Monday, May 8, 2017

Ch 1 Sly and Doris trash talk everyone they know, which would be fine except they are breaking the rule about praise out, gossip in

You guys, I love gossip as much as the next person and if it can be snarky gossip about nasty people, I am there with the popcorn.

But there are Rules. The Rules are that you do not trash talk nice people and that you do not trash talk your own people to people outside the group. That is, you never trash talk your own family to strangers.

Unless, of course, you are online and are anonymous, like I am here.

But trash-talking your daughter in law to your son’s girlfriend? Trash talking your own sons to your son’s girlfriend? The girlfriend you are just meeting for the very first time ever?

My friends, that is Not Done.

Yet that’s what Sly and Doris do after not asking me anything about myself. They talk about Primo’ half-brothers, Ted and Jack, and Ted’s wife, Ted’sWife, and Jack’s ex-wife, Stephanie.

·         Ted and Ted’sWife won’t eat leftovers[1] so they are Bad
·         Ted and Ted’sWife served goose for Thanksgiving one year and it was not good
·         Ted and Ted’sWife shop at Dean and DeLuca, even though they had to have Sly co-sign on their credit card because their credit was so bad
·         Ted’sWife smokes!
·         Ted’sWife drinks too much
·         Ted is pompous
·         Jack won’t talk to anyone
·         Sly and Doris invested in Jack’s restaurant and it failed
·         Neither Stephanie nor Ted’sWife know how to load a dishwasher
·         We do not hear about Ted or Jack’s dishwasher-loading skills
·         Ted is so full of crap!
·         Ted and Ted’sWife live beyond their means
·         Stephanie shops like there’s no tomorrow
·         One time when Ted and Ted’sWife were visiting Sly and Doris, Ted’sWife ate all the pickled herring

Doris: Stephanie doesn’t even feed those children brown rice! She gives them white rice! And never prepares broccoli! She doesn’t even know how to make broccoli.[2]

Primo: Mom, Dad. Stephanie is a really nice person. Please stop.

Sly: Her grammar is horrible. We’ll ask her what she and the kids are doing and she says that they are ‘laying’ around. Laying! Laying! I keep correcting her but she won’t change.

Primo: Dad! Whether someone speaks proper English has nothing to do with her value as a human being. Please. Enough with the negative comments. It is rude.

Sly: Primo! She cannot even load a dishwasher! I don’t know if there is anything she can do!

Doris: Ted’sWife can’t load a dishwasher, either.

Sly: No. And Ted’sWife drinks too much.

Doris: And she’s fat. She hasn’t lost any weight. She really needs to lose weight.

Sly nods in agreement. Being overweight is a serious character flaw, not a description of a body. Being overweight is on par with strangling kittens before baking them in a pie to feed to little children.

I study Doris. She is not fat. She is maybe even a little too thin – she is scrawny and ropy, except for the bosom, of course.

Sly would do OK in a famine. He has extra. Enough extra that he shouldn’t be throwing any stones from inside his comfortably padded glass house.

Sly: They don’t even do anything cultural. All they do is watch TV. She doesn’t take those children to the museum. She doesn’t expose them to art or music. Just TV. Nothing cultural. Nothing! It was up to us to take Michael and Maria to the lecture on global warming at the library last week.

I stifle a laugh. That’s just what every high school student wants to do with his grandparents – attend a lecture on global warming. That’s the kind of event that builds fond memories that a person will pull out of her mind during bad times in the future.

“I’m going through chemo,” Maria will muse, 50 years from now, “but what gets me through it is remembering the great times I had with Grandpa and Grandma. Oh, that time they took me to the global warming lecture! What fun that was!”

If only I had more to remember about my grandparents than the times baking bread, making apple pie, picking raspberries, riding on the tractor, watching a calf being born, playing cards, going to Shopko with the dollar my grandma gave me to spend, and going fishing. They never took me to a lecture on global warming. They must not have really loved me. 


Doris: And the spending. She just keeps wasting money, even since the divorce. I ask her what she’s going to do for the weekend and she tells me she’s going shopping. She spends and spends and spends.

This (ex) daughter in law Stephanie person must be truly awful if Sly and Doris are willing to talk about her this way in front of


  •        A stranger
  •        Who might be the next daughter in law.

I defend myself in my head. I don’t really like brown rice, but I don’t have any children, so what I feed or do not feed them is not an issue. I cook broccoli and other green things all the time. I think I do it right. Is there a wrong way to cook broccoli? Is it a difficult skill to acquire? Wash, cut up, steam, roast, or boil, right?

My grammar is usually fine, although I don’t parse every word that comes out of my mouth, and I try not to judge other people on theirs. My grandmother says, “ain’t,” but that doesn’t mean she isn’t worthy of love and respect.

I used to be that obnoxious person who would correct people’s (peoples’?) grammar online, but then I realized that I was being a total jerk. I stopped doing it. I don’t want to be a jerk. I like being right (who doesn’t?) but man that is a dangerous path to follow. It’s better to be nice than to be right.

I could lose a few pounds, but nobody would say I was fat. I’d been fat. I know what fat is. I fight it every day. They might say I was comfortable, but not fat. 



And even if I were fat, SO WHAT? Fatness <> moral worth. Fat is just an adjective. It is one of many body types, but being fat is not a moral crime. Being fat does not make a person bad. It is not a result of being a bad person. It’s just a thing. My fatness, whatever degree of fat I might be, does not hurt anyone else.

I prefer to watch Bridezillas over going to a museum, but I have seen my fair share of Great Art. Finally, I am not a big spender. Most of my clothes money is spent at the Junior League Thrift Shop, one of the best-kept secrets in town for good clothes at a great price. I don’t spend a million bucks on dressing myself. I just look like it.

I congratulate myself. There will be no reason for Sly and Doris to criticize me. By the standards they are defining, I am almost perfect.

Things that make a person a bad daughter in law or just a bad person, period
Things I do/am
Things I do not do/am not
Uses bad grammar

X
Doesn’t cook or eat broccoli

X
Doesn’t cook broccoli properly

I don’t know yet – what is the right way to cook broccoli?
Is fat
I might be a little chubby
Mostly not, but it was always lurking. This could be a danger point.
Spends a lot of money

X
Smokes
But I plan to start once I am too old to get those wrinkles around my mouth
X
Won’t talk to anyone
But I don’t want to talk to Sly and Doris
I will talk to perfect strangers in line at the grocery store
Is pompous

I don’t think I am
Serves goose

I’ve never even eaten it
Won’t eat leftovers

I cook huge batches of stuff and freeze it
Doesn’t go to museums
I don’t go to museums anymore
I’ve been. I’m done. A person can get tired of museums.
Shops at Dean & DeLuca even with bad credit

I’ve never shopped there, even with good credit
Drinks too much

I don’t like alcohol and almost never drink
Doesn’t know how to load a dishwasher
I don’t know how to load a dishwasher. I wash my dishes by hand. For one person, a dishwasher is wasteful.

Eats all the herring

I don’t even like herring





[1] I gotta agree with Sly on this one. Wasting food? That is just wrong.
[2] In the tone of voice one would use to say, “She feeds them strychnine!”

3 comments:

  1. I don't think I've ever met anyone with a plan to start smoking.

    ReplyDelete
  2. My mom always made frozen broccoli, never fresh. Wonder what Sly and Doris would think of that.

    Also, I don't know how to load the dishwasher properly, since, before I got married, I'd never owned or used a dishwasher. Thankfully, my husband doesn't mind (although he does sometimes move things after I've loaded it).

    ReplyDelete
  3. It is really a wonder you stuck with Primo, with THOSE people as part of the bargain! It's really hard for me to imagine people that horrible! I guess -- no, I know -- I've led a sheltered life. But, then -- you wouldn't have this entertaining blog without them!

    ReplyDelete

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