Thursday, October 20, 2011

In which we open the door to the asylum and slam it closed again

It's been a while since I posted anything about Sly and Doris. It has been pretty calm because I have had almost no interaction with them for the past two years. Primo's Christmas presents to me have been that I do not have to go with him to visit them, which works out well for all of us except Primo, who has to suffer alone.

I did send Doris an email for her birthday, which was the day after their refrigerator broke and the same day as Sly had surgery. I wrote this:

I'm sorry to hear that this day has been so difficult for you but am glad to know that the surgery went well. I'm really sorry to hear about your refrigerator! What a mess. It seems as if life can never go smoothly. I hope you were able to rescue most of your perishables and that this is the last of the drama for a while.

Doris responded:

Dear Golddigger,It meant a great deal to me that you would send a message regarding our extra stress at this time. The guy who delivered the new fridge arrived a little past nine--he was alone and extremely competent in measuring just what had to be moved to facilitate bringing the new fridge in and old one out. He helped enormously by emptying the old and assisting in filling the new. He left just 10 minutes before we left for the hospital. The cats were three hours past their suppertime--such meowing.Thanks for thinking of us, Doris

I answered,

I'm so glad the delivery man was helpful. That timing sure was tight.Our cats are not happy when their supper is delayed, either. They will let us know.I've been meaning to tell you: I love those grocery bags you gave me. I use them all the time. They are perfect for groceries and library books. We took them to Germany and to France - it was great to be able to tuck something small into my purse in case we found something we wanted to buy. I used to carry a backpack just in case, but much prefer these bags. They are so convenient and pretty.

Which inspired this note to Primo, who shared it with me (of course - I am his wife):

Dear Primo,
I decided not to send this message to Golddigger without your clearance. Let me know what you think.

Dear Golddigger,
I hope that someday you will welcome my wish to say, Love,Doris. It has hurt so much not to be able to narrow our ideological gaps. You and my son love each another. I want to love you as well. Enough said tonight, I'm not all together.

You might want to tell Primo that throughout his day not one health care worker, including docs, RNs, and subordinate personnel knew enough to say "lie" vs. lay. When we saw Maria for a brief time on Sunday, we asked how things were going at college, and she enthusiastically responded "good," instead of well. We didn't correct her. I remember how you chided us at the dinner table at Stephanie's house when Dad mentioned/corrected Maria about "these ones." One is either fur or agin maintaining English usage standards. The most egregious example I ran into recently was a quotation by billionaire, Mayor Michael Bloomburg of NYC wherein he talked about young people "graduating college."


I stormed upstairs as soon as I read this. I was so furious I could hardly breathe.

"Does your mother really think it is ideology that separates us? I couldn't care less about her political beliefs! She's the one who doesn't like what I think! But you and I don't agree and I'M MARRIED TO YOU. Obviously, political ideology is not as important to me as it is to her."

I stopped to draw a big breath.

"And the thing with Maria WAS NOT ABOUT SAYING 'THESE ONES'! I wouldn't have jumped on your dad for correcting an actual error that she'd made, even though I think he is mean about it and it's inappropriate. I stood up for her because she had not made a mistake. She had said "lemon EXtract" and your dad said she had said "lemon exTRACT" and was jumping all over her for it!"

"I know," Primo said. "I was there."

"So they've twisted it so that I am the villain here! Your dad couldn't possibly have made a mistake! Oh, this makes me SO MAD!"

Primo was laughing. I guess he was right - what can you do with this stuff but laugh? We're dealing with crazy people.

"I already told my mother not to send this to you."

"She better not," I stormed, "Or I will have to set her straight."

"And I told her that that incident was about lemon extract."

"Did you tell her that it is crazy to be obsessed with language when you are in the hospital and people are cutting you up? That perhaps what's more important is are they doing a good job on the medical stuff?"

He shook his head. "No point."

5 comments:

  1. If it were me (I know the correct usage is "I", but that sounds kind of snooty), I would have been thrilled that Maria was enjoying her college experience, no matter how she expressed that. Sheesh.

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  2. I think it was wise that she didn't send that email to you after all, although I have to wonder if she knew that Primo would show it to you anyway, so it's like she got to say it without the ramifications of actually having confronted you.

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  3. @Jennifer ooooh, sneaky!

    I did think it was odd that she seemed more concerned with the refrigerator than the surgery... not one word about recovery time or how he's doing or anything? In my world, surgery is a big deal. Grammar? Not so much.

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  4. I agree with Doris on the annoyance of "graduated college" instead of "graduated from college." Another similar expression that drives me crazy is "babysat Emily" instead of "babysat for Emily." As for Doris, just keep telling yourself, "let it go, let it go."

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  5. Perhaps Doris is concerned about skill level of the person with the scalpel. If s/he hasn't mastered the lie/lay usage, do I really want them slicing me up? Not particularly, I don't.

    Fussing over little things keeps you from having to think about the scary things, such as: Will the person I love die during this surgery?

    Much better to fuss over a refrigerator that is, after all, successfully sitting in one's kitchen at this very moment.

    IvyKllr

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Primo reads this blog, so please keep that in mind in your comments.