I picked Primo up at the airport yesterday after work.
We didn't fight.
I have been trying very hard not to fight. Primo can be super annoying but it is on me how I respond. I have known for ten years that he thinks it's really funny to say "pepper" the way Billy Crystal, one of my least-favorite actors, said it in "When Harry Met Sally." I have known for ten years that he thinks it's really funny to say, "I like them French-fried potaters" the way Billy Bob Thornton (whose memoir is really good) said it in "Sling Blade."
He thinks it's funny to say, "You're not doing it right" and to say, "Hey!" to get my attention - and then have nothing to say.
These things are all as annoying as heck and I am sure that if any of you were to serve on a jury after I had been charged with bonking Primo on the head with a cast-iron frying pan, you would acquit because it would have been totally justified.
It is on me not to turn into a bitch when he does that stuff. I can't change him (deep breath). I can change only me.
So I am trying to decide not to let his annoyingness annoy me.
And of course he has been extra annoying. Stress makes him more annoying, not less. When I am stressed, I focus inward. I become withdrawn and I focus just on battling my way through, on the issue at hand.
Primo is the Typhoid Mary of stress. It is not enough for him alone to feel stress - he has to spread it to others.
And then I remember all the good things about Primo and how they outweigh all the bad things, which are not that many. I think about what a good person he is - how much I like him - how much fun we have together when we travel - we both think the Sewer Museum in Paris is super interesting, we both like to browse the grocery stores in Morocco, we both like to caminar sin rumbo fijo and just stumble across cool things. I think about what a generous person he is - he could have been mean to his ex wife and he was not. He could have walked away from his mom and dad and he did not, even though they, of all people, deserved it, or at least his dad did. Anyone who is that loyal to mean people will be really loyal to nice people (me :) ) and will be with me until the end, even though I will get old and everything will sag and wrinkle.
(On that note - I never thought I was vain because I never thought I had anything to be vain about, but just losing the benefits of youth - the firm, tight skin, the eyebrows where they are supposed to be, the glossy hair - is very hard.)
Primo: [Stephanie's friend] and I got a lot done. She is bringing tables over for the garage sale. We found more papers and books in the garage. My parents had so much junk.
Me: Too much.
Primo: She said that seeing my mom and dad's house has inspired her to start cleaning out the junk in her house so her son won't have to do this when she dies.
Me: That is a very thoughtful thing to do - to consider the people who might have to deal with your crap.
Me: If only your parents had thought the same way.
Primo: I found a giant vibrator in the nightstand next to my dad's side of the bed.
Me: Man. This whole thing never ends, does it?
Me: What are you going to do with it?
Primo: I don't know. I got rid of a bunch of papers yesterday, but I still need to shred the naked photos of my parents.
Me: That's not something you want the grandkids to see.
Primo: And I took care of my dad's IRA. I did not list Ted as a beneficiary with you.
Primo: He has been such a jerk that I do not feel like going out of my way to be nice to him. Plus, for me to make anyone but you a beneficiary, I would have to get a signed, notarized statement from you.
Me: And that would be too much hassle?