Saturday, August 26, 2017

Ch 9 Sly complains about how a young woman sings the National Anthem

Primo emails.

We were watching tennis today. There was some young girl who won a contest singing the national anthem at the U.S. Open. My dad didn't just say that she wasn't good (although she was at least OK); he said that it was an insult to any person with a sense of patriotism to pick anything less than a great singer for the anthem.


Ch 9 Sly and Doris do not like the steak that Primo worked so hard to get to them and I want to say, “I told you so!” but I want even more for Sly and Doris to have said, “Thank you, Primo, for that delicious steak and for working so hard to share it with us! We are grateful for your thoughtfulness and think you are a wonderful son.”

Primo carefully packs the steak and an ice pack in his suitcase along with a bottle of wine.

"I'll have to check this bag," he says.

He never checks a bag. He always carries his luggage onto the plane and has packing down to a fine art. He hates waiting. He especially hates waiting for luggage.

But you cannot carry an ice pack onto a plane. For Sly and Doris, he checks a bag.

He carries the steak with him for 1,000 miles. He drives it the 60 miles to Sly and Doris' house in his rental car because they won't pick him up.

He thaws the steak, he rubs salt on it, he lets it sit, he covers it with mustard, and he grills it.

Then he sends me this message:

You were right. They weren't steak-worthy. I cooked the steak tonight, and it was as excellent as I expected. My mom didn't like it very much and my dad thought it was only "good" and not wonderful. I shouldn’t have brought it. It was wasted on them.

Ch 9 Doris asks Primo to have me sell her used winter clothes that she moved from Pittsburgh to Florida and has now realized she does not need because it does not get that cold in Florida

Primo: I told my mom how you buy a lot of your clothes at consignment stores and that you sell clothes there, too.

Me: Yes?

Primo: She wants me to take her winter clothes back with me so you can sell them and send her the money. Or she would ship them.

Me: What? No!

Primo: I thought I would ask you first before I give her an answer.

Me: Why did she take her winter clothes with her to Florida in the first place?

Primo: Please let’s not get into that. You know what they are like.

Me: No. I do not want to schlep your mom’s old out of style old-lady clothes around and try to sell them.

Primo: But she has some nice things!

Me: Primo! She is 5’10” and 119 pounds, so she is already a limited size. And even if there were a ton of tall, slim women around here, they probably wouldn’t want old-lady clothes. Second, they have been living in Florida for years, so her winter clothes are way out of style. The places I go won’t take anything from more than one season ago. Third, your mom does not seem to – well – I have never seen her really dressed up. I have never seen her dressed nicely.

Primo: She has some designer things!

Me: Like what? Diane Von Furstenberg dresses sell for an arm and a leg. If she has those, I will lose 20 pounds and grow five inches taller just so I can wear them.

Primo: Let me look. OK. I am looking at some dresses. Valerie Stevens?

Me: I have never even heard of her. Let me look her up.

I run to my computer. If I can make some money out of this, maybe.

Me: Oh. Her clothes sold at Palais Royale and Bealls.

Primo: See?

Me: Primo. That’s like saying you can get it at Target.

Primo: Oh. OK. What about Oleg Cassini? Even I have heard of him.

Me: Let me look on eBay. Not good – it’s all under a hundred dollars.

Primo: What do I tell her?

Me: Well, you can’t tell her that nobody wants her old clothes. It will hurt her feelings. Just tell her that the places I take my clothes to require an attached dry-cleaning tag—

Primo: They do?

Me: No, but there are places that do, so it’s only half of a lie. Tell her that she would have to have each item dry cleaned. And that the seller gets only 40% —

Primo: That doesn’t seem fair! Why should the store get so much of the money?

Me: If you don’t like, find another way to sell your used clothes. ANYHOW, and that most places won’t take anything past season, which is true. You don’t need to tell her that I am not about to haul her old clothes around trying to find someone who wants them.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Ch 9 Sly and Doris are angry that Medicare subrogates medical costs

Primo: The hospital settled with my parents.

Me: Oh good grief. They probably just paid them to go away.

Primo: Yes.

Me: And now you and I will pay higher insurance premiums because medical costs will go up. How much did they get?

Primo: About fifty thousand dollars.

Me: Not too shabby for a broken wrist.

Primo: But they are pissed because Medicare took a bunch of it.

Me: Well of course.

Primo: What do you mean “of course?”

Me: Of course Medicare is going to subrogate!

Primo: What?

I used to work for a health insurance company. I know how these things work.

Me: When you sue for something like that – something that is related to an injury that is the fault of another party – the health insurance company gets reimbursed. If you had a car accident and were injured and had medical expenses and got a big payout from USAA, your health insurance would demand reimbursement for the medical expenses.

Primo: That doesn’t seem fair.

Me: It’s completely fair. This is not supposed to be a money-making business for your parents. Besides, isn’t assigning blame their favorite thing to do? Well, Medicare said, “Yes you’re right that blame belongs to the hospital so they can pay for your medical care.”

Primo: Yeah, I guess you’re right.

Me: Haven’t you ever noticed when you go to the doctor or when you send in a claim, they always ask if this condition is the result of an accident or if it happened at work?

Primo: I don’t go to the doctor.

Me: OK. Well, that question is always somewhere at the doctor’s. It’s so they can sue someone else for the money. I am kind of surprised that your dad, The Smartest Man in the World, did not know this.

Primo: He didn’t. And he’s pissed.

Me: Oh well. How much did they end up with?

Primo: About ten grand.

Me: That’s still not too bad for something that happened because your mom was drunk.

Ch 9 Sly says I do not show him the respect he is due, which is true (that I do not respect him, not that he is owed respect), and threatens again to disinherit Primo

Primo: My dad erupted with criticism of your lack of respect for him and especially for my mom. He is super pissed that you didn’t come on this trip.

Me: But it’s not like they really wanted me there!

Primo: Yes, but you are supposed to want to be around them anyhow. Which makes no sense because if you were here, they would not have me all to themselves.

Me: He doesn't even like me. Why does he want me there?

Primo: So he can criticize you.

Me: Am I a bad person for not wanting to go there to be criticized?

Primo: Nope.

Me: OK. What else. Did they threaten to disinherit you again?

Primo: Yes.

Me: Did you point out that according to the will he gave you, you are not even inherited so you can’t be disinherited?

Primo: No. I didn’t want to get into that.

Me: Probably wise.

Primo: He claims they want a better relationship with you. He claims that he is “deeply hurt” by the rift.

Me: He used those words? “Deeply hurt?”

Primo: Yes.

Me: I find that hard to believe.

Primo: He did. Then he said that if I do not “facilitate” a better relationship between you and them, they will write me out of the will.

Me: But you’re already not in it.

Primo: He said they are going to update it.

Me: They are going to update it, put you in it, and then take you out again?

Primo: I guess that’s what they’ll have to do. They’ll have to inherit me before they disinherit me.

Me: So if they die after they inherit you but before they disinherit you, you would be OK?

Primo: Yes.

Me: Cool! But I’m not holding my breath. Your parents don’t exactly stay on top of things and they for sure don’t start new projects. What I don’t understand is why? Why do they want a better relationship with me?

Primo: I don't know.

Me: Seriously. They don't like me. I know they don’t want you to marry me. What’s changed that they want this kumbaya experience?

Primo: I don't know.

Me: Do you think they really want me around?

Primo: No, of course not. They want me all to themselves. My dad does not like you at all. And my mom might like you, but she doesn’t dare show it because my dad would make her pay. My dad just can't stand it that you don't suck up to him. You need to acknowledge that he is a superior human being.

Me: What makes him superior?

Primo: He thinks because he's smarter than you are.

Me: I'm not sure he is, but even if he were, that's not a reason to kowtow to someone. Smart is something you're born with. I might as well as acknowledge he's superior for having detached earlobes. You don't respect for qualities you're born with. You get respect for what you do. Is he a nice person? Is he generous? Has he accomplished good things? No. The answer to those questions is no no no.

Primo: He thinks he's superior.

Me: Of course he does. They don't want a better relationship with me - if they did, they would do something, like email or call me instead of threatening you. I have not slammed the door on them. I have never been anything but polite to their faces. Your dad just wants me to toe the line. He wants to be the one who is rejecting me, not the other way around.

Primo: That's it.

Me: Screw. Them.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Ch 9 Primo wants to take a Good Steak for Sly and Doris

We ordered these fabulous steaks from a butcher in my mom and dad’s hometown. We first bought one when we stayed with my aunt and uncle and had told them we would bring dinner. The steak was so good that we had the butcher ship some to Primo this winter.

But they are not cheap and Primo had to pay to have them shipped, so we are being very careful with them. We save them for company meals. Primo prepares steak well. Not one single person has had Primo’s steak without complimenting the steak and Primo’s preparation thereof. Not one.

Primo: I want to take a steak with me.

Me: No. They are not worthy. If your dad would meet the butcher, he would exude disdain immediately. Mr. P didn't go to college. You know what your dad thinks about people who didn't go to college. They are subhuman.

Primo: They'll really like it.

Me: No they won't. Their taste buds are shot from drinking and smoking. They eat bad cheese, remember?

Primo: They don’t smoke anymore. Besides, it would be nice for me to have a decent steak while I'm there. I have to be there without you, which is nice for you but stinks for me I would like to have a decent meal. You know they never have anything good to eat.

He is right. I feel sorry for him because he is going for an entire week and will be miserable the entire time. And – this is the big gun he did not bring out – he did pay for them.

But Sly and Doris do not deserve that steak. 

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Ch 9 Primo buys crummy cookies because he didn’t know what good cookies were until he met me and I suggest he take the crummy cookies to his mom and dad’s instead of my making cookies for people who get angry about the white meat

Me: You bought gluten-free cookies?

Primo: Yes.

Me: Why? They look awful. They use sorghum[1] flour and a lot of weird stuff.

Primo: They were on sale!

Me: How much?

Primo: Twenty five cents! For that whole box!

Me: Is it possible that the reason they were on sale is because nobody wants them because they are awful?

Primo: Possible. But only twenty five cents. Worth a try.

Me: Why don’t you just take those to your mom and dad’s? That way, I won’t have to bake any.

[1] Although perhaps there is nothing wrong with sorghum flour. I should not knock it until I have tried it.

Ch 9 Primo asks me to bake cookies to take to Sly and Doris’ and I don’t want to BECAUSE I AM A BITCH

Primo: Would you bake cookies for me to take?

Me: What? No. No!

Primo: Oh come on! You’re not going. You’ll have it easy here while I have to listen to them complain.

Me: Seriously? You seriously want me to bake cookies to take to your mom and dad?

Primo: How about cookies for me?

Me: I guess.

Primo: Those coffee shortbreads with the chocolate chips? Some of those?

Me: Fine. But I do not think they are worthy. So you are not allowed to share with them. This is just so you won’t starve to death while you are there.

Ch 9 Ted and Jack want a big happy family celebration for Sly’s 80th birthday and I want to suggest that perhaps they should not serve turkey or any other protein that contains both white and dark meats

Primo: Ted and Jack want to have a family celebration for my dad’s 80th birthday.

Me: OK.

Primo: They want me to come.

Me: OK. Go ahead. Have a good time. Your vacation, your money.

Primo: Wait! Don’t you want to go?

Me: You want me to spend money and vacation time to celebrate a man who screamed at his own grandchildren and who has never done one thing to make me feel welcome in his home? No thanks.

Primo: They will not be happy.

Me: I don’t care. Besides, they don’t really want me around. For sure, your dad does not want me around. I am trying to build a better relationship with your mom, but your dad has never shown any interest in engaging with me in any way.

Primo: You’re right. They want me all to themselves, but they want to reject you. What will we tell them, though?

Me: That I’m going to be washing my hair that night.

Primo: I can’t say that!

Me: Then tell him I have something going on at work. And I do. I have work. I can take vacation or not take vacation and I am sure not going to take vacation just so I can watch your dad scream at Michael and Maria or whomever in person.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Ch 8 Doris reaches out and I coldly and meanly reject her, taking her tender heart and stomping on it

Primo: My mom says you reject her attempts at friendship.

Me: I do? How?

Primo: She says she has reached out to you.

Me: When? She sent us a Christmas card, but I didn’t send one back because we were there for Christmas and besides, they are your parents so you are in charge of recognizing all birthdays and holidays with them. Any time she writes me a letter or an email, I answer it. How have I rejected her? I have sent her unprompted letters. Letters, I might add, that she has not answered.

Primo: I don’t know. That’s what she says.

Me: Oh good grief.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Ch 8 Sly and Doris are angry that Primo went to Pete’s dad’s funeral and to my grandmother’s funeral – maybe because Primo should have visited them instead? Because Primo went to those funerals AT them? I don’t know

Primo: My mom and dad are furious. They asked how I could go to Mr. L's funeral and to your grandmother’s funeral when I made a fuss about going to my uncle’s. I tried to reason with them, but they weren’t hearing it. I finally gave up and they just yelled.

Me: But you did go to your Uncle Bob’s funeral.

Primo: Yeah, but I didn’t want to go. I guess I should have complained about going to your grandmother’s funeral and to Mr. L's funeral.

Me: Your question about will people come to your dad’s funeral? This. This is why nobody will come.

Ch 8 And I find out that Stephanie spilled the beans but it’s my fault for not telling her this was under the seal of the confessional

“Oops L” she emails. “I am sorry! I didn’t know you weren’t going to tell them you guys were going  to the funeral! I asked Doris when the service was and she didn’t know what I was talking about.” 

Ch 8 Primo and I go to Mr. L’s funeral, which is standing-room only, which makes us go, “Hmmmmm”

There are 80 chairs in the room. It’s not enough. We find more chairs, but there are still people standing.

Primo: Do you think that 80 people will show up for my dad’s funeral?

Me: Your mom and dad moved away from the place where they had lived for many years. Mr. L lived here for over 50 years. He still had a lot of friends here.

Primo: Yeah, right. I’m sure that’s it.