One of the most stressful things about going on vacation with my family for my mom's birthday, other than worrying about getting Bart to stop for bathroom breaks, which turned out not to be a problem at all because he stopped any time my mom asked, and she needs to go more than I do, was watching Primo and Bart clash.
Oh. And watching Bart get lost because he insisted that his iPhone knew where we were going, even though some airport in Australia has asked Apple to disable Apple's map of the airport because people keep driving onto the flight line because Apple's mapping is so screwed up. Before we left, I suggested that we print a map to the cabin and Bart said no, he had it. Apple had him covered.
After seven hours in the car, when all I wanted to do was to get out and lock myself in a room by myself, we added 45 minutes to the trip because guess what? Apple didn't know how to get to the cabin! Bart and my sister weren't even speaking to each other except in low hisses. My mother kept trying to make suggestions, which is what someone who is used to being the boss does, but it has been my experience that most men (the men I have known) do not want unsolicited advice and they certainly don't want the unsolicited advice that they should stop at that gas station to ask for directions.
But the big part was watching two stubborn alpha males butt heads. Primo hates it when someone else is driving and when that someone else is as convinced of his own rightness as much as Primo is convinced of his, then there is tension.
I hate tension. I am tension averse. I am conflict averse. I am everything averse. And there was tension galore with Bart and Primo.
What made it even worse was that Bart wanted to do everything on a schedule and Primo hates schedules that he did not create. Bart had said we would leave my mom's house at 10:00 a.m. At 9:45, he was loading the van. He wanted to know where Primo's bag was and Primo's attitude was, Dude, it's not even 10:00 yet where's the fire?
But Bart was driving so Bart ruled and Primo got a little sulky about it.
I was impressed because I have never in the eight years I have known Primo been able to get him to be on time. Time is a flexible construct for Primo. It bends and curves and moves. For me, it is a straight line that starts with early, goes to on time, then drops straight off into Oh man I am late and that is so impolite!
My mother likes to be on time, too. Where do you think I got it from?
So we have Bart, who is
1. On time
2. who rented an SUV just so my mom would be comfortable (which was a very nice thing for him to do)
3. who calls my mother
4. on skype, which my mom has not been able to get me to do because why would I want to be on video? at least once a week just to talk, which is more than I do because I hate talking on the phone
5. who incurred my wrath (I hissed at him "Do not ever do that to me again" and when he tried to explain, I hissed again, "Do not! Do NOT do that!") in a way that made even Primo raise his eyebrows by summoning me to participate in a skype call with my mom last year when he and my sister were visiting, even though I was waving my hands in front of me, mouthing, "No! No!" because I do not like talking on the phone or on skype and I was not in the mood to talk on the phone and I certainly did not want to do so in a command performance
and who, for the grand slam,
6. not only told my mom that he would drive her to church when we were in Durango but that he, a non-Catholic, would also attend church with him.
Primo used to be the one on whom the sun rose and set. But now Bart, Bart is the favorite son in law. The king is dead. Long live the king.