Mari and Kaarna are trying to find their clothes when Ken calls:
- I can’t stand all the Runebergintorttu and Laskiaispulla photos on social media any more. I’m going to start baking. Will you come and eat later? he asks.
- Can I bring someone…?
- You most certainly can!!!!!
- Oh… another home that looks like the house of Pippi Långstrump. You people sure like colors.
- Don’t you then? Ken asks smiling.
- Well, my home is a combination of white and grey with a touch of black and lime green, Mari says.
Shivers go up and down on Kaarna’s spine when she hears that.
- I’m taking orders for laskiaispulla stuffings. Strawberry jam or marzipan? Mari?
- Strawberry of course.
This is too much for Kaarna! She screams:
- Noooooooooo!!!!! Wrong answer!!!!! That’s a sacrilege!!!
- You drama queen! You’re the one that should be on the stage in theatre, not me, Mari mumbels and Ken laughs.
- Theater… that’s why you look familiar! We saw you playing the leading role in summer theater! You’re Taylor’s sister.
- Tellervo’s sister. Her real name is Tellervo. She’s such a snob.
Kaarna starts to laugh. There’s no greater drama queen than Taylor and they all agree on that.
Ken and Mari get along nicely and Kaarna suggests a game of Scrabble. Turns out that Mari is not much of a player. She creates a lot of two-letter words that Kaarna and Ken normally don’t even approve and she loses the first round.
When Ken notices that the atmosphere has changed and Mari has started to hide behind her hair he says:
- I think I’m too tired already. Maybe we should call it a night?
Mari is pissed.
- Why did you have to ruin a perfect evening with that stupid game?! I felt so stupid!!! And looked stupid too in front of your friend!!!
- How was I supposed to know that you can’t play Scrabble and you feel stupid?
- Now you know then!!!! Don’t ever do that to me again!
Luckily Mari calms down quickly. Kaarna says:
- Next time you can select the game. Could you come to bed with me or are you going to stay up late tonight?
- I’ll come to bed and spoon you until you fall asleep and then I’ll watch a French movie that’s about a…
- A French movie!!!! Kaarna acts appalled and makes a vomiting face.
- Stop it, Miss Marzipan, Mari laughs.
The amount of snow is unbelievable and this morning it’s even moist and heavy.
- Good morning! Is Mari still sleeping?
- Yes, at least for the next three hours. I’ll grab another snow pusher and help you.
Kaarna is not a fan of Othello. Just when she thinks she’s winning, Mari makes her move and totally destroys her.
- This game sucks a thousand and one asses!!!!
Kaarna manages to get Mari outside for a walk, but she keeps complainting:
- My brain hurts.
- You should wear a beanie.
- Then my hair will get flat!
- You’re such a city girl. Would you rather walk in the forest or by the river?
- What’s our destination?
- No destination, just walking for the sake of walking.
- Only insane people walk around without going anywhere!!!! God, I need cholocate.
- Ok, we’ll walk to K-Market and buy chocolate. Like sane people do.
Ken spends a day at a spa. After all the snow shoveling during these last weeks, he really deserves some pampering.
He loves the hot tub most, althoug there are some other nice things too, like slides and an outdoor pool.
Finally a sunny day! Ken is heading to Lotta’s cafeteria to meet Hector, who has now moved back to South Carelia.
- What are your plans now that you live here again? Did you sell the log house in Lapland?
- I put it out for rent on Airbnb. During the winter season I can easily get a thousand euros per week from the tourists. That covers all my expenses.
- So you don’t have to get a job at all?
- You know me, I can’t live doing nothing. I’ll find some work sooner or later.
- I’m only dreaming of retiring.
Today Kaarna has trouble being alone, so she hangs around at Ken’s while he’s working. But Ken needs to know something and now seems to be a good time to ask:
- Why did you keep Mari as a secret for such a long time?
Kaarna looks a bit desperate, but she tries to explain:
- I’ve never felt this way about anyone before and it scares the hell out of me!
- So it’s serious?
- For me it is. I don’t know what Mari thinks. I should ask her, but I’m afraid of hearing the answer. She’s so out of my league… so talented, successful, incredibly beautiful. I have shit load of problems and I’m so ugly and I have no skills. Who would ever want me?!
- Why didn’t you want to talk about this to me?
- I was afraid that if I mentioned anything I would suddenly wake up and she would disappear like a dream.
Ken of all people knows that Kaarna really can be a handful, so he understands why she’s so worried about not being good enough.
- Nobody’s perfect. Not even Mari, I’m sure. Just be yourself and if that’s not her cup of tea, then so what?
- I can’t handle being rejected. I can’t stand the shame.
- It’s never a shame to love, whatever the outcome is. But please talk to her. If she’s not serious about you, it’s better to know sooner than later.
Ken wonders about Kaarna’s courage. It hasn’t been easy for Ken to become comfortable with being single. However during the last years he has learned to appreciate many advantages of it. The thought of growing old alone is scary, but still not as difficult as the thought about getting involved with someone again, starting it all from the beginning. Ken is better off now, in his boring and steady life.
Game night! Everybody likes Monopoly. Ken has a special version:
- This is called Uleåpoly. I made this together with Barbie, when we lived in Oulu.
- But it’s the same game as Monopoly?
- Yes, only the roads are from Oulu instead of Helsinki.
- And the pawns look like poop! Mari giggles.
- I want to be the blue poop! Kaarna yells.
- I’ll be the yellow diarrhea poop, Mari continues.
- So I get to be the healthy and normal brown poop, Ken says.
The game goes well until…
- Yayyyyy! I landed on Pakkahuoneenkatu!
- But you already have Rotuaari! You need to let someone else buy it!
- If you’ll have them both the game won’t be fair anymore.
- Haha! I will rip you apart with my luxury hotels! It’s the whole point of Monopoly!!!
- You’re a horrible capitalist!
- And you are a sad little communist with your cheap slums!
- My god that was unbelievable, Mari sighs after yet another adventurous experience.
- I know. We are a match made in heaven.
- Yeah, when it comes to sex. But anything else… We might be a match made in hell. Just think about the marzipan, the sleeping rhythm, all the board games, outdooring, and now I just learned that you’re a communist!
- I’m not a communist. As long as you’re not a racist, I can handle you being a capitalist. Besides we both love movies!
- You hate French and Korean movies and musicals.
- But we both love chocolate!
- We could try chocolate in sex…
- Too main stream. We have more imagination than that!
Kaarna is learning how to braid. Instagram is full of video tutorials.
- I adore your hair so much.
- Likewise, commie girl!
- What? I’m half bald.
- But your hair is blue! I love your looks, you’re beautiful and unique.
- No I’m not… I’m ugly.
- Shut up! Don’t ever say that again. I see your beauty, don’t you try to take that away from me!
Kaarna hardly ever looks at the mirror, but now she forces herself to do that. Where is the beauty that Mari sees? Kaarna feels both very uncomfortable and very happy. Nobody ever says anything nice about her blue hair. Obviously Mari sees something that no-one else does.
Finally Mari and Kaarna found a common interest: visual arts! The local art museum is even an especially friendly place for poor people like Kaarna, because there are no entrance fees. (The sculptures in the background by Paula Blåfield. )
The days without Mari are hard for Kaarna and after a few nights she gets paranoid.
- She says she’s busy with the rehearsals! But apparently never too busy to post these fucking annoying porn selfies to her drooling followers!!!! She’s driving me crazy!
Kaarna goes to search for empathy from Ken.
- Ummm, you’re asking ME what to think about her selfies?! Kaarna, I’m not the right person to say anything about this. Us boomers don’t understand the selfie culture at all! I never even follow anyone who posts selfies. Well, except Queen Felicia, because I don’t want to be turned into ashes…
- But look at this thirst trap!
- She looks beautiful, and I think that sort of photos are quite common these days…
Kaarna starts to cry.
- Is she only playing games with me? Those photos look like she’s on Tinder, not Instagram.
- Kaarna, have you talked about your relationship with her?
- You must. Obviously this isn’t doing you much good.