The traditional headache starts a week before we leave for Florida. My body says, “I didn’t agree to this deal. I don’t want to go to Florida. I’ll show you!”
I tell my body to shut up – that Sly and Doris are old and in poor health and will be dead soon and I might not have many more chances to get material.
We make the traditional flight to Florida. Rent the traditional car.
Make the traditional stop at Publix for bread, sandwich meat, and fruit.
Walk into the house and almost immediately hear the traditional words about how
· Stephanie doesn’t do it right
· The grandkids don’t do it right
· Jack doesn’t do it right
· Ted doesn’t do it right
· Nobody does it right
Survey the traditional landscape of old magazines and catalogs and paper napkins and take-out cups and glass octopuses. I am dreading the day they move to a retirement community and have to clean out the house. Primo will get stuck doing all the hard work and I will probably help him.
Do the traditional chores – cleaning the mold off the front door, cleaning the fridge and throwing away the old food, removing and washing all the fridge shelves, repairing the torn screen on the porch, putting the trash out Sly’s way, pulling weeds, vacuuming the cat hair out of the closets, cleaning the garage, and washing the cat poop off the wall by the litterbox.
 They nailed it in their letter to me about why we don’t get along: That I worry Primo will have to take care of them in their old age. I do. I do worry about it.
 The cleaning lady they have twice a month – a nice lady – does not clean closets, or so Sly and Doris say. They probably have never asked her to. By “clean closets,” I mean, “Open the closet door and vacuum the first eight inches of floor.”