Saturday, September 30, 2017

Ch 12 Sly (and Doris, I suppose) harass Primo because he has refused to break up with me, cancel our wedding, and, I suppose, sell our house and move in with them

They send him an email from their joint email account. “We’re totally distraught. You've choosing her over us. Don’t bother to visit.”

The time stamp is 7:00 p.m. their time. Cocktail hour starts at 4:00 p.m. at their house. Don’t drink and email should be the rule.

Primo: Why are they being so mean? What can I do?

Me: Nothing. They are trying to manipulate you. They are making their own choices. Let them. Call their bluff.

Primo: But I think they mean it.

Me: You mean that if you marry me, they will never talk to you again?

Primo: Yes.

Me: What kind of parent does that?

Primo: Mine.

Me: And if they were going to make that threat, why didn’t they do it before we bought a house together? It’s not like you kept that a secret.

Primo: I don’t know.

Me: If you want me to, I’ll talk to them. I’ll suck it up. I’ll apologize. I’ll grovel. Not that it would make any difference. But it would call their bluff. If I make an abject apology – admit I was wrong, remove the statement from my blog – then if they refuse to forgive me, they’re the ones who look bad. You know they won’t let that happen.

Primo: No, that will make things worse.

Me: Actually talking about something that’s upsetting them will make it worse?

Primo: You know what they are like. You tried that, remember? You wrote the letter?

Me: That was not exactly successful unless you consider success your mom asking me to make a list of all the things I don’t like about them.

Primo: They are totally non-confrontational.

Me: What? Were you not there when your dad screamed at Amy about the white meat?

Primo: Good point. No, what I mean is that they would rather talk about you behind your back and be angry than have a conversation. My dad doesn’t want to fix things. He wants to be angry at someone.

Me: That is a sad way to live.

Primo: It’s not how I want to live. That’s why I went through all that marital counseling with ex-wife. I do not want to be like my parents.

Ch 12 We argue about making cookies

I get out flour, sugar, butter, and chocolate chips. Baking is the only logical reaction to Sly and Doris’ craziness.

Primo gets all, "Whoooooo!" He thinks the purpose of a kitchen is to remain pristine.

Primo: There will be dishes all over! How can I relax?

Me: Because I'm not going to ask you to do any of the dishes?

Primo: But you don't do them right.

Me: Your standards are too high.

Primo: Yours are too low.

Me: Your parents think it's the opposite.

Hahahahaha! How to unite people: Well, you know.

Ch 12 Sly and Doris are insulted by the atheist comment on the wedding project plan I put on my blog

Primo: My parents are really upset about something you wrote on your blog.

Me: They read my blog?

Primo: I guess so.

Me: But it’s been years since you gave them the address. And I thought they hated it.

Primo: Me, too.

Me: Weird. What are they upset about?

Primo: You wrote something about the wedding and the wedding supper and how you’re worried about seating the atheists and the pastors?

Me: Uh huh.

Primo: They’re insulted.

Me: Ouch. Not my finest hour, huh?

Primo: Yeah. They think you think they don’t know how to behave.

Me: Well they don’t.

Primo: Yeah, I know, but they’re upset.

Me: Can’t you tell them I meant my family? My brother has gone through his stages. Or that I was worried they would be offended by Pastor Gail and Father Joe?

Primo: I don’t think they’ll buy it.

Me: You’d think they’d be happy to see me participating in the family tradition of trash-talking people who aren’t around.

Primo: You’d think. But they’re upset.

Me: Well crap. So that’s why they are boycotting the wedding?

Primo: That’s what they say.

Me: Would it help if I apologized? I should not have written that. That was dumb.

Primo: I doubt it. They really just want a reason that’s not about them not to like you. Kind of like the bad bacon eating.

Me: That makes sense. Even before I wrote that post, they were telling you I am a gold digger who is marrying you only for money. They don’t want you to marry me, period. They don’t like me. But they don’t want to admit they don’t like me unless it’s my fault. The dislike can’t be because of a flaw in them. I have to be the flawed one.

Primo: Yeah, I think that’s it.

Me: They’re looking for any excuse where they are not the ones to blame and where they don’t have to admit the real reason they don’t like me, whatever that might be. Is there anyone who would meet their standards?

Primo: I doubt it.

Me: Not even a socialist atheist environmental activist with a PhD?

Primo: No. They’d find something wrong with her. Too fat. Too thin. Likes pop music. Doesn’t eat brown rice. Eats too much brown rice. Feeds only brown rice to her guests. Never feeds brown rice to her guests. There’s always something.

Me: Exactly. They just don’t want someone to compete for your attentions. Love is a zero-sum game, right? It’s not, but time sure is. The more time you spend with me, the less time you have for them.

Primo: That’s what they think. They think if it weren’t for you, I would be with them all the time.

Me: If they were really hurt by what I wrote, they would have said so and asked for an apology. But they went straight to DEFCON five. They’re nuts.

Primo: I know. But what am I supposed to do?

Me: If you don’t think my apologizing would do any good and if you don’t think reasoning with them will work, then tell them to have a nice life. And tell them that I will never, I mean NEVER again talk about them on my blog.[1] Ever.
Primo: Never?

Me: Never.
Primo: What about when we visit them?

Me: I just won't blog while we're there.
Primo: But they'll wonder why you're not writing about it. You blog every day.

Me: Tell them out of respect for their wishes, I am no longer mentioning them on my blog.
Primo: They'll be insulted if you don't mention them at all, especially when we are there.

Me: Too bad. Tell them live by the sword, die by the sword.
Primo: They'll be upset.

Me: Like I care. They can't have it both ways.
Primo: They're not going to be happy.

Me: I don't care. Don't tell them anything. You don't have to put yourself in the middle of this. Just don't mention it. But I won't ever mention them again on my blog. I am done with them. Done.

[1] I mean, of course, the Other Blog, not this one, the Double Secret Probation Blog Where I Tell All.

Ch 12 We find out what Sly thinks Primo won’t tell me and that I would not ever figure out and I think, “Cool!” but only to myself because it clearly upsets Primo

Primo: They’re not coming to the wedding. My dad says they are “boycotting” it. And they say I shouldn’t marry you.

Me: And they had to tell you this in secret?

Primo: Yeah.

Me: Like – I wouldn’t notice if they didn’t show up? Or if you said you weren’t going to marry me?

Primo: Yes.

Ch 12 Two weeks to the wedding Sly assumes I read Primo's mail and also assumes Primo keeps Big Secrets from me

Primo: Whoa. My dad is calling me.

Me: That’s weird. Your parents are actually calling you? They never call you. This must be big. Maybe someone died again. Not the same person dying twice. But a second person, dead. You know what I mean.

Primo: Maybe.

Me: Don’t answer it. You can wait until we are home.

Primo: It might be important.

Me: What could be so important that it can’t wait little while? We’re driving. This is not convenient. Your uncles are both dead, so it can’t be another funeral that you are supposed to attend. Your dad already said that when his sisters die, he will attend their funerals, right?

Primo: It’s my dad. I have to take it.

Me: You know your phone is for your convenience, not your caller’s, right?

Primo: It could be important.

Me: If someone is dead, he will still be dead in a few hours. If there is an emergency at your mom and dad’s, it’s not like you can make flight arrangements while you’re driving.

He answers anyhow.

Primo: We’re in the car.

Primo: On our way home.

Primo: Yes she is.

Primo: Yes, of course it is.

Primo: OK, I’ll call you when we get home.

He hangs up.

Primo: My dad wants to know if my email is secure.

Me: What does he mean, is your email secure?

Primo: Do you read my email, he means.

Me: Why would I read your email? Why is he even asking such a question?

Primo: I don’t know. Maybe because they have a shared email account?

Me: Yeah, I’ve heard you can save a lot of money that way.

Primo: What couldn’t he ask me in front of you? He has to know that I don’t have secrets from you.

Me: Maybe what they should get us for a wedding present?

Primo: Why would that be a secret from you and not from me? Besides, it’s not like you wouldn’t tell me, anyhow. And it’s not like I wouldn’t find out when they actually gave it to us.

Me: What kind of cool present might they be planning to get us? You already have a set of silver. Not that I consider silver to be a good gift.

Primo: Why not? It’s nice! It was my grandparents’ silver.

Me: Have you ever polished it?

Primo: No.

Me: Have you ever polished copper? Or bronze?

Primo: No.

Me: I rest my case. I don’t want silver. I don’t want anything that has to be polished. Or ironed.

Primo: There’s nothing we lack. We are not just starting out – we have furniture and all that stuff.

Me: Maybe they want to pay off our mortgage.

Primo: Are you talking about the people who have, more than once, threatened to disinherit me? And who currently do not have me in their will?

Me: Oh, you’re right. What was I thinking? Maybe plane tickets to wherever we want to go?

Primo: They’re not even paying for their own tickets to come to our wedding.

Me: I’m out. I don’t have any other ideas. 

Friday, September 29, 2017

Ch 12 I do a better job buying this wedding dress than I did 20 years ago when I was going to marry my college boyfriend (but I didn’t marry him after all)

I need a wedding dress. I don’t care about having a white fluffy dress. I bought one of those when I was engaged to marry my college boyfriend, right after he proposed. I should have waited a little while and not wasted my money. We broke up only a couple of months after we became engaged.[1] That’s what I get for being prompt.[2]

Some women look good in a fluffy muffin dress. Some of us do not. I definitely do not. Why I bought a fluffy muffin dress back then I don’t know. It was a demo model and it fit and it was only $250.[3] Price should be part of one’s wedding dress purchasing decision, but it should not be the only factor.

I gave the muffin dress to Goodwill. Putting an ad in the paper[4] to sell my unused wedding dress didn’t appeal to me. Mostly because I was worried about letting strangers into my apartment, where they would pull a knife on me and steal the dress and – well, there wasn’t anything else to steal. I lived in an efficiency on Sunset Drive in Houston and had my old twin bed from home, two folding wooden chairs from Pier One, and a thirty dollar table from Aaron Rents.[5]

But you know – they could hold me up. Although I’ve never read of a wedding dress or folding chairs or a bed or a table being stolen at knifepoint, it could happen.

Today, I would just put it on eBay. Oh eBay, where were you when I had a wedding dress to sell and couldn’t deduct the donation because I didn’t itemize? I am always in the wrong time.

This time, I want a red dress. I look far better in red than I do in white. Who says you have to be married in white? What is this wedding industry tyranny that puts women in a color that flatters very few?

I also want a dress that I can wear multiple times. When you are older and paying for everything yourself, you realize that spending three months’ mortgage on a dress you will wear only once is not what you want to do.

My objectives

·         A red dress
·         That is not too expensive
·         That I can wear again and
·         That will accommodate my soon to be larger tummy.

My objective is also not to spend a lot of time shopping, as I hate shopping. I do. I’d rather read a book.

At Macy’s, I find a red and white sleeveless dress with an empire waist (thank you, Stacey and Clinton – those hours watching What Not To Wear were not wasted) with a slightly gathered skirt. The deep V-neck makes me look like I have a bosom, which is more than pregnancy is doing. That is quite an accomplishment for a dress. AND it is only $39 on sale!

[1] I did give the ring back.
[2] We broke up because I realized that I did not want to get married at the age of 22, not because there was anything wrong with him. He went on to marry one of my college roommates, which seems kind of weird, but they didn’t start dating until years after I broke up with him, so no Roommate Rules were broken. I have totally googlestalked them because I love to know how the story ends. Three gorgeous kids. They are both professors, him in engineering and her in comp sci. They are both pretty smart cookies. I hope they are happy and wish them well.
[3] Considering I was making only $20K a year and was paying back my student loans, I realize that $250 is not an “only.”
[4] Seriously – this was ages ago.
[5] That I still have. That table has been, on a use per dollar or use per year basis, one of the best investments I have ever made. It is solid wood and has served me well. Thank you, Aaron Rents, for a fabulous bargain.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Ch 12 I tell Jenny that I am a gold digger

Me: Primo’s mom and dad told him I am marrying him for his money.

Jenny: Is he rich?

Me: No!

Jenny: Are they rich?

Me: Nope. And even if they were, they have already threatened to disinherit him, which they can’t do because he isn’t even in the will they have now.

Jenny: You’ve seen their will?

Me: Yeah, they gave a copy to Primo to keep in his files.

Jenny: Makes sense. Mom gave us each a copy a few years ago.

Me: Yeah, but she didn’t disinherit us.

Jenny: Well, you’ve always been a greedy money-grubbing bitch.

Me: I know, right?

Jenny: Isn’t that why joined the Peace Corps?

Me: Hey. That has been a path to riches for many people.

Jenny: They are nuts.

Me: I know. Their own son – and they don’t know why someone would be in love with him. So insulting.

Jenny:  You have spent time with them. You know what they’re like.  They should know that there is not enough money in the world to get someone to put up with them.

Me: Maybe ten million dollars. I would put up with them for ten million dollars.

Jenny: See! You are a gold digger! 

Ch 12 Sly and Doris warn Primo I am a gold digger

Primo: My mom and dad think you are marrying me for my money.

Me: Oh! Are you rich?

Primo: They think I am.

Me: No, seriously – is there something I’m not seeing here? I have more assets than you do. It’s the money from the sale of my house – which, may I remind you, I was within $300 of paying off when I sold it – that gave us the fifty percent down payment for this house. You gave all your money to ex-wife so you could get a divorce. And your mom and dad have disinherited you, so it’s not like I have their enormous estate of a poorly-built house in a place I would never want to live to look forward to.

Primo: They think you are lazy and just don’t want to get a job again so you are just marrying me.

Me: They think I am marrying you to get out of working?

Primo: Yep.

Me: Ha. Tell them I am marrying you for sex.

Ch 12 Primo worries about Sly’s bed issues

Primo: This is really bad – that my dad keeps falling out of bed.

Me: Maybe he should stop drinking.

Primo: Where are they going to sleep when the baby comes?

Me: What do you mean?

Primo: They’ll want to come when the baby is born. But if we turn the guest room into a baby room, then there is nowhere for them to sleep except the basement and stairs are really hard for them. And I don’t think we should have to move to the basement so they can have our bedroom if we have a new baby.

Me: Wait. What do you mean, “They’ll want to come?”

Primo: Well, my mom will. My dad probably won’t care.

Me: If they come, they can rent a car and stay in a hotel.

Primo: They’re my parents!

Me: The whole point of family visiting when there is a baby is for the family to help. The visitors are supposed to do the laundry and wash the dishes and prepare meals so the new parents can get some sleep!

Primo: Oh.

Me: I can’t see your mom and dad doing that.

Primo: No, they don’t even do that at their own house for themselves.

Ch 12 Primo buys me a compost thingy for the yard

Primo: What's your plan for storing the stuff before it goes into the compost bin?

Me: Same way I did it in my house. I'm going to keep it in a bowl on the counter.

Primo: My parents have one of those little composting bins that they keep next to the sink.

Me: Yeah. I saw that. It’s gross.

Primo: It has a lid.

Me: If you empty it every day, you don’t need a lid. Your parents had stuff in there that was days old and starting to mold.

Primo: But what about winter?

Me: Like the sink thingy would be less disgusting in the winter?

Ch 12 I think about Primo’s family tree and it makes me very concerned for our baby

Me: The genetics are not on our side.

Primo: I know. I’ve thought the same thing.

Me: Your sister and your nephew.

Primo: I know. What do we do?

Me: There is nothing for us to do but to wait. But I would rather have no children at all than have the nightmare your mom and dad had with Nancy.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Ch 12 I want Primo to get rid of all the junk that he moved from his apartment to our house

Primo: What do you want for your birthday?

Me: I don’t know. We just bought a house. We’re getting married. We don’t need anything. I don't want anything.

Primo: But I have to get you something.

Me: Fine. I want three hours some Saturday of you throwing out your crap in the basement.

Primo: I don't want to do that.

Me: That's what I want.

Primo: Can't I just buy you something?

Me: Nope.

Primo: You're mean.

Ch 12 We have a nice yard – I will be damned if I am going to give Sly and Doris any reason to criticize our house – and Primo thinks it happened by accident

Primo: We're lucky we don't have dandelions in our yard.

Me: What?

Primo: Look at all the dandelions our neighbors have.

Me: You think it's luck?

Primo: Yes.

Me: You think it's just LUCKY that all the yards around ours are full of dandelions and our only yard HAPPENS NOT TO HAVE ANY DANDELIONS?

Primo: Yes?

Me: No. We are not "lucky" (as I do that air quotey thing). We are "hard worky." I have been pulling dandelions for weeks now.

Primo: You have?

Me: You haven't noticed?

Primo: No.

Me: Well, I have.

Primo: You get the roots and everything?

Me: Yes! When I was a kid, my dad paid me half a penny for every dandelion I pulled from the yard, but it had to have the root attached.

Primo: That's not a lot of money.

Me: It was to me, rich kid whose mom made his bed.

Ch 12 I try to find the good side of children

Me: I will finally be able to put my parenting theories into action.

Primo: What theories?

Me: I am convinced most parents do it wrong. They cut the grass even though they have teenagers. They buy a dishwasher even though they have kids. They spend all their time watching their kids’ soccer practices. Why have kids if you are not going to delegate chores to them?

Primo: I did chores.

Me: You did dishes? Put away your own laundry? Cleaned the bathroom? Dusted?

Primo: No, my mom did all that.

Me: What did you do?

Primo: I helped my dad with the yard.

Me: What were you responsible for inside?

Primo: What do you mean?

Me: I mean at my house, we made our own beds, we made our own lunch for school the night before, we cleaned our bathroom, we put away our clean clothes – my mom washed, dried, and folded them, which I now realize she should not have done once we were past a certain age, we took turns drying dishes as my mom washed, we set the table, we vacuumed, we dusted.

Primo: Oh. My mom did all that.

Me: What?! Really?!

Primo: Yes. Is that weird?


Primo: Yes.

Me: Until you were how old?

Primo: Until I went to college.

Me: Oh man. That explains SO MUCH.

Ch 12 Wedding Date minus 8 weeks Guess what? My morning sickness is all-day sickness and I am not getting a bosom

Yes. Still nauseated.

But no boobs.

Aren’t you supposed to get a bosom when you are pregnant? You’re supposed to glow. Your hair is supposed to be lustrous and thick.

Not me. Not my bosom. Not my hair.

The insurance company sent me a book - What to Expect When You’re Expecting.

Do not read this book. It is very scary. Do you know what happens to your body when you’re pregnant? There are so many gross things. I had to stop reading. I don’t want to know about mucus plugs and extra hair and stretch marks.

I feel like crap and my new high-risk pregnancy doctor told me I can’t have artificial sweeteners, so I haven’t even been able to drink diet Dr Pepper.

He said I can drink coffee – that caffeine is OK, but I am not a coffee drinker.

Being pregnant stinks.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Ch 12 I don’t trust the cheap Walmart pregnancy test so I go to my doctor

Peeing on demand under pressure at the doc’s is even harder than doing it at home.

The cheap Walmart kit, despite being made in China, is telling the truth.

Doctor: I don’t treat high-risk pregnancies. You need to see a specialist.

Other than my age, what is high risk about me? I exercise regularly, don’t drink, don’t smoke, eat mostly properly. I am in pretty decent shape. How complicated can this whole thing be? High school girls do it all the time. All there is to do now is wait nine months and then voila! after a lot of numbing drugs and preferably a few that would make me high – I am no natural birth idealist – there will be a baby. 

Monday, September 25, 2017

Ch 12 Primo doesn’t know the 12-week rule

Primo: I have to tell my mom! She’ll be so excited!

Me: One. She won’t. They hate me. Two. No! You don’t tell people until you’re past 12 weeks.

Primo: Why not?

Me: It’s the rule.

Primo: But my mom – this will make her happy. This will be her first grandchild.

Me: She has Michael and Maria.

Primo: You know what I mean. The first grandchild who is her blood.

Me: Yeah, your family is really big on that whole blood relation thing.

Primo: Let me tell her, please.

Me: No! I’m not even telling my mom. We’re certainly not telling yours. We can tell them after the 12 weeks have passed.

Ch 12 I hate it when Primo is right

Now that I am unemployed, I can go to the gym during the day. Maybe I will get in really good shape.

Oh I crack myself up.

Anyhow, I found a 9:00 a.m. weights class at the Y and have been going to that. Me, hanging with the yummy mummies and great grannies. It’s a completely different world from the 5 a.m. class I attended when I was working.

So I go to the gym and then I go to Walmart, which is not my favorite, but they have the best prices, although usually that’s because they are cheap made in China by slave labor products, so I don’t buy those. But for something I am going to pee on and then discard?

I want cheap.

Usually I need to pee ALL THE TIME.

But now? Peeing on demand? Not happening.

I drink a diet Dr Pepper (in a can) and wait.

While I am waiting, I go online and look at college prices.

If I am pregnant, I will strongly recommend that our child purse a career in plumbing or auto mechanics. Even in-state tuition is crazy high.

I finally need to pee. It’s hard to aim. This is a messy, messy process.


I wrap the stick in a paper towel and put it in Prmo’s bathroom drawer. He is coming home tomorrow. I will tell him then.

Except he calls. He can’t wait. He has to know.

He is excited. I am – not sure. We have just gotten an 18-year prison sentence.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Ch 12 So guess what? It might not be depression nausea

·         Nausea
·         Breakouts
·         Zits
·         Late period

What does all that mean to you?

To me, it means perimenopause.

Primo: You can’t be starting menopause. You’re too young.

Me: Well, my period is three weeks late. That’s the only thing it can be.

Primo: What if you’re pregnant?

Me: That’s crazy.

Primo: Check. Take a pregnancy test.

Me: No. I am not pregnant. That would be a stupid waste of money.

Primo: You could be.

Me: No. It’s impossible.

Primo: It is not impossible.

Me: OK, it’s unlikely.

Primo: It could happen.

Me: I really don’t think so. Women my age pay a lot of money to get pregnant. All I did was stop taking the pill a few months ago because I figured I was too old for this kind of thing.

Primo: Would you just buy a test and take it? Don’t you want to know? You’ve told me yourself that you never get sick. You don’t. I’ve never once seen you sick. Take the test.

Me: Fine. But it’s a stupid waste of money.

Primo: What if you are?

Me: Oh God I hope not. I cannot imagine nine months of feeling like this.

Ch 12 I feel sick to my stomach all day, which is bizarre because I never get sick

You guys, I feel like crap. I suspect this is post-layoff depression. I have been unemployed before, but I have never been laid off. It’s really demoralizing. I know I wasn’t fired, but I keep wondering why I was one of the ten percent laid off. How does management make these decisions? If it were me, I would get rid of my worst people. But I don’t think I am one of the worst people.

This stinks.

I have been nauseated all day for the past week. I can’t figure it out. I never get sick. I never feel sick. Maybe a cold once a year, but other than that, I don’t get sick. I attribute my robust good health to the cast-iron immune system I developed as a Peace Corps volunteer when my cleaning lady used my vegetable brush to scrub the toilet.

No, I did not know she was doing that until I saw her cleaning the bathroom one day.

Me: Marisol? I didn’t know you brought your own cleaning supplies. I thought you used what was here.

Marisol: I don’t bring anything. This is the brush from beneath the kitchen sink.

Me: Ah. Oh. Um, Marisol? That is the brush I used to scrub vegetables.

Marisol: OK! I will put it back where it belongs.

Me: Don’t bother. I won’t be using it anymore.

I think I will spend the afternoon watching “What Not to Wear” and then will go to bed early. Primo is on a work trip so I control the remote and the light switches.