Primo: Oh no. My aunt J is not doing well. My cousin just sent me an email.
Me: I'm sorry, sweetie.
Primo: Now I'm going to have to go to another funeral.
Me: Why do you say that?
Primo: Because! I have to!
Me: I have cousins who live in or by the town where we had my dad's funeral who did not come. There is not one single person in my family who holds any anger against them.
Primo: Why didn't they come?
Me: People have jobs! They have kids! They can't always get away.
Primo: Jobs on a Saturday?
Me: Yes, some of them. But the funeral was not on a weekend.
Primo: Why not?
Me: Because when you have a funeral in a church, you can't have it on Sunday. And maybe not on Saturday, depending on if there are any weddings or other events and then of course Mass is at 4:00 on Saturday.
Me: Anyhow. My family did not keep score of who came and who didn't. It doesn't matter. What matters is how someone acts when the person is alive.
Primo: I guess Ted could go.
Me: It is just a train ride for him, isn't it? You would have to buy a plane ticket and rent a car and stay at a hotel. * He could go as the Representative of the Family.
Primo: He didn't even go to Uncle Bob's funeral (aunt J's husband).
Me: Wait! I thought he was all Mr "Family is EVERYTHING!"
Primo: I know.
Me: What a jerk.
Primo: Now I'm cranky. Not at you. But cranky. This is going to get me all pulled into the family drama again. I'm glad I didn't answer Ted's last email! I'm glad I just sent him the spreadsheet with the check.
Me: He is a jerk.
Primo: I don't know if Ted thinks I can be bullied or if I am just stupid.
Me: He thinks he is the smartest one around. And if he thinks you can be bullied, he does not know you at all. You grew up with your dad. Ted did not. He has no idea how much bullying you can deal with. You are immune after living with your dad.
* When my dad died, friends of his flew in from all around the country. He and my mom are from a very small town - no stoplights - and hotels are slim pickings. Our relatives insisted on housing the out of town guests and on picking them up and returning them to the airport, which is an hour from town. One couple showed up - they had flown - with a honeybaked ham that they had carried in their laps the entire flight. My dad had amazing friends.