December 2009 The weekend before Christmas. We are at Sly and Doris' house. Primo promised me I would not have to go to Sly and Doris' all of 2009, but. I love my husband. He cannot get away without visiting his parents around the holidays. Well. We are working on it. I am working on it. Honestly. For the 14 - 17? whatever - years he was married to Isabel, he was not expected to visit. Then they separated and suddenly, it's a command performance.
Well. There were Other Things That Happened that I will tell you about later that make his presence more important than it was before. (That's Foreshadowing.)
Anyhow. It is boring for him to go there alone. He travels almost all the time for his job. He misses me. I miss him. I can suck it up for a long weekend. Really. I can. Even if I have a migraine* for the 12 days preceding this visit. Oh topamax. Why have you forsaken me? Are you not strong enough to overcome Dread of Outlaws?
He has just spent four hours working on his parents' computer, fixing what his father, the smartest man in the world (just ask him), has screwed up. He emerges from the office, triumphant.
I tell Doris, "I sure am lucky to be married to him."
"Yes you are!" she answers.
"He's lucky to be married to me," I say.
She pauses. "OK."
"He's damn lucky to be married to me," I tell her.
Long pause as she considers what I said. As she thinks about what she is going to say in return. "Yes," she admits finally. "Because you appreciate him."
"No, Doris," I snap, because I am anything but tactful and after only seven hours in their house, am already loaded for bear. "It's a lot more than that."
But in her extremely modest defense, in her Primo-centered world and in her words, oft repeated, Primo is her Only Joy. Life has sucker punched her so many times she still hasn't caught her breath. She has rejected traditional forms of comfort -friendship, religion - and sought solace in another - liquid, smooth, temporary, memory killing.
Still. Would it have been that hard to be just a wee bit enthusiastic?
When I recount the conversation to Primo, he points out that I put Doris on the spot.
"Oh puh-leeze," I say. "She did not have to make a list of all my many wonderful qualities. All she had to do was say, 'Yes! He is lucky to be married to you!'"
He agrees that I am correct, but then points out that if I expect to get by with just the externalities with Sly and Doris, favoring deeds over thoughts - cleaning the fridge, helping prepare meals and do dishes, sitting the appropriate length of time at supper before excusing myself with a headache - but not wanting to like them or forgive them or nursing resentment in my heart, that I cannot expect his mother to fake enthusiasm with me.
He wins the point.
* The annoying, turns me cranky kind of bitchy kind, not the throwing up, must take to bed in a completely dark room kind. Thank goodness.