The Russian proverb, “One battered person is worth two nonbattered ones,” merits consideration. Aren’t those unpummeled by fate on the foolish side, lacking wisdom gained through the miracle of enlightening only a good thrashing can offer? At this point in life, when I’ve been clobbered so many times, it’s borderline indecent, this statement makes me prized beyond rubies—a luxury item. Ah, just you wait. To undermine my ironclad logic, there is another old saw that says that less-dilapidated people bought in bulk are bargains—a penny a dozen on market day. How to reconcile the two? But this rude statement, with its faulty rationality and camouflaged scandalous stinginess, is a fact never proven by science. Perhaps it’s wise to disregard it, since the research methodology utilized is questionable at best. In all fairness, the difficulty of proving this hypothesis is rivaled only by that of disproving it. I could be a sensible woman. Though it would be nice to feel a little bit priceless.
Feel free to judge my outrageous claim for yourself. Allow me to share a few highlights. The mighty former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics is a place where I was given birth to by my mother, unwillingly on her side, but that could hardly be considered my fault. I didn’t begin my life alone—Mother was there for the birthing, but that’s as far as she’d go. It was only a matter of time till I realized how doomed I was.