Tuesday, May 24, 2016

In which a church-affiliated retirement home sends a promotional mailer to Sly and Doris

1. Who are dead and
2. Who would have wanted nothing to do with an Episcopal retirement community because of all those stupid people who believe in God.*

* I have many atheist friends who do not have a disdainful attitude towards believers, including my biology lab partner from high school, Jessica, who is both an atheist and a UU minister. But Sly and Doris - they were not tolerant of the beliefs of others.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

In which Primo does that sexy thing

If you are married to someone who gets rid of junk right away, this story will not resonate with you.

If you are married to someone who files his important papers in labeled files - if he believes in files, not piles, then this story will not resonate with you.

But if you are married to someone whose office is a black hole sucking junk mail into and who has brought home all of his parents' completely unorganized papers and whose house is being taken over by PAPER and PARENTS' ASHES and UGLY CAT TRINKETS, then you will get why I was so excited when Primo came downstairs with a handful of mail.

"What are you going to do with that?" I asked.

"It's going into the recycling," he said.

"Let's get naked," I said.

Monday, May 16, 2016

In which Primo finally says he wants to quit as trustee

Primo: I hate this. Ted and TedsWife want to talk to me. I had to deal with the insurance company - they sent me a letter saying I had to get flood insurance on the house - and it was sent two weeks after we closed! And now Maria has texted me about the car - I need to talk to [Stephanie's boyfriend of two years who has been in the auto sales industry his entire life] about the car.*

Me: That's a lot!

Primo: I don't want to do it any more! I misinterpreted TedsWife's email from before. I thought they just had $6,500 outstanding on their credit cards for TedsSon's school and had paid $19,000. But they paid $6,500 and owe $19,000 on the credit card.

Me: Holy smoke.

Primo: I already told them they need to send invoices! And credit card statements! But they won't.

Me: And?

Primo: They want to "talk."

Me: They don't get to set the terms. They just want to browbeat you.

Primo: I know. I want to quit. It's going to go on like this for years! I want to quit.

Me: Good. I think you should.

Primo: You didn't say that when I wanted to quit my job.

Me: If you were getting paid to be a trustee what you were making at your job, nope, I would tell you not to quit.

Primo: But if I quit, it means I don't love my nieces and nephews.

Me: Yes. That's exactly what it means.

Primo: My dad made me trustee as an honor.

Me: Yeah. Your dad. What a guy.

* Maria is joining AmeriCorps. Our conversation went like this:
Maria: I will need a car. Would the trust pay for it?
Primo: Of course.
Maria: I think Grandpop and Grandma would be proud of me and think this is a good way to use the money.
Primo: [pause]
Me [mouthing, "Are you KIDDING?" while shaking my head]: I'm sure they would, Maria! Your uncle Primo and I are super proud of you and know you will do a wonderful job.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

In which Sam and Sam's brother tell Primo to resign as trustee but he won't and we are waiting with bated breath for Ted's next action

Primo and I went to visit Sam and his wife (let's call her Julie) over New Year's. Sam and Primo have known each other since the week before we all started college - they met on the plane from Pittsburgh to Houston.

Sam's brother, who was my next-door dorm neighbor my freshman year, is now the general counsel for an F50 (hang on - checking) F150 company and who, along with Sam, is an experienced, qualified lawyer and who, along with Sam,served as executor and trustee for their great-aunt's estate, their grandmother's estate, and their dad's estate, along with Sam, both told Primo TO RESIGN AS TRUSTEE.

"GET OUT!" they are telling him.

Primo is not sure.


TedsWife sent Primo another email asking for money.

Primo had said Ted and TedsWife needed to send proof of the expenses - invoices from TedsSon's school, etc.

When you submit an expense report at work, do they take you at your word?

No they do not. You have to say the number. You have to give the proof.

Ted and TedsWife seem to think that if they just tell Primo enough times that he needs to give them money, he will do it.

Primo is not going to do it. Not without proof.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

In which there is more drama with the house, even though it has been sold

Guess what?

We are not done with the darn house.

Primo closed on the house on Christmas Eve. It is now the week after New Year.

The realtor sent a text to Primo asking Primo to write a new check to the HVAC guy who had repaired the rat-eaten ductwork. The HVAC guy had torn up the original check Primo wrote, saying that he was not going to take the money if the buyers did not accept his work, which I think was BS because he did the work. Even if the buyers decided they wanted the ducts replaced instead of repaired, the guy did his work.

The worker is worthy of his wages.

The Monday before Christmas, Primo's realtor, the buyer's realtor, and a repairman acceptable to both parties had met at the house to inspect the ducts.

The repairman said they were fine and the buyer said OK then I accept the work and Primo, upon hearing this news, sent a text to his realtor telling him to tell the HVAC guy to cash the check.

Primo's realtor never delivered the message.

The poor guy might have needed that cash!

He calls Primo's realtor after New Year and asks what the deal is.

Realtor asks Primo to write new check.

Primo is furious - "I told him THAT DAY to tell the guy to cash the check!"

My friends. Hire experienced people who know what they are doing. Let someone else give the new people a chance. Otherwise, you will have more drama than you ever wanted in your life.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

In which Primo argues with me about my book

Working on the book. Primo reading over my shoulder. He says, "My dad didn't say that! It was my mom!"

He is referring to this:

Sly: Are you coming for Thanksgiving? Are you coming for Christmas?
Primo: No, I don’t think so.
Days later, an email from Sly:
Sly: I had written another email but decided not to send it.We will feel abandoned if you don't come for Christmas.

* That is not passive aggressive AT ALL. Either send the email or don’t send the email, but if you don’t send it, what’s the point of mentioning it other than to imply that it was so awful that it could not be sent?

Me: Yeah, but if I have your mom say it, it makes her character more unlikeable.

Primo: My dad would never say that.

Me: The problem is that I need to have a happy ending, which means redeeming your mom, which means the reader needs to be able to like her. The reader doesn't have to love her and it's OK for your mom to start out unlikeable, but then we have to show her to be likeable underneath it all.

Primo: And?

Me: If I actually ascribe to your mother everything she actually said, readers will not like her at all. So I have to put some of the mean things she said and did on your dad.

Primo [the engineer]: But my dad would NEVER say "We will feel abandoned." He would never say that he had written an email and decided not to send it.

Me: This is fiction.