March 2010 Primo's best friend and college roommate, who sort of introduced us or is at least responsible for our meeting so I blame him, is Sam. Last month, Sam's dad died suddenly. He was out shoveling snow. Came back inside. Died. Mr. Sam's Dad (Mr SD) had heart problems, but still. To drop dead after shoveling snow? So sad.
Primo had known Mr SD since college and we have seen Mr SD every time we have visited Sam and Nadine. Mr SD was a nice man. A little gruff, but nice. I would sit by Mr SD at Sam and Nadine's big party and listen to him talk about books. He was Sam's father and when your best friend's father dies and you can go to the memorial service, you do.
Sam and Nadine plan the service for mid-March. Turns out Primo is going to be around and that it will work for us to go. We get our tickets. I mention something right after Mr SD dies to my sister in law Stephanie, who lives 15 minutes from Sly and Doris, that we might go to the memorial service but we don't know yet.
We know now. We have our tickets. We leave in a few days.
Primo decides not to mention anything to his parents in his weekly status update phone call because he is worried that they might be upset that he protested against going to his uncle's funeral last summer but is now willingly going to Mr SD's service.
Some key differences between his uncle's funeral and Mr SD's service:
1. Primo actually knew Mr SD. He did not see him once at his other uncle's funeral two years ago and then 30 years ago on a family trip. Primo does not know his cousins or the rest of his family. He knew Mr SD and knows Sam and Sam's brother.
2. Sam and Nadine are picking us up at the airport. We are staying at their house. We do not have to rent a car. We do not have to stay in a hotel. This trip is costing us some frequent flier miles plus Primo's cheap ticket so he can get his status miles. It is not costing us $500 to attend this funeral. It is costing $150 plus we get to spend the weekend with friends.
3. Primo made the decision about Mr SD's service. Sly told his sister that Primo would be going to his uncle's service before he ever got a confirmation from Primo. Oh yes. Sly promised Primo would attend even though Primo did not know yet if he could because of work or if he even intended to spend the money.
Got the picture? We're going to a memorial service. Primo has not mentioned it to his parents.
I get an email from my sister in law Stephanie. She asks when we are going to the service. I tell her, then ask her not to mention it to Sly and Doris.
She asked Doris about it the other day after Doris told her that she had talked to Primo. Just asked Doris when Primo and I were going to the service.
There will be Drama. Why does Stephanie know more about our plans than Sly and Doris do? Why didn't Primo tell them about our trip? What are we hiding? Why won't Primo tell them everything? ? Don’t they deserve to know all the details of Primo’s life? Doris wrote recently that she feels so “disconnected” from Primo. We are mean, mean, mean not to give them every single detail.
Can we wait this out and hope that Sly and Doris will let it slide? Or will they send an angry email about how betrayed they feel? Should Primo try to cut them off at the pass and somehow work the trip into a new conversation?
I suggest that he tell them to go to hell if they complain, but he says that that is not an option. Then I suggest that he lie. If they bring it up, he should just tell them that we were thinking of going but it didn't work out.
He tells me that won't work.
I don't know why. It's not like they can prove that we are lying on this (love those cellphones with local numbers) and frankly, a little lie to prevent a lot of drama seems like a good tradeoff to me. The lesser of two evils. If Sly and Doris were rational, it wouldn't be necessary, but when Primo's first reaction to the news that Stephanie mentioned something to Doris is to moan, "Oh no!" and get horribly stressed, maybe lying isn't so bad.
For now, we wait for the other shoe to drop.