Primo: My mom is not feeling well. My dad is upset. At you.
Me: What did I do now?
Primo: You are taking me away from them.
Primo: Umm… Because I don’t live with them? I don’t know. I think he expected me to visit them for Mother’s Day and my birthday.
Me: I’m sure they would have enjoyed that.
Primo: But that’s not how I wanted to spend that time. He says you do not respect them. He is also angry that I will not – his words – take control of our relationship and get you in line. He says if I don’t get you in line, he will disinherit me.
Me: I thought your dad was an ultra-leftist. That is not a very liberal attitude. It’s definitely not feminist.
Primo: My dad is not a feminist lefty. He picks and chooses the parts he likes.
Me: A cafeteria lefty?
Primo: Exactly! Anyhow, he says he is “hurt” – no, “deeply hurt” that you do not have a relationship with them.
Me: I write letters to your mother. Which I should not have to. My relationship is with you, not with your parents. My mother doesn’t get pissy that you are not writing letters to her. What exactly are the responsibilities that they think go along with being a girlfriend?
Primo: Well, they are pretty sure I am going to marry you—
Me: Unless they can convince you not to.
Primo: Yes. And they probably think that if they don’t get you in line now that it won’t ever happen.
Me: I do write to your mother. Against my will. Because you want me to because you feel sorry for her.
Primo: Yes, but you don’t acknowledge him in the letters. He says you don’t even acknowledge that he exists.
Me: I don’t feel sorry for your dad and neither do you. It’s your mom I am trying to have a relationship with because I feel so bad for her and because you have asked me to. But your dad? Nope. I am not going to bother. He’s not worth it.
Primo: My mom is not doing well. My dad says that she is hardly eating and gets most of her calories from alcohol and that she has the runs all the time.
Me: I think that might be dangerous. Isn’t that a symptom of severe alcoholism?
Primo: I am really worried about her. It looks like she'll go first. But then what do we do with my dad?
Me: Maybe we bring him up here to live with us.