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Dare to ask Dare
Ex-pats and Russians alike ask celebrity columnist Deidre Dare questions about life in Moscow.
Photo by Maria Savelieva

Dear Deidre:
I am an American woman who is having trouble meeting guys here. I noticed that there is a speed dating event here in Moscow each month. Do you think it’s worth a try? Or do you think I should join some web-based dating services (which seem to have very few men based in Moscow).

Dear Speedy:
As much as you don’t want to hear this, there are two types of people: those who need a dating service and those who don’t. Everyone knows this basic truth, but no one ever says it aloud because it wouldn’t be “PC” to do so.

It’s all in the biology. The most mateable have no trouble at all attracting the opposite sex in droves; the least, lead sad, lonely lives.

Whilst the proliferation of these dating websites and other services has done a great service for the unmate-able of this world by giving them a place to meet, it has the potential to be harmful for our species. After all, these people weren’t supposed to reproduce.

I don’t know you, so I can’t say for certain which category you fall into, but it’s looking pretty bad for you right now. On the other hand, ex-pats who live in Moscow are usually very mate-able in that they are adventurous, exciting and interesting.

Because of that, I suggest you leave it until the last possible moment to put that “L” on your forehead, my dear.


Dear Deidre:
I’ve always had one dream in life and that’s to have kids and I want to get started, but my husband says that Moscow is nowhere to raise a child and we should wait until we go back to the UK. I don’t think it would be a problem because of course I’d be a stay-at-home mom. What do you think?

Dear Needy:
I’ve never understood people whose dream is to have children. It’s such an insipid and banal dream. You don’t want to go into outer space? Live in Venice? Learn to fly a helicopter? Make an impact on the world? Be a little bicurious and have a fling with a Russian woman?

My philosophy has always been that life is a vacation from nothingness: we were once nothing and we will return to being nothing. And all you can think to do with your vacation is reproduce? I guess you want to give another person this vacation from nothingness and that you hope they do more with it than you are clearly going to do. But being raised by you, I’m worried they won’t.

You seem like one of those women who would have a picture of your child as your Facebook profile photo. Or who would send out holiday cards with only images of your kids. In other words, the kind of woman who erases herself completely and lives only to raise her children. To be fair, I just checked out my Facebook friends list and this seems to be the case with almost every mother.

Spooky stuff.

That all being said, I think it would be cool to be born in Russia and would give this kid some chance of growing up with remarkable dreams, so you should definitely start here. Tell your husband he is overruled.


PS: Perchance, did you meet your husband through E-Harmony?

Dear Deidre:
I’ve been drinking a lot since I came to Russia and am thinking of going to an AA meeting. Do you think I could be an alcoholic or is it just a Moscow thing and once I leave, I’ll stop?

Dear Greedy:
I don’t believe in alcoholism. I mean I literally don’t believe it exists.

But I do believe in the philosophy of Rilke and live by his Letters to a Young Poet. Read these words of Rilke’s:

“One must be so careful with names; it is so often the name of an offense that a life shatters upon, not the nameless and personal action itself, which was perhaps a quite definite necessity of that life and could have been absorbed by it without any trouble.”

Don’t dare walk into an AA meeting, for that will surely ruin your life. Drinking a lot is sometimes a necessity of life. Living in Moscow is a good example of a time when it’s necessary.

I’m heading to LA this month for a bit. There’s a town full of substance abuse. Perhaps I’ll launch an organisation called “Addicts Anonymous”, with the slogan “Maybe you don’t have a problem”, whilst I’m there. I could canvas AA meetings for recruits and turn them on to Rilke.

I think I might just do that because there’s nothing better than having someone tell you you’re okay.

So, mate, here it is: you’re okay.


Dear Deidre:
Why are the men here so obsessed with the local women? I’m a Western guy and I just don’t get it. I can see visiting a brothel here, but I just don’t get the relationship stuff. It’s really a mystery to me. Why? Why? Why?

Dear Seedy:
You think that’s mysterious? There are far greater mysteries out there. Like, why does it rain methane on Titan? Or, who is the leader of Libya’s opposition party? Or, why on Earth did they take the coke out of Coca-cola? And, is there any way to get it back in there???

And then there’s the greatest mystery of them all: Why are women these days obsessed with vampires? Why? Why? Why?


Do you have a question for Deidre Dare? If so, please email her at

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