      The hot and intellectual ones.

  36. IM: says:

    Isn’t it about time “I” put the kettle on? !!

  37. Aggie says:

    Irish – mummy, latvian – mamma, irish – mother, latvian – māte…

  38. isbergamanda says:

    Goodness, if I had a Latvian mate I would probably slap her! Your post made me LOL!

    -Amanda at http://teachingwanderlust.com/

  39. 1WriteWay says:

    This post was delightful and, of course, leaves one wanting to have the Irish Mammy 😉 The Latvian mate reminds me of American culture and even of Lily Bart’s mother in Edith Wharton’s House of Mirth. I’m only a few pages into the novel and am reading it for the first time. It takes place in 1890s New York, and Bart is an unmarried woman approaching 30 and desperate to find a husband. When a young girl, her family fell into financial ruin, the shame of it eventually killing her mother who emphasized that Lily’s only asset (and thus opportunity for a successful marriage) was her physical beauty. Contemporary American culture still emphasizes attractiveness and money as the keys to happiness. I’d rather have biscuits 😉

    • Expat Eye says:

      Me too 😉 And cake and wine 🙂 Yeah, it’s very much about the surface here. Every second building is a beauty salon, hairdressers or solarium. Ridiculous.

      • Mārtiņš says:

        I must share a little secret about every second building and beauty saloons.
        When a successful businessman finds out that his girl friend or wife becomes too much irritating of doing nothing, being unproductive and her favourite serial is Desperate Housewives, they buy her a beauty saloon.
        It shouldn’t necessarily be profitable. He can sponsor it for quite a while. Perhaps he can even find a new mistress.
        Linda, come on, we don’t have so many women who could afford filling up that number of beauty academies, institutes and embassies (yes, some are call like that), nor we have enough metrosexuals, and gay percentage among population is the same as in every other country.

      • Expat Eye says:

        Wow, just wow.

  40. June says:

    Mammy’s are great, aren’t they?! No matter what it is that they’re trying to convince you to do (or not do) it’s always with your best interests at heart! I think Lithuanians must be more convivial than Latvians – I’ve never heard anyone being chided for having another slice of cake. In fact they tend to feed you way to much when you visit (which is obviously torture to a girl who thinks almost exclusively about food!)
    Happy Mother’s Day to mams everywhere!

  41. freebutfun says:

    Based on some latter feedback I sound pretty Irish…

  42. lizard100 says:

    I’ve just realised there’s Latvian in my heritage. I think my mother is half Latvian!
    “Have a biscuit with that cup of tea, mind you’re not diabetic!”
    “She’ll eat ALL the potatoes, get in while you can!”
    “Hmmm her arms might be thin but you haven’t seen the rest of her!”

  43. astrameklere says:

    Linda, I don’t want to disappoint you, but Latvian moms also care mostly about that you’ve eaten enough and that you’re warm enough. 🙂

  44. Anna says:

    No wonder the Latvia ladies arent your fans…
    I KID I KID!!!
    The three that rang true to me (bc you know the Latvia from Russia don’t fall that far away):
    IM: Have you decided what you want to do at university yet?
    LM: Why haven’t you started reproducing yet?
    *
    IM: (Hushed tones) She has three children by three different men…
    LM: She has three children by three different men. You could learn something from her.

    IM: Don’t cry, love. There are plenty more fish in the sea. It’s his loss.
    LM: Don’t cry. It’s not over until you play the fake pregnancy card.

    Also, my mommy keeps crying because I am too fat while offering me ice cream at least twice a day.

  45. CrazyCatLady says:

    Brilliant!!!
    Actually – it’s scarily accurate!!! Russian mama’s are the same from what I’ve seen / remember.
    For purposes of balance just want to add that I was a part of tomboy / bland / four-eyes / geek group, clearly some LM’s are “failing”.
    Can’t speak of my own mother, she was a cuckoo mum so my upbringing was left to my German grandma (hence I was in the said group, rather than chasing boys; I was gloriously fat (for Latvia), make-up free, academical, career driven “Monica”).

    • Expat Eye says:

      Ha ha! Well, I’d rather be career driven than man driven – that’s for sure! You were probably lucky to be raised by a German grandma 😉

      • CrazyCatLady says:

        I must be my mother’ biggest disappointment. Oh well, such is life. Thankfully, living in leafy suburbs of an affluent English town, with the most wonderful partner and a house full of mad cats comforts me.
        Shivers go down my spine when I think I could’ve ended up looking 50 at 30 (like most those girls do), resemble Yeltsin after all that partying (again, like most of those girls do), work on a market stall (nowt wrong with that if it’s your career choice or genuine survival; I’m referring to “the only option left due to lack of education), highlight of my life being some equally bloated, aged before his time guy chatting to me. Oh I could go on.
        Ghastly!

      • Expat Eye says:

        Yep, and you’d be bloody grateful that he was talking to you too 😉 Then you’d have to start formulating a plan to steal his sperm 😉

  46. Hahahaha! Crazy and funny. Or should I say, funny but crazy! LMAO

  47. Jude says:

    Happy Mother’s Day Mrs.O’Grady!

  48. Owen Barker says:

    You made me laugh…lol

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