Christmas 2006 We spend Christmas with Sly and Doris. We drive there from my house. Primo has taken ten days off from work and we are going to drive to see my sister after we leave Sly and Doris. Oh, what a joy that is - to be there with our own car so that there could be flexibility in our schedule. I am so worried that they will guilt Primo into staying an extra day. Fortunately, Primo has no more interest in staying there longer than I do, even though we are having such a good time cleaning out the garage and repairing the torn porch screen, so we leave on time.
While we are at his mom and dad's house, Primo checks his computer a lot. I don't think anything is out of the ordinary because even though he is "on vacation," he is still working. He has one of those jobs where the work doesn't go away just because he is not there.
His dad doesn't understand that. If Sly had someone cover for him, he didn't have to go back later and teach the class himself. Plus he didn't do any research - he just taught. Tenured, unionized, no research. Summers off. Sweet deal.
But Primo's work keeps accumulating. You gotta stay on top of it. So he does. Even when he is on vacation.
We leave Sly and Doris and drive to my sister's place a day away. We have gifts for her. She has presents for us. Actually, she has a small box for me. I open it - it reads, Your Crandall Toasted Almond Brahmin bag will arrive in a few days.
I have been watching these purses on eBay for months, but they always get too expensive. Yes, yes, yes. I know I am unemployed and shouldn't be spending my money on something frivolous like a new purse, but my old purse, the one I took to Morocco to have repaired because I could not find a single leatherworker in Springfield who could repair it and that I love as much as any woman can love a purse (black snakeskin, Talbot's), is used up. It is time for it to go to that purse heaven in the sky where all the leather items get to stand together and not have to look at vinyl masquerading as something nice.
When I realize what my sister has gotten for me, I gasp. "But that's so much money!"
She shrugs. "I got a nice bonus this year."
Primo snatches the note from me. "Where did you get this purse?" he asks.
"I got it on eBay," she says.
He turns to me, accusing. "How did she know you wanted this purse?"
"I told her," I tell him.
"But you told me, too!" he says.
"I wanted to get you this purse! You shouldn't have told both of us you wanted it."
I tell him that I had no idea that either he or my sister would get me something so expensive, although considering he got me diamond earrings, a pearl necklace and earrings and a jade necklace for our first Christmas together after knowing each other for only two months, I should not be surprised. Except I had ordered him not to spend so much money this year. He just will not take orders from me.
He looks at the note again. "When did you buy this?" he asks.
She gives him the details.
"But that's when I was bidding for this purse."
She asks, "What's your eBay name?"
He tells her.
"You were bidding against me!" she says. "I'm nene214! You ran me up $35!"
They both turn to me, glaring, hands on their hips.
"I didn't know," I say.
"You owe me $35," my sister tells Primo. "Or at least a drink."