Friday, January 14, 2011

In which I fail to navigate many minefields appropriately

Why I am PNG with Primo's family right now.

1. I used Bad Cabbage, whatever that is, at our wedding. Two years and four months ago. No, that would not be that I cut up spoiled cabbage for the coleslaw but that I peeled off the outer leaves or trimmed the cut edge of an older cabbage to reveal the dewy green remains. The outer leaves/trimmed edges would have gone down the disposal. (Now, they go into the compost as we have seen the composting light.) This complaint was released from the Vault of Reasons Gold Digger is a Bad Person Who is Unworthy of Any Respect or Consideration last week. Who knows what else I did wrong that week that will be revealed in years to come? Last year, we discovered that I had Not Offered Oatmeal. Oh the humanity.

2. I rinse and re-use ziplock bags. You know - the ziplock used for leftover rolls. Or cheese still in its original wrapper that you don't feel like wrapping in Saran Wrap so just toss in a ziplock. Not the ziplock you use for the leftover fatty steakbone. That's too hard to wash. Apparently, this makes me too frugal. Primo pointed out that his parents are very concerned with power plant emissions but not with the trash they generate in their own home, which is considerable and indeed far more, by orders of magnitude, than Primo and I create.

3. I referred to Ted Kennedy as a murderer who had used his political influence to escape justice and made an admittedly tasteless joke about a Kennedy line of window breakers for use in escaping a car that is underwater. However, the wrath that came my way was not because of sympathy for Mary Jo but because the angry person, who called me a "dipshit" and an "asshole," told me he felt sorry for me, said that I had dropped in his estimation and right after Primo had done so much to improve me in his standing, and who asked if I had known Ted Kennedy personally and if I had ever been to that bridge [because that's the only way one can know the truth about an event whose basic facts are not in dispute?] is apparently the president of the Ted Kennedy Fan Club.

A simple, "You know, I really respected a lot of what Kennedy did. He's a hero of mine for the things he accomplished. I'd rather not discuss that aspect of his life" would have been more than adequate. I would have shrugged, said I was sorry, didn't realize it was such a sensitive subject, and moved on. But the vitriol I got for my comments rather disincline me to any further communication with this person.

4. I have not gotten the feedback on this one yet but I am waiting. Primo's mom sent me a package containing a novel I had already read, a gardening book (I have many already plus there is - ta da! - the internet! all the information you would ever want, right at your fingertips) and a book about opals. And three catalogues. I wasn't sure what to say to Doris but decided to Reach Out to her as she claims she has been Reaching Out to me. I sent her an email rather than a handwritten thank you note because an email invites a response. I indicated that I had already read the novel and loved it and chatted about it briefly.

I have not gotten a response. Either my email was grossly inadequate and Primo will be getting an earful about it on Sunday or her fingers are paralyzed.


The Angry Person in #3 copied his response to me to Primo and his mom and dad because Angry Person is SIX YEARS OLD and that is how we handle a problem: we blind copy everyone so as to share our righteous indignation. Doris wrote to Primo that Angry Person maybe over-reacted a bit, but evidently Doris is siding enough with Angry Person that she is not answering my thank-you email. That is all conjecture. Maybe she really is unable to get to the computer since the BCC.

Primo and I, after taking a deep breath and wondering why Primo is the only nice person in his family, roll our eyes and agree that such lunacy is to be pitied.

Primo did point out how mean my family is to him.

Oh wait.

Even my very conservative uncle who is a bigot but no longer uses certain words in my presence and has been chastised by his own wife for using that word loves Primo. My gun-owning, hunting, religious, small businessman, not college going uncle. Loves Primo, who is about as opposite from Uncle as he can be. Loves Primo and engages in political conversation with him because he really wants to understand why Primo thinks the way he does. Has rational, calm, civilized political discussions as they grill the steaks because he LOVES PRIMO and is intrigued by their differences.

Nobody in my family has ever called Primo an asshole or a dipshit. Yes, my cousin licked him, but we just avoid her now.