Thursday, August 1, 2013

In which Doris sends Primo a drunken email because she is ticked off that I have not responded to her letter

Doris sent me a letter and I guess I didn't hop to it quickly enough. Here's the email she sent Primo:

I am at a total loss on why you haven't responded to my query about my letter to Goldy.
I guess I flunked, and, if so, don't ask me to try again.  I dumped the longer response with multiple explanations and disappointments in our relationship to her.  I decided to use the carrot and discard the sticks.  I guess it didn't work.

Primo, your workload and other obligations can't possibly explain not sending me a one or two sentence answer.

Love, 
Mom


1. Aren't you dying to know what the stick would have looked like? If the letter she did send was the carrot, then the stick must have been something else!

2. Primo is Bad! He doesn't drop everything to answer Doris!

3. No passive aggressiveness in this note.

Primo answered. He was far nicer than I thought Doris deserved and far nicer than his mood would have indicated. When he got her email, he stomped downstairs and stormed into the bedroom. He was furious at her. I was too.

"If is was so important," he seethed, "why didn't she pick up the phone and call me?"

"Because you are supposed to call them," I said. They never call Primo. Never. Part of it is they don't have long distance on their regular phone, but they do have a cellphone. They almost never use the cellphone, though. Maybe because they can't find it in all the junk in their house.

But if they don't want to use their minutes, they could call Primo with the cellphone and ask him to call them back. We do have long distance on our phone.

They probably can't afford long distance because of all the money they spend on booze.

Mom,

I am sorry about my lack of response to your e-mail.

You wrote:

> Primo, your workload and other obligations can't possibly explain not sending me a one or two sentence answer.

Yes, my workload and other obligations certainly can explain why I haven't responded.  I am busier in my job than I have been for at least four or five years.  It seems that most of the people I work with and most of the customers I work with have asked for help within the last 2-3 weeks.  I am exhausted.  I never sleep enough.  I'm still trying to be politically active; I went to political events or neighborhood meetings every evening this week from Monday through Thursday.  Today is the first day that I've not gone anywhere.

I really don't understand why you get so upset because of a simple lack of response to an e-mail.  I receive dozens of e-mails every day in my personal account (most of them political), and messages quickly get "buried" if I don't get to them within a few hours.  I guess we have very different ideas about how important e-mail is.  My average response time to personal e-mail is measured in days, not hours.  If you want to ask me a question and get an answer right away, you can always call.  If I can't answer the phone, I will call back.  Until/unless I become significantly less busy (or decide that I don't care at all about politics any more), your expectation when sending me an e-mail during the week -- specifically, one which doesn't explicitly define something as "urgent" or mention something like a serious health problem -- should be that I will probably respond during the weekend.

Your letter did arrive this week, and Goldy mentioned that it was "very nice."  I meant to write a one- or two-sentence response to your e-mail from Wednesday.  I thought about it yesterday and then today, but I remained very busy with work and didn't get around to it.  I also dared to take a little bit of a break today to pay attention to the NCAA tournament.

I will call you tomorrow.

Love,
Primo

5 comments:

  1. Way nicer than i would have been. He did a great job of eplaining the value/urgency of email for working folks - i thinkthat's generational.

    The phone thing is also generational. My step siblings have given me hell for not calling my step mother - a woman who has never spoken to me for more than 30 seconds on the phone. Even on her birthday, she would hand the phone to Dad. Now, i am supposed to call her regularly. The lines go two ways. He should let that one go.

    Not sure how in the world you will reply to her note - well, not an acceptable reply! Clearly she is threatening to dis-inherit Primo if you don't clean up your act!! Good luck!

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  2. Sly and Doris make my head hurt. And I am not even obliged to interact with them.

    Good luck.

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  3. Primo is a way better son than they deserve.

    I am gobsmacked that they "don't have long distance". I don't think that is an option in this country.

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Sorry about the new commenting requirements - I have been getting spammed like crazy.