Thursday, July 23, 2015

In which Sly cannot praise the hamburgers that Primo grilled for him but must compete instead

Primo called me.

"I made dinner for my mom and dad. I got some really good beef - Strauss - and I grilled hamburgers. They were really good."

"I'm sure. You make good hamburgers."

"My dad --"

"What did he say?"

"He said these were OK, but his hamburgers are more rare."

"And I guess that means his are better?"

"Yes. As if that's a statement that his hamburgers are better. Now he makes his in a skillet and I grill m--"

"That's not even the point! The point is not whose hamburgers are better. It's that he couldn't even say one nice thing about you - that it had to be about him. That he has to compete with his own son."

"Yes. The point with him is that he is superior."


  1. This breaks my heart. My mother always had to be superior as well. She passed away almost 5 years ago. Reading this put me right back to where nothing my sister or I did was ever good enough. I have gotten past the point where she could put me in tears at will (always right before a test, interview or other critical time when focus was needed), but find that even reports such as this can still make me tear up in empathy.

    So glad Primo came out of this place a decent human being, It's difficult to shift one's perspective to "normal" after being raised so far off kilter.

    Love this blog (found it via Hax). Been trying to catch up on archives. Can't remember how, but you also are responsible for sending me to AAM - LOTS of good info there.

    1. Hi Anon,

      I am so sorry that your mom was that way. It is impressive to me how many good people come from not ideal parents - it's like they are determined not to be like that. (Actually, with Primo that was the case - he was a jerk when he was in college and realized that he would rather have friends than be like his dad, so he changed.)

      I am very happy to have introduced you to AAM. She and the commenters give such good advice. I credit her with my last three jobs.


    2. I was a jerk when I was younger as well - mostly building up walls, I think. I went to 10 schools in 4 states. We lived in 23 homes that I can remember. Things are better now, It's amazing what can trigger things for me, though! Can't wait to catch up on the blog.

      I think you and I worked for the same company - but I was in IT down at Willow Lake. My whole department was moved to India, but I don't miss it. Miss the $ - not the job.

      Tammy in TN (Anon from above)

    3. Tammy, if the company you worked for rhymes with "My Me," then yes! Maybe we met - I was on the SAP/Edge project that was cancelled after I was laid off. And yes, I, too, miss the money! And I worked with a lot of good people there.

      I am not happy with the practice of offshoring jobs like that. I remember when an entire customer service group was offshored to Poland - that's when I was at Willow Lake - and they had the new people in for training from the current people. What a jerky thing to do.

      PS Can you believe who is the CFO for the company right now? I shudder in fear about the future of my pension.

  2. Sly. A Legend in his Own Mind.

    1. Absolutely. Remember how he walked out when Primo was singing when we took him and Doris to karaoke during our wedding week? He could not bear for someone to be better than he.

  3. I've been reading for years, but my first time to comment. For me, it was my father. It took many, many years to realize that the most important thing I must understand was NOT that he was superior. The most important thing to understand was that I was inferior and why. So glad for you both that Primo doesn't let his father define him. Deb in KY

    1. Hi Deb in KY - I can't even imagine how hard it would be to have to reject a parent's thinking. Every time I am around Sly and Doris and every time I hear a story like this, I thank God that I have the parents I do/did. I never knew how lucky I was until I met Sly and Doris. I am glad you were able to realize that your dad was wrong about you.


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