Iancu Tcarman and his wife Clarisa Tucarman

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There is me, Iancu Tucarman, and my wife, Clarisa Tucarman (nee Kaiserman) taking a walk in a Bucharest park. The photo was taken in the 1960s.

I married quite late, in 1965. I had a lot of friends, most of them married and I realized that it involves a lot of hypocrisy when you do not want to break a relationship for various reasons: that you have a child or two children or whatever. A lot of lies and other unpleasant things can be there between two partners, things that I didn’t like. I saw a lot of things that weighed more than the beautiful ones and then I realized that marriage is a very serious institution for those who want to take it seriously. Who doesn’t – well, it’s his business. 

My father was very concerned about the fact that his only son wouldn’t marry. And he would go to the synagogue and asked among his friends: ‘Don’t you know a girl that could be suitable?’ ‘Here!’ In 1953, Clarisa was sent to Bucharest and it took another twelve years until we met. In the meantime, both my father and friends were busy looking for a suitable girl for me. How many persons do you think I met over these ten years? 124. And she was the 125th.

The moment we saw each other she liked me very much or so she says and I would like to believe this is the truth. I liked her too, but I couldn’t make up my mind. I let almost a year pass by. I was working at Costana and I had the right to come back once every 30 days for five days. When I came back, we would see each other. I recall it was a Thursday and one of her colleagues and very close friends of mine calls me and says, ‘Hey, Iancu! Have you seen Clarisa?’ ‘Not yet.’ ‘Why don’t you go and see her? I believe that you should go and see her.’ ‘Alright.’ 

I called her and I told her that I would come by at around 6pm. She made some sandwiches, offered me a glass of wine. And after we chitchatted for a while, we talked and before I left I stood up. She also stood up to see me to the door and I told her very simply, ‘Clarisa, would you like to share the rest of your life with me?’ She embraced me: ‘Why are you even asking?’ 

It was a quarter to 11 in the evening. We went downstairs and I called my father: ‘Father, it is a quarter to 11 in the evening, but I’ll come by to share happy news! I won’t tell you what news yet…’ We took a cab and left. ‘Father, I’ve just proposed to Clarisa and we are engaged. This is your future daughter-in-law. Whether you like her or not doesn’t matter!’ He embraced her, kissed her and ever since then, we have been together. 

In a later talk we had I realized that she cared more about me and I told her frankly: ‘Look, we are engaged, we are going to be married, but I’ll tell you something that won’t probably suit you very well. I prefer starting from zero and go as far as 100 to starting from 100 and going to zero.’ And, indeed, thank God, she cannot bore me for one second. 

Interview details

Interviewee: Iancu Tucarman
Cosmina Gusu
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Bucharest, Romania


Clarisa Tucarman
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Iancu Tucarman
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