Primo was ultra cranky when my brother was here, as I mentioned, but I wanted him to get the heck over it. But, sadly, Primo had already reached Bitch Eating Crackers stage and was not to be reasoned with.
However, he saved his crank for me. He did not show it to my brother. Instead, he whispered to me, when my brother was out of the room, "He's using too many paper towels!"
This was after he had complained that Greg had merely rinsed the spoon he used for adding sugar to his tea instead of scrubbing it with soap and water until he finished singing "Happy Birthday" and that Greg had covered his food with a paper towel instead of using the piece of wax paper that we leave in the microwave and that my brother had no way of knowing about.
Cranky, cranky, cranky.
Let me give you some background.
Greg has not always been a good houseguest. At my mom's, he used to leave his stuff all over and sleep until noon and then make himself something to eat but not get his dishes to the sink. He didn't help make dinner, didn't make his bed, etc., etc., etc. My sister and I would fume, but what are you going to do?
Since then, my brother has gone through an amazing transformation and has become The Best Houseguest In The World.
1. He conformed to our schedule
2. He offered to go to the store to buy milk - with his money - when it looked like we were almost out. We weren't - Primo and I don't go through milk that fast but we love a bargain, so we buy a whole gallon and then freeze it in quart containers. My brother did not know there were frozen quarts in the freezer.
3. He kept all of his stuff out of the guest bathroom.
4. He kept his room (relatively) tidy. (Compared to when he was a kid.)
5. He hung up his towels, which he has always done, but we have had houseguests who left their wet towels on the floor, which made me wonder what on earth? Who does that? In someone else's house?
6. He tried to wash his own dishes but Primo hates how anyone else does dishes.
7. He covered the food he put in the microwave.
8. He offered to take us out to dinner and then he did so.
9. When he and I went to the state fair, he bought half the food we ate.
More background: My mother, God love her, is as much of a control freak as Primo is and likes her dishes washed a certain way, a way that is not how either Primo or I do dishes. If I do dishes at my mom's, I do it her way if she is watching and my way if she is not.
My mom gets anxious if someone else is doing stuff in her kitchen and will correct a person.
I don't like that kind of correction - that feeling that someone's paper towels are more important than I am, so I make a conscious effort in my house to let people do as they will, even if it's not how I like it.
So when Primo complained about the paper towels, I said, "Even if Greg is using too many paper towels - let's say he uses four paper towels a day, that's a total of 16 paper towels for four days. I can live with that."
Primo made grumpy noises.
I continued, "Besides, when your mom and dad were here, they were horrible guests. They stayed nine days in our bedroom and you were working and I was stuck with them! You do not get to complain about my brother, who is an excellent houseguest!"
"You can't talk about my parents! You can't bring them into the discussion! The statute of limitations is done on them," he replied.
"No it isn't!" I said. "They were awful!"
"But they're dead," he answered. "So what they did doesn't count any more."
"It does," I muttered under my breath.
"But I am sorry I have been cranky about your brother," he said. "I am cranky about the election, not about him."
And then he was cordial and chatty with Greg and we all lived happily ever after until Greg left on Tuesday.