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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Love Your Wife With A ?Yellow-Blue Vase'

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Let me begin with a banal statement: A woman loves with her ears. In my family life, I have rigidly adhered to this rule, and it has worked.

Once my wife and I took a vacation on the Black Sea at a resort near Gagra. While we were there, I heard that just 100 kilometers from us, in Batumi, Georgia, a touring dolphin circus was to perform. I do love marine animals! When I was doing my military service in the Far East, I witnessed the rescue of a sailor -- who was drowning in the Sea of Japan -- by dolphins. And so I suggested to my wife that we go to Batumi to see the show.

"No way!" she snapped. "Drop the idea! I remember seeing dolphins in the Far East. They're disgusting! I'm not going! In this heat, and with a change in Zugdidi? You won't even find a vacant kennel there at this time of year. No, I'm not going."

I took it on the chin, told my wife I loved her, and in the evening she told me that if I really wanted to go, I could go to Batumi on my own.

I pretended to be upset, but inside I was actually pretty pleased.

I won't recount how I got to Batumi and what joy I experienced watching the dolphins ...

When I was just a lad, I heard that during World War II, English sailors in the Far North with military convoys declared their love to the local girls without knowing a word of Russian. It was sufficient to utter three English words: "yellow," "blue," "vase." Which spoken quickly becomes in Russian: "Ya lyublyu vas."

In the morning, I went to the post office to send my wife this message: "Yellow-blue vase. Vladislav." However, the Georgian operator looked at me suspiciously and refused to send the telegram with its inscrutable text. "Talk to my boss," she snapped nervously. I tried to explain that the text was harmless, but it had no effect. So I went to her boss, who read through the text carefully several times and then asked what it meant. I explained. Then he recounted that a couple of days ago in Batumi (which borders with Turkey), a suspicious-looking fellow had been detained on suspicion of having crossed the border illegally. And the country's leadership had appealed to the public to be on alert. Anyway, they did send my telegram in the end.

I thought that my wife, on receiving the message, would ponder what it meant but in the end would recall how as a young sailor, I had once uttered the phrase to her during a tryst.

"What was the message you sent me?" My wife cursed me on my return. "I thought you'd gone mad and decided to buy some rare vase. You really need to see a psychiatrist."

"Silly," I responded tenderly, "surely you remember." And once again, I declared my love for her in English: "Yellow, blue, vase." And all was forgiven!

Vladislav Schnitzer is a journalist and pensioner living in Moscow.