Thursday, April 23, 2015

In which I write about a bunch of stuff

I don't even know where I was and I am too lazy to re-read my previous posts.

1. The living and the dining room are all askew because on Sunday, Primo and the team filmed a political ad. Primo was all "Woooo!" because they were moving furniture and he thought they weren't being careful enough and he was worried they were going to damage things, which of course they did not. He was expressing his stress to me, even though I was not the source of the stress and I was not the person who could resolve it. I just kept baking and then finally went into the basement to watch "Last Tango in Halifax," which I strongly recommend.

2. One of the political guys brought me flowers because he knew they were messing with my Sunday afternoon.

3. Before they came, I asked Primo if he was going to serve snacks. He had not thought about it. Fortunately, I had cookies in the freezer. Got those out and Primo made coffee so we didn't look like totally ungracious people. I know it's not really a host situation when political people come over, but does it hurt to be nice to people? No it does not.

4. Primo is not as cranky as he was before he stopped working. I am not thrilled about the 67% drop in our household income,  but it is only fair that he should get a chance to do something he wants. And he has definitely upped his game on the housework. I didn't do a single chore all weekend - he had cleaned the house in preparation for our houseguests and then he did the rest of the weekend chores as well. This I could get used to.

5. But we still argue about bedtime and I am about to pop him one. He thinks he is being funny. He thinks he is being funny when he says he likes "them French-fried potaters" and when he says "pepper" the way Billy Crystal did in "When Harry Met Sally." I like that movie, but cannot buy Billy Crystal as a romantic lead because I find him so whiny and annoying. Primo is not funny when he mimics these lines, but he and his friends egg each other one and laugh the entire time. If I kill him and you are on the jury, will you please let me off? It is justifiable homicide.

6. Primo: Hey! I put away those guest towels that I washed!

Me: OK. Thanks.

Primo: And I straightened up the guest bed!

Me: Thanks.

Primo: Hey! I've been doing housework!

Me: Uh huh.

Primo: I need more praise!

Me: But I have been doing it for years without praise.

Primo: I need praise and affirmation!

Me: Whatever.

7. Of course when our houseguests were here and I wanted to go to the restaurant, Primo disappeared.

He does that. Someone will be visiting - someone he has invited - someone I don't even know - and all of a sudden, Primo will be gone and I will be stuck in the kitchen with the guest, whom I do not even know and do not want to know because it is Saturday morning and I have things to do and those things do not include entertaining Primo's political minions and allies. But I cannot just abandon a guest and go on about cleaning the bathroom or reading my book, so I remain stuck.

Meanwhile, Primo is upstairs doing God knows what. "I had to post something on facebook for the campaign!" he will say.

"It can wait until later," I will hiss.

"No! It has to be done now!"

And my heart hardens even further against his cause.

8. One of us gave this card to the other:

9. Overheard: "Her boyfriend finally quit smoking in jail."

Monday, April 20, 2015

In which I get to apply some of my knowledge about the children of acoholics

1. I read in some blog comment section that it is considered rude to refer to alcoholics as "drunks," to which I replied that offending my husband's parents was the last thing I was concerned with, as they have never been concerned about offending him.

2. I was talking to the manager of the IT help desk where I work. We sell systems that, when they are down, cause places like Amazon to grind to a halt. It is very, very expensive for our software not to be working, so it is a super high-pressure job. The manager said people usually burn out after a few years - that he sells it as an entry-level job to the company with potential for advancement. He is moving several of his people into new jobs within the company now, so has to backfill.

I asked how he recruits. He said he is de-emphasizing the tech skills and looking more for the soft skills. "I can teach them the technical stuff," he said, "but I cannot teach them how to deal with people. They have to be able to stay calm and solve problems while they are under a lot of stress and people are angry at them."

I paused, then asked, "Have you considered looking for adult children of alcoholics? They would be perfect for the job."

Sunday, April 19, 2015

In which the one percent of the cookie holders does not want to share the chocolate

Primo has a couple of guys over to the house to film a campaign ad.

Me: Why don't I put out some of those cookies I made for book club for your friends?

Primo: OK. 

I go downstairs to get the cookies out of the freezer. I am back upstairs, putting cookies on a plate.


In which Primo has a revelation about housework and what is entailed in the performing thereof

Primo: I just stripped the bed. Am I supposed to wash the sheets?

Me: It would be nice.

Primo: But that's a lot of work!

Me: I know. When I was with MariCarmen yesterday, I told her how nice it was that you had done all the housework to prepare for guests and that you had done a lot  of the other regular housework.

Primo: I did!

Me: And I was thinking about how nice it was that my Saturday was free because you had done the work. And I realized how much time I actually spend doing housework because I wasn't doing it!

Primo: I didn't know that it took so much time!

Me: Yeah.

Primo: It's a lot of work!

Me: I. Know.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

In which Primo sort of cleans the house

Primo: I didn't vacuum the dining room. We're not eating in there tonight [with our friends who are spending the night].

Me: But aren't you having some political people over on Sunday?

Primo: Yes.

Me: And the living room and dining room won't be vacuumed.

Primo: No.

Me: Please make sure your political friends know that you are the person in charge of vacuuming in this house, not me.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

In which Primo talks to a guy whose dying best friend asked him to date his wife once he was dead

Totally not making this up.

I don't make anything up on this blog. I do not have that much of an imagination. I am but a stenographer.

Primo: I talked to this guy last night - I have been getting to know him and we are becoming friends.

Me: Uh huh.

Primo: He said that when his best friend was dying - this was last year, he asked Zach if he would date Carrie, his wife, once the best friend was dead.

Me: That is so sad! And so touching!

Primo: I know! He wanted his wife to be with someone nice.

Me: What a great guy - to worry about what happens to his wife when he is dead.

Primo: It's really sweet.

Me: So what happened? Are Zach and Carrie dating?

Primo: No!

Me: Why not?

Primo: Because two days after the friend died, Carrie came on to Zach! He was so horrified that he hasn't had anything to do  with her since.

In which Primo gets a lovely donation from friends of mine from the Peace Corps, even though we did not ask them for anything

Primo and I went to the state capital (capitol? I can never remember) for a concert and visited some of my Peace Corps friends, who live there, before the concert. Arthur and Betty are 92 years old. They have lived in the same house for over 60 years. It is a simple little house that they built when they got married. They don't have a  bunch of junk. It is like the model house to Sly and Doris' Glamor Don't of a house. Arthur and Betty do not have any junk! Any!

Oh - some background. They joined the Peace Corps when they were almost 70. They had retired and weren't done working yet. Everyone in our group loved them. They are sweet, nice people.

Betty insisted on cooking dinner for us, even though I had told her we would pick up something at a restaurant and take it to their house. When I invite myself to someone's house, I do not want to create extra work for her. But she wanted to cook and I could not persuade her otherwise. I did, however, take homemade cookies - rosemary and pine nut, chocolate with ground pepper - and some pear jam I had made from the pear tree in our back yard.

She wrote me a note later - "What herb is that in the cookies? Rosemary? And the chocolate cookies taste very zippy!"

You can have a good palate when you are 92 and don't drink or smoke. Nope, there was no alcohol at supper. Arthur, Betty, and Daisy, their daughter, had milk, Primo and I had water.

They live modestly. Their house is on the lake. The neighborhood has changed since the first time I saw it 15 years ago, when the other houses were just as modest. Now, those houses have been torn down and replaced with McMansions - they are not building any more lakefront property - and neighbors who complain about Arthur and Betty's house as an eyesore.

It is not an eyesore. It is modest and simple and perfect.

What was my point?

Oh. So. Anyhow. My friends, whom I have known for over 20 years, and who have been retired for a long time and don't have a lot of money - Arthur worked for the state in a research lab at the university - wrote a check for $150 to Primo's campaign.

They are both passionately interested in politics. Primo actually met Daisy at some political events. He had already met Arthur and Betty, so when he heard that Daisy had the same last name as A and B, he asked if she was related. She was. Small world.

We spent supper talking about politics - not my favorite but they were fascinated by Primo's campaign and know who his opponent is. That's what they wanted to talk about and they are nice and polite and we were guests and they are my friends so even though I hate talking about politics, with them, we talked about politics. They talked, I listened.

And we told them the story about the donation from the Teamsters and how grateful we were because we had been worrying about having to pay ourselves.

A few minutes later, Arthur got up, went to the kitchen counter, pulled out his checkbook, wrote a check, and handed it to Primo.

I did not want them to give us money! I want them to use their money on themselves. I think they live an intentionally modest life, but I also think their income is not that much. I also know that Arthur has been having some spells of confusion and I most of all would not want to take advantage of someone's memory problems.

I pulled Daisy aside and said, "We won't cash it, OK?"

She smiled and said, "Don't worry. It's OK."

I hope she's right.

And I wonder about how it is that some people - my mom, Arthur and Betty - have not very much but are generous with what they have and other people - Sly and Doris - have enough to buy lots of booze every week and pay for a maid and a gardener and invest $280,000 in a restaurant -  but won't even consider telling Primo that they would like to see him and would send him a plane ticket if he would just come.