View Full Version : Series of unfortunate events - the tragicomic life of Syväsalmi girls.

04-28-2009, 06:19 PM
I and my sister, Laura, whom I love more than anyone in the world, have had quite an eventful life. And more is yet to come, knowing us. We've been writing together about it, just for fun. So this isn't really undying literary, but I just thought you'd know us better after reading our stories. And hopefully you'll have a tiny smile on your face. :)

04-28-2009, 06:28 PM
Let me begin with my sister's story.

This would be really funny if it wasn't happening to me - the story of our life.

I look at the bags under my eyes. Not a pretty sight.. There's not much sleep been had, what with stressing about things I'd left till the last minute, again, and overactive 2-year-olds screaming at an inhuman hour in the morning. No, the face looking back at me in the mirror really isn't a pretty sight. It's not until I find myself steering a ladyshaver slathered in toothpaste towards my mouth that I burst out in a desperate laughter, which, incidentally isn't too far from tears.

Yeah, this would be really funny if it wasn't happening to me. The text from an old postcard I found in a junkshop in Oxford comes to my mind again. The stories of the mishaps from my life are enough to fill a book. Which is why I started writing this in the first place.I've always known myself to be a bit accident prone, and the accounts of my adventures have had my family and friends varying from tears of laughter to pure exasparation. Surely there's no one in this world that manages this many stupid things in only a short 23 years?

Alas, you haven't met my sister yet. Having had four years more time than me to really mess things up, my sister has become the master of accidental comedy. Welcome to share our story with us.A couple of things you need to know about me and my sister. Liisa was the firstborn in our family. I'll let her tell you all about that. And now to the important stuff; me. I was born four years later. I think my parents needed a break after my sister. She wasn't the calmest or easiest of all kids. But as photos and endless stories tell, it was love at first sight. She could not keep away from me. And it's pretty much stayed that way ever since. We've always shared everything, from tears to laughter, good and bad memories, and the incredible capacity for tragicomedy. It took me a while to learn to share her love for the written word, but ever since I did, you could not keep me from reading and writing.

Bored yet? The stories I recount follow no chronological order, just the order I happen to remember them in. I've also asked for the help of a couple of friends to refresh my memory. There's only so many stupid things one brain can hold. Especially a brain that's suffered several severe concussions. I stopped counting at 10.. Ran out of capacity.. First one I remember was when I was living in England at the age of 10. Just a plain falling over, and hitting my head. But that was closely followed by rolling downhill on top of a roll of hay, consequently falling off, face first, and the massive roll of hay rolling over me. These were later followed by several other incidents, some more comical than others.

Picture this: it's a beautiful summer morning, the sun already high in the sky, making you feel even worse than you already are. I was feeling a bit worse for wear the morning after the night before, wearing the makeup from the night before, or whatever was still left of it. People were looking at me funny, everyone recognizes a walk of shame when they see one. Anyways, I was on my way to my best friend's, with strict orders to bring over a microwave pizza and a large bottle of coke. So I walk into the shop on the way, and start counting my pennies on the way to the counter. Not only was the shop assistant quite good looking, but also disgustingly cheery. So of course, concentrating on counting my change, I wasn't looking where I was going, ended up hitting my pubic bone on the corner of the counter, and as a result of the surprise and the pain, I proceeded to chuck all my change down my cleavage. So here's this lovely, happy polite guy looking at me with what can only be described as despair, trying not to wet himself with laughter, as I pull out the correct change from inside my bra.

Fortunately, shame is never as bad as when shared with a friend, which is why I was so glad Roosa was with me, when a metal chair collapsed from underneath me. We were at an ice-cream cafe, having a chat and a giggle, when all of a sudden time seemed to turn into slow motion. All of a sudden I got a sinking feeling, as if the floor underneath me was giving way. I remember thinking, "this is bizarre, I wonder if anyone else is noticing this". I did register a slight look of surprise on Roosa's face, but as our reaction time isn't that great at the best of times, and trust me, this wasn't the best of times, none of us had a chance to even utter a word until I was flat on my back on the floor. Before I'd even realized what had just happened, Roosa was laughing so hard she had tears flowing from her eyes. Turns out the back legs of the chair I was sitting on, decided to fold from underneath me. Needless to say, as we were in the city center, there was a fair few people looking on and giggling at me. So I did the only thing one can do at that point, took a bow and exited the scene swiftly. At this point I was slightly worried for Roosa's health, as she was barely breathing at this point from laughing so hard.

Not that I can't entertain on my own just as well.. Quite happily, walking around the city center on my own. before telling you this particular incident, you have to understand something. I'd been diagnosed a year previously with depression and had been put on anti-depressants. I was, and still am, very open and easygoing about it all. My friends joked about me being quite happily completely nuts, and laughed at my happy pills. So when on a lovely sunny day I heard, quite clearly, my bag calling out a hello, I remember thinking "well, I suppose quite naturally hearing voices is the next step up.." so I quite happily called "hello" back at my bag. At some point between my bag calling out a further "Laura??" and me thinking "ah, it knows my name.. well, it is MY bag after all..." sanity kicked in, and I started searching for my mobile that had in my bag answered an incoming call and by itself pressed itself onto loudspeaker. This is an incident I think you'll only understand if you've ever doubted your own sanity. If not, you're probably shaking your head and thinking that I am insane. Which I won't even try and deny, thank you very much.

04-28-2009, 06:33 PM
And now it's my turn! :evil:

‘This would be really funny if it wasn't happening to me’ – oh yes, tell me about it. I wish I was exaggerating or just making all that up, but alas, I’m not. I’m an endless source of amusement and puzzlement for my friends: how can one be so far apart from the reality and therefore end up with the weirdest messes? I suppose it runs in the family. Is somewhere in our family’s genome a gene called ‘everything you do, do it in a worst way possible and survive from it’?

Let me tell one (the first of many of them) example. In my freshman year in university I and my flatmate decided to make popcorn in a ‘traditional’ way: boiling them in a saucepan with oil. No crappy microwave popcorn for us, we thought. Well, it was my responsibility to prepare them, and I left them to boil awhile. After a nice chat with my flatmate, she suddenly remarked there was a strange odour in the air. ‘Have you checked the popcorn at all?’ she asked. I hesitated and realised that I had happily forgotten all about them. We ran to kitchen and behold! There was a smoking hell loose. I removed the gateway to Hades alias the saucepan in question, and ran out from our flat.

‘Put it down!!’ flatmate shrieked and I did so, dumbfounded. There we stood, aghast and surrounded by that unholy, smelly smoke. Afraid that fire alarms would react and we’d both get evicted from our flat, we opened the window in the corridor and tried to move the saucepan into the windowsill. Ah hah. ‘This shit is stuck into the floor!’ I cried. My friend just stared blankly at me. ‘Are you joking?’ ‘NO!!!’ Apparently it had melted into the floor and there it stood, still smoking and people began to peek around the corners to see what had happened. Oh, crap. Either of us couldn’t pull the saucepan off on our own, so we decided to do it together. It’s called girl power, isn’t it? After a long struggle we managed to rip it apart from the floor, which now looked pretty much wrecked. Very embarrassed, we tiptoed back into our flat and threw that damned thing under running water. You can just imagine for how long we stared at each other, speechless. ‘Never again’, we promised. The melted spot in the floor has nowadays become kind of an attraction to our friends who know the story. Yes, they actually visit to look at it. This is my life.

And what about being far apart from reality? This is a very serious issue for me, because I never know where I’m going to end up (at the right place, eventually, but via a few mishaps). Once I was sitting at a train station, waiting for my train, obviously. But it wasn’t obvious that I would get onto a right train. You see, I innocently stepped onto the wrong one and realised it a little bit too late. In panic, I asked from a conductor what I should do. This very friendly man called the other train (the right one, that is) and when we reached our next stop, there was a vehicle resembling suspiciously a lot like a golf caddy, waiting for me, lights flashing. I was horrified when I realised that it had come to take me to another platform, where – and this is really priceless – my train would stop for me. Yes, for me, because its route didn’t actually stop there at all. A lot of people were staring at me out of its windows when I arrived, trying to act like it was completely normal for a whole train to stop for just one misplaced person. Yippee.

Travelling is our greatest passion, but also the greatest source of (un)fortunate events. This time, I was going to pay a long visit to my Dad in Switzerland departing early in the morning, and I had been awake all the night, chatting with my friend. I was running late at the airport, so I was almost hyperventilating when I got to the check-in. Exhausted, I showed my passport and you can just imagine how surprised I was when the friendly woman at the check-in desk told me that the passport had expired a month ago. Filled with adrenalin and brains not functioning at all, I ran to take new passport pictures. Results weren’t very pretty due to many reasons (panic, being in the verge of fainting, overall grumpiness and so on), but had to accept the situation and bring them to the airport police. He issued me a temporary passport, and to my delight (strong sarcasm included here) he told me that I was short of five euros. I really hadn’t time to go to the ATM, which was on the far side of the airport, so this blessed man (I seem to have thank so many total strangers in my life..) said he’d pay that sum for himself. After blurting numerous thank-you’s and you-saved-my-day’s I ran back to the check-in, just in time. Plane left about ten minutes after when I finally made it through the security check-in. And yes, I was sitting on the plane. I eventually got to see my Dad, but didn’t tell him about this pandemonium earlier that day. I won't ever dare to.

My point here being, we are survivors, me and my sister. Our motto is ‘it will be okay’ which is used pretty frequently. I was born four years before my sister, but I’m not at all any smarter or more organized than her. Physical age really doesn’t count, when it’s about mental age. I think she’s right, when she once said our parents probably needed a break after me, and that was for four years. I was a very hyperactive toddler, getting my fingers into trouble early on. I even managed to burn a whole right arm – that boiling water in kettle - me trying to help my mother to cook - third degree scald - incident. I was only one and half year old, but I didn’t cry for once. My first reaction immediately after that was just to tut-tut at myself, believe it or not. I didn’t cry either when nurses had to change my bandages, which apparently hurts like hell. You should see that photo where they made a document on TV about injuries happening at home and there I sat, grumpily, my arm fully bandaged beside my mother, who tried to convince the interviewer that I usually was a very cheerful child.

I’ve always loved speed and danger. Which isn’t very ideal combined with my accident-proneness. The first day I learnt to ski downhill at the age of eight or something, our teacher explained how to zigzag downhill. She also sternly told us to stay on the children’s slope. You might guess already what happened next. Off I went, zigzagged awhile and decided it was too boring, heading for a bigger slope. There I whooshed down, drawing line as straight as the trajectory of a bullet. It was so fun I decided to give it another try. I somehow lost control of my damn skis and ended upside down, tangled into a plastic, bright orange security fence. The teacher came for my rescue eventually, lecturing how dangerous it is to ski downhill without zigzagging. Apparently I never learnt, because ten years later, my friend had to look after me horrified, when I shot straight down – in the Alps. She thanked God I hadn’t broken my neck. I thank, too.

It seems I often end up hanging for my dear life, shouting someone to save me. I can instantly remember at least three life-threatening situations, in which I hanged from various places (a windowsill, a railing, even a cliff) – and every time someone came in time to drag me back. Just because I am this silly creature, who loves to have fun once in a while and realises too late it has stopped being fun a long time ago. I’m thankful for having guardian angels around me, my family and friends. Once, when I was a teenager, we climbed uphill nearby our school (we had decided to run off from our boarding school, which is a teenager thing, I suppose) and suddenly I felt my feet losing the contact with the slippery surface of the hill, and fell down. It felt like forever, happening so slowly. I was sure I’d die or at least would get seriously injured, till a hand reached into mine, and held tightly. My friend had reacted unbelievably fast and saved me from a visit to hospital. Thanks, Jussi!

I’m actually a bit amazed how many near-death experiences I do have. Let me tell one more. We were learning how to surf in one of the beautiful beaches of Los Angeles, the City of Angels. Our friend instructed us, were we to see a big wave coming in the behind of us, we should let go of our surfboards immediately, otherwise the boards could hurt us badly while we sunk into the wave, because they were bound onto our ankles. My travelling buddy didn’t sink, but of course I did. I remember vividly how I had been surfing a while, and was lying on my board, swimming back to the beach. I saw my friend waving desperately far away. I looked behind me, and there was so big a wave I could only briefly think ‘oh, shit’ and my hands clung tightly on the board, in panic. A stupid thing to do, but one doesn’t think very clearly, when it’s a matter of life and death. Wave ripped me apart from my big board and there it went, swooshing around and almost breaking my nose (I saw it speed past my face like a blurry white lightning). I sank really deep, and when the power of rip let me go, I realised I probably wouldn’t make it back to the surface. There was sun glimmering distantly, and I feebly tried to swim towards it, telling myself ‘so this is how it feels to drown’. I wasn’t afraid, I just didn’t want to die in that way (I’ve read it really hurts when water fills your lungs), and so I kept swimming. Miraculously, I finally felt my head break through the surface and gasped for air. My friend was swimming to me, looking like he was about to lose it, and hugged me tightly, saying he for a second didn’t believe I would make it. Well, I did, but learnt an important lesson. Let go of that freaking board!

Friends are always asking me ‘what happened this time?’, when I’ve been travelling, because there’s always something to tell. Sometimes I wonder why I do still run around; though I’m truly, deeply afraid of flying, and often have to consult the poor air hostesses about my phobia (most of them have been really amazing and supportive). I’ve lost my bags at the airports (one of them apparently flew to Murmansk instead of Helsinki, and I’m not joking); I’ve spilled damn hot tea into my lap while the plane was shaking violently in the turbulence and had to stare at the woman beside me praying; I’ve been so late from my flight that my heavily overweight bag had to be slid straight into the plane without security check (think about bombs.. well, I avoided the overweight fine); I’ve been told I cannot sit on that certain seat because I’m deaf, which led into an open argument while the other passengers looked at us puzzled, and so on.

Yet all those things diminish in my mind, when I see those wonderful, beautiful places all around the world. My family has been born to wander like gypsies (my sister is now thinking about of living in South Africa, which is bloody cool, and I hope she does it), and I feel strangely at peace when I am on the road, whether it is on the train through Italy, watching boasting (and ugly) men on the beaches slip past; in the car driving through large corn fields in Canada to visit the farm where our dog Sydney was born; in the ferry from Goteborg to Harwich, England, and truly realising the world is round – there was nothing else to see around us than just sea, which was strangely bending at the horizon; riding a horse in New Zealand and almost getting my leg chopped off by that very same horse; flying above the United States and admiring the snow-covered Rocky Mountains in the sunset.. This list is endless. World is just too beautiful not to be explored, and you miss way too much if you don’t do that.

04-28-2009, 11:26 PM
I've only looked through it, and I anticipate really enjoyable reading later when I have more time! Меховая Bearsister, do you want it to be under prose (fiction), or memoirs (nonfiction)?

04-29-2009, 04:06 AM
Memoirs, please, big bearbrother. http://msnsmileys.net/t/smileys/Tare_Panda/Topsy_Turvy.gif
(I just love Tare Panda)

05-15-2009, 02:26 PM
Liisa - The stories above are great ( sorry it took so long for me to get to them ).

<--tempted to mail you microwave popcorn.

05-15-2009, 02:43 PM
Oh yes, Pam. Send me the butter-flavoured ones. :evil:

05-15-2009, 04:04 PM
Man, I thought that this thread was about Lemony Snicket's Series of Unfortunate Events. :lol:

05-15-2009, 04:56 PM
those are some very good stories. I really enjoyed them. I have to apolagize because I did laugh quite hard at some of them. Glad that you are ok though. :huglove:

05-15-2009, 08:16 PM
Don't apologize, Milissa, they ARE meant to make people laugh. :lol:
Even I laugh at myself. Quite often.

Sorry to disappoint you, Ricky. :evil:
(but it's just a perfect title for our life. ^^)