Thursday, September 21, 2017

Ch 12 Primo buys crummy stuff for the house but it was a good deal

Me: What is all this crap?

Primo: It was a good deal. I'll have rebates.

Me: But what is this?

Primo: That's a mat to put in the bottom of the oven so the oven doesn't get all dirty.

Me: I don't cook stuff that overflows and it’s a self-cleaning oven.

Primo: It was a good deal.

Me: It doesn't matter if it's a good deal if we don't need it.


Primo: I'll have you know that that was $4.99 but is only 99 cents after rebate.

Ch 12 Sly and Doris didn’t like Primo's ex because she was a bad hostess and I think, “Pot! Meet kettle!”

Primo: My parents couldn't stand ex and they had some good reasons. They actually visited us a few times, and ex was a terrible hostess.

Me: Like what?

Primo: The house wouldn't be ready when they arrived, for example, and I had to do everything.

Me: Welllll – they are your parents, not hers. Who did the work when her family visited?

Primo: She did. But she wasn’t working. She had time.

Me: Were your mom and dad nice to her?

Primo: No. She knew they had told me not to marry her. And they never made any attempt to have a good relationship with her.

Me: Yeah, I’m having a hard time siding with your parents on this one. I wouldn’t have knocked myself out, either, if I had been in ex's situation. Did they complain to you that she didn't write to them?

Primo: They did not want contact with ex.

Me: They don't want contact with me, either. So why do they complain about me?

Primo: They want you to be better than ex, but they think you must not be better because you don't want contact with them. They get decide what the contact is, not you. You’re supposed to want contact with them regardless of what they want. You're supposed to earn their admiration and affection.

Me: But I don't want their admiration and affection. They don’t like how I eat bacon. There are no holds barred anymore.

Primo: I know. I just feel so sorry for my mom. You know what my dad is like. She needs someone to be nice to her.

Me: You’re right. And you do realize you are like the poster child for adult children of alcoholics.

Primo: I just want my poor mother to have more than one person in her life who is nice to her. It’s my dad who is the real problem.

Me: You could tell him to go to hell. That could work. I think they teach that at Al-Anon.


Primo: Maybe. No.

Ch 12 We argue about the silverware

Primo: You need to stack the silverware by category and size.

Me: I bought that separator thingy. They are already sorted by category. That is organized enough. But if you want to stack the utensils, go ahead. I don’t care. But I am not doing it your way because your way is stupid.

Primo: This is how it should be. You’re a slob for just tossing each item into its own slot without stacking.

Me: It takes too much time.



Primo: With your way, you have to look through all the spoons to find a big spoon or a little spoon. With my way, they are already separated.

Me: First, the most you would have to look through is half the items. Second, the total time it takes you to separate and stack separately and then to find what you want is way more time than it takes me to toss them and then look for what I want. You have to look at the total process, not just the discrete elements.


This discussion resolves nothing. But instead of fighting, we just pointedly each do it our way in front of the other. 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Ch 12 Sly and Doris think we are asking if the date is convenient for them, not that we are informing them of a fact that is immutable

We find a date that works for my sister and Pastor Gail, the pastor at Primo’s little Lutheran church, and Father Joe, the priest at my church.

Finding space is a little harder. Turns out you don’t throw a wedding on a dime, at least not a wedding at a church on a Saturday.

What the heck. We’ll do it on Friday instead. My church is not available on any of the dates that work for Jenny, but Primo’s is, so we settle on 2 p.m. on October 3 at his little Lutheran church.

I eavesdrop as he talks to Sly and Doris. I always try to imagine the other side of the conversation – what new thing have they found not to like about me?


I look at the dining room. No table in the dining room because there is no room for the table. The dining room is full of boxes. Where am I going to feed people if I don’t have a table?

Of course, the real answer to this question of “Where will people eat?” should be, “I guess they will take care of feeding themselves because this is a wedding, not a house party.” My mother has already tried to warn me, but, as usual, I ignore her. Ignoring her will probably also be,[1] as usual, to my peril.

Primo: We’ve picked a date.

Primo: October.

Primo: October third.

Primo: Yes, that’s about three months from now.

Primo: Yes I’m sure I want to do this.

Primo: I said I’m sure. I mean it. Why are you even asking me that? That is not relevant to this conversation.

See what I mean about wondering what on earth is being said on the other end of the phone?

Primo: I am not going to discuss this with you. Are you coming or not?

Primo: I can get you tickets with my frequent flier miles.

Primo: To San Antonio so you won’t have to change planes. I think the walking would be too much for mom.

Primo: No, you won’t have to rent a car. I’ll pick you up there.

Note how I do not make a snarky comment about Primo picking them up at the airport so they don’t have to rent a car.

OK. Note how I do not make a snarky comment to Sly and Doris about Primo picking them up at the airport so they don’t have to rent a car.

Primo: Yes, it will be more than an hour in the car. It’s up to you. Would you rather change planes in Atlanta or Chicago?

Primo: Yeah, that’s what I thought.

Primo: What do you mean, “wait?” I thought I would get them right away.

Primo: Can’t your cleaning lady feed them? I thought she loved the cats.

Primo: Then what about Stephanie? Or Jack?

Primo: OK. I’ll talk to you later.

He hangs up.

Primo: They need to see if they can find someone to watch the cats.

Me: Do they understand that you were telling them the date and not asking them if it works for them?

Primo: I think so.

Me: Do they know that their schedule is not really important here? That they are not the ones who have inflexible commitments? They are retired. They have no friends. They have no hobbies. There is nothing that they cannot schedule around.

Primo: I'm not sure they understood what I was telling them. They might think we're willing to change the date. We're not. I will call them back.



[1] See, “Oatmeal, the microwaving of.”

Ch 12 We set a date because now there is a financial benefit to getting married, unlike before, when we would have been married filing joint with two incomes

Me: I guess we need to get married.

Primo: Why the rush?

Me: None, really, except we will be better off with income taxes if we file as married. But only because I have no income now.

Primo: So by the end of the year.

Me: Yes. I talked to Jenny. Her schedule is made three months in advance. She has no free time until September, but we need to give her a date pretty soon.

Primo: What about your brother?

Me: Self-employed – can come whenever.

Primo: Your mom?

Me: Retired! Just like your mom and dad! There are no reasons they can’t come on the date we choose. My sister is the only one we need to check with. I’ll check with the church for some free dates, find out which of those work for Jenny, and fini.

Primo: What about Ted and Jack and Stephanie?


Me: I didn’t think we were inviting them. But if they want to come, fine, I guess, but I don’t think we should set the date with their schedules in mind. I mean, I would love for Stephanie and the kids to come, but I know they can’t. Stephanie already told me – the kids are back in school and she doesn’t have the money to come. 

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Ch 12 I lose my job, which stinks, but I guess the timing could have been worse because at least I can get on Primo’s insurance as his domestic partner

So there is that. I just got laid off. Nice.

PS Being laid off stinks more than I can describe, so I won’t even try. But it is horrible. At least I got a very nice severance package and will be able to find another job. I feel really bad for the people who get laid off because the steel mill or the mine in their town closes and there is no other place to work. I am lucky.

PPS Now the question is do I look for a new job right away or do I wait until after the wedding? Primo thinks I should just wait until after the wedding – actually, he thinks I should take some time off, but he is an engineer who can find a new job in about two seconds. I am an English major and my job searches can take months.


PPS At least when we applied for the mortgage, I still had an income. Plus I had almost paid off my little house and had enough money from the sale of that for a 50% down payment of our new house.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Ch 12 We argue about corn on the cob

Me (eating corn on the cob)

Primo: You're not doing it right.

Me: What are you talking about?

Primo: Eating the corn.

Me: I am so.

Primo: No. You're supposed to do it like this. (Demonstrates eating typewriter style.)

Me: Nope. This is the right way. (Rotating.) You can break off the engagement over this if you want.