Reblog 18 Things That Every Polish American Will Understand

Monika Marzec

If you’re 100% Polish you know these are all true

Growing up as a Polish American there are some things that are just so true because we have all experienced them. By not being totally American and not being totally Polish, we get the best of both worlds. From Polish school to Jan Pawel II, these are just some of the identifiers that we grew up with.

1. Saturdays are for Polish school

Whether you want to go or not isn’t up to you. This made Friday night sleepovers nonexistent for basically your whole childhood and preteenhood. Forget doing anything fun on Fridays because you ALWAYS had to wake up early and finish doing last week’s homework.

2. Your friends never understood your parents’ accent

All your non Polish friends are guilty of the smile and nod when being asked anything by your parents.

3. Every summer you went to Poland to visit your family

Nothing like flying LOT airlines the day after school ends to see your family. Every year you meet a new aunt or uncle or family friend you never met before (where do they seem to spawn from?!). Everyone is always excited to see you because you’re coming from America.

4. You know your mushrooms

If you’ve spent a summer in Poland, chances are you went mushroom picking. You always had that uncle that would tell you that muchomory are poisonous, so just take a picture but do not touch.

5. Babcia taught you how to make pierogi

Babcia is always cooking but teaching you to make pierogi is a sacred rite of passage because even though you live in America, you cannot forget you are Polish. After a few hours, you have enough pierogi to feed a small army and dinner to last the next few days.

6. Communism

Somehow this is a topic that always comes up during family dinners… or when you want something and get a lecture how your parents didn’t have anything during communism.

7. You know your Disco Polo

You do not know how people still listen to this but whenever it comes on you sing all the words to it.

8. Babcia will keep feeding you because you are never full in her eyes

9. You have your American friends and then you have your Polish friends

Not everyone in your school is Polish so naturally you have your American friends that just do not get your Polish parents or why you have to go to Polish school. Regardless, having two groups of friends is awesome because some there are some things that your American friends will just never get if they’re not Polish.

10. Krowki are life and you always have a secret stash of them somewhere

11. Everyone has a picture of pope John Paul II in their house

Are you even Polish if you do not have a picture of the Polish pope in your house?

12. Whenever someone mentions Poland in school or public you immediately begin to pay attention

“Yes I’m Polish”

13. Translating things from Polish to English is sometimes challenging

Sometimes Polish words do not translate to English the same way. For example, why is stuffed cabbage called pigeon? Why is a chocolate dipped marshmallow called bird’s milk? We have so many questions…

14. Just because your Polish everyone assumes you’re a raging alcoholic

I mean, they are not entirely wrong because vodka almost sounds the same as the Polish word for water. Coincidence? I think not.

15. Just like Saturdays are for Polish school, Sundays are for church

As a Polish American youth, you do not have the luxury of sleeping in on weekends because you either have Polish school or church. And God forbid you are late to either, wstyd.

16. Everyone has the same leather kapcie


You do not know where they come from or how they make a size for everyone, but you always have to wear them because if you walk barefoot on the floor, you will get pneumonia.

17. You speak Polish whenever you’re in public but want to talk about someone

Whether you’re at Home Goods with mama and you see someone you used to know and start gossiping about them, or you’re with your Polish friends and you’re talking about your crush who just happened to walk in, Polish comes in handy.

18. Your mom is always cleaning

You are not allowed to be in the room she just cleaned because she literally vacuumed everything including the cat and the picture frames. The living room is for show, not for living!!!!

Regardless of everything, you would not change being Polish for anything.


Reblog: An Open Letter…

Monika Marzec

…To My Biological Parents Who Haven’t Seen Me Since I Was Born

Every year when it’s my birthday, do you think of me?


I know I haven’t seen you guys since I was born, but I want you to know that every day, I think about you. I was lucky that the family that adopted me has stayed together so I got to grow up with two parents. However, I like to think that I grew up with four. Even if you weren’t with me physically, a part of you was still around. I know both of you didn’t end up together and got married to other people, but I want to know – does that technically bring up the parent count to six now?


Every year when it’s my birthday, do you think of me? Is July 9th a day that you celebrate silently?

I want you to know that I’m okay. I grew up in a good neighborhood on Long Island where I went to elementary school, middle school, and high school. Every summer I went to Poland to see my family and even got to go to camp. The first summer I went to camp, I cried because I couldn’t read in Polish so I had no idea what the plan for the day was or what was for dinner. And that fall, my parents enrolled me in Polish school. I hated it. I grew up playing soccer and volleyball and made captain in high school. My favorite subjects in school were always math and science because I loved learning and problem-solving.

I always grew up thinking that I was going to meet you on my 18th birthday, but it came and went and I still don’t know you.

Something stupid that depresses me sometimes is when I go to a doctor’s office and they ask me about my family’s medical history. I always say I was adopted so I don’t know what was genetically passed down or what I’m at risk for.

Being adopted is unique because you have two pasts: your biological parents’ and your adoptive parents.’ Some adoptees are okay with not knowing about their biological parents and treat them like a simple sperm and egg donor, but I want to know. I want to know everything. Your likes, your dislikes… I grew up an only child so do I have half siblings? That would be really cool because playing Candyland was lonely growing up.

Not knowing anything about you besides being genetically related makes me feel like no matter what I learn about myself, or how many times I ‘find’ myself, I still have a little piece of the puzzle missing.

I love you. I don’t know you.

Hopefully one day we will meet and I can tell you about everything and everyone that is important to me. I want to thank you for giving me up for adoption and not aborting me because you gave me a life that is worth living – even if you haven’t been a part of it.

This article was first published on an Odyseeyonline