Monday, January 11, 2010

In which I must die by the sword

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.


  1. It would be great if they accepted you and appreciated what a terrific daughter in law you are, but it's not going to happen for reasons that have nothing to do with you personally.

    You should probably try to accept it accept it and move on. Primo can go visit them by himself, and not having you along will be a good reason to keep the visit brief.

    Try to remember the serenity prayer in situations like this.


  2. Whilst we may never know both sides of the story. I think it is pretty safe to assume what you say is darn accurate.

    They do seem pretty wretched. It must be tough to ignore them. I hope you can find an outlet for their antics here!

    P.S. I'm almost ashamed to say I love my soon to be inlaws.

  3. Yeah, he does have a point. Curses when husbands do that! (Well, not really. It keeps we wives tempered.)

    And migraines do suck. The ones I have had are short-lived (12-16 hours), but intense. I wouldn't think 12 days of pain would be much fun, either.

  4. Richard, oh, it's personal. But yeah, they don't like anybody, so it's also not personal. Whatever. Their loss.

    Anna, don't be ashamed! I wish I had a good relationship with my in-laws! I had a great relationship with the family of my boyfriend before Primo. He used to tease me that they would pick me over him. I loved going to visit them. We always had a great time. It would make my life so much better if these visits were fun. I wanted in-laws I could enjoy and love. My mom LOOOOOVES Primo and life is so much easier when we are around her.

    Mel, yeah. I hate it when he's right. :)