Tuesday, January 26, 2010

In which Sly tells Primo that I am a bad bacon eater

Autumn 2007 It's a year since I met Sly and Doris. They do not like me any better now than they did then. I want them to like me. People like me. They do. Why don't Sly and Doris like me? I was polite. I took a hostess gift. I helped with the dishes. I sent a thank you note. What did I do wrong?

I know there is the blog, but it's not like I am a raving lunatic, name calling or anything. I write about my garden and why haven't I won the yard of the month award and how there is a grand conspiracy keeping me from winning it. But I don't really mean that there is a conspiracy. It's satire, people. Satire.

And occasionally I make reference to political issues, so Sly and Doris know where I stand. I know where they stand. I know where my friends stand. As a matter of fact, I have many friends, Primo included, who are almost opposite of me on political issues and yet we get along. But Sly and Doris seem to be quite unhappy that we do not share the same political beliefs. Why can't we all get along? is what I say. Tolerance. Tolerance.

But they do not like me. And I don't know how to make them like me. I have failed. What am I doing wrong?

Primo has one of his weekly mandatory phone calls. Finishes. "How was it?" I ask.

"I'm not sure I should tell you this," he says.

"Tell me," I say, dreading what I might hear.

"My dad said something about you."

Great, I think. Now what?

"He's unhappy about something that happened last year when we were visiting."

"What did I do?" I ask. I can't think of anything that was exceptionally rude. Mildly - like barely hardly noticeable - rude, yes. But so rude that it had to fester for a year before it could be addressed yet of a code so bizarre that I wouldn't even notice? What on earth could that be?

"When he made breakfast that Sunday - remember? - eggs and bacon - he didn't like that you picked the fat off your bacon and just ate the lean."

I'm waiting for the rude part. "Um-hmm."

Primo says nothing.

"That's it?"


"Wait. You mean your father has been upset about how I eat my bacon for a year?"

"Yes. He said it was an insult to the host."

"Your dad is full of crap."


"And you were worried about telling me this?"



"Because I thought it might upset you."

"What?" I am silent as I think about this. Am I upset? Yes. This is stupid. STUPID. He doesn't like me because of the way I eat my bacon? What's wrong with how I eat my bacon? I don't want the fat. So sue me. Primo eats it, so it's not like the fat is going to waste, and even if it were, so what? So the heck what? This coming from the man who ATE MY CARR VALLEY CHEESE EVEN THOUGH HE IS LACTOSE INTOLERANT? AND DIDN'T EVEN DRINK ALL THE LACTAID I HAD TO BUY FOR HIM?

Yes. I am a wee bit upset.

Just a little.

But in a good way.

Because you know what?

I have realized something.

I have been trying to make someone who is completely irrational like me.

And it's never going to happen.

Because he dislikes me for reasons that cannot be fixed. For reasons that have nothing to do with me. He has decided he is not going to like me no matter what and is looking for excuses for that dislike.

He doesn't like how I eat bacon? He's been thinking about that for a year? A YEAR? Yes, I know I am shouting. But honestly. BAD BACON EATING? As a basis for disliking someone?

You'd be shouting too.

The realization is liberating. I don't have to make him like me. I can't make him like me. He won't like me. Ever.

The only thing I can do is be sure to cut the fat off every single piece of meat that crosses my plate any time I am around him. And that's what I do. Revenge is a dish best eaten lean.


  1. I do recall mentioning the serenity prayer at some point.

    Good call on the giving up.

  2. Um, Sly needs to get a life!!!

  3. Maybe you can find a book on bacon and give it to him for his next gift.

  4. Richard, easy to say I'm giving up. Harder to do.

    Anon, preach it.

    AKJ, ha! Yes. A bacon book. Or a manners book.

  5. You just can't let this kind of BS get to you. Practice detachment. Seriously.

    And your guy should tell them to pull their heads in once in a while. "Yeah, yeah -- we all know you don't like gold digger. Enough already."

  6. I love this!! I had a great M-I-L, but one of my sisters-in-law is a total dragon to the wife of one of her sons, and I have always backed the young woman up because the dragon's reasons for not liking her are totally irrational (once the old lady was angry because the girl was not ecstatic to get a ratty old grocery bag of her discarded clothing).

    Once you get it that there's probably little you can do to change his mind, it gets easier. It might even get to be your own private little joke, between just you and Primo (wonderful name).

    1. Anon, Doris once sent me a book she had read - which was fine, but I had already read it - and two catalogues for stuff I would never want. I was scratching my head over that one.

      The good thing is now that I have accepted the insanity of it all, I just sit back and take notes. They do give me good material.

  7. This is hysterical! I don't know if this is satire or real, but it certainly is entertaining. What crazy characters. I think you have a sitcom in the making!!

    1. Thanks, Anon! This is real - I do not have the imagination to make this kind of stuff up. I just shake my head and take notes when Sly talks.

  8. Okay, I know this happened years ago, but that is just SO bonkers that it is funny. Maybe not for you though. xxxx

    1. It is funny years later and now that Sly is dead. :)

  9. The mother of my best friend in high school met me once, didn't like me because I have an overbite. Said it indicated a "lack of character." Not much you can do with that, really. Friend and I are still friends, 54 years and going strong. Mother is still alive, still hates me although I doubt she remembers why at this point.

  10. Just saw your post on Carolyn Hax's Holiday Hootenanny! Unless there are multiple daughters-in-law out there who eat bacon wrong.

    - Pennalynn Lott

    1. Hi Pennalyn Lott! Yes, that was I, but there may be more of us. My college roommate even texted me to ask if I had been on the Hootenanny!

    2. And the Meyer lemon tree was you too. So many memorable stories on this blog.