Summer 2008 Primo talks to the man and woman who gave him life and want Nothing But The Best For You, Honey. You're The Light Of Our Lives. Are you sure That Woman is not just after your money? Because you know, That Woman was laid off and hasn't found a new job. Maybe she's just LAZY and is marrying you so she doesn't have to work.
Sure. Because there is nothing more appealing to an unemployed 44 year old woman than a divorced, alimony and cobra-paying mid-career, no patents, no stock options engineer. Who did not have a mean lawyer.* Who gave the house to Isabel and is paying for the storage unit where Isabel keeps her wine not because that is in the divorce decree but because it's on Primo's credit card as an auto-bill and he just hasn't noticed and it's not like Isabel is going to tell him because Isabel is many things but she is not stupid.
But who kisses great if you know what I mean. And is a wonderful companion. When we are not talking** about politics.
Primo tells me that according to Sly and Doris, I am a gold digger.
Why his parents think that everything they say to Primo is under the seal of some kind of parent-child confessional, I do not understand. Do they really think that what they say to him about me stops with him? No, he is a conduit. A one-way conduit, because his first loyalty is to me. I would not have married him otherwise.
"Oh really? I'm marrying you for your money? What? Because I turned down all my other marriage proposals*** because I was waiting for a divorced middle-aged engineer?" [Smack! Love ya, honey! You know I do! But your parents make me NUTS!]
"Do they know that I am bringing the assets into this marriage? Do they know that the 50% down payment on our house - the house we wouldn't be able to afford otherwise - comes from me from the house I sold in Memphis that was within $300 of being paid off when I sold it?"****
He rolls his eyes. "You know how they are."
"Do they know I was proposed to by an actual millionaire? And that I was dating the Moroccan millionaire when I met you? That I broke up with him to date you? I could have married a millionaire."
Well. He said he was a millionaire. I never saw any evidence of that. Yves was French. I met him through work. We traveled through the south of France together and split the expenses. He kept notes, then as soon as we got to his place in Paris, made a spreadsheet so we could settle up. I just cared about the major expenses, but wasn't too worried if my spending six francs on a loaf of bread didn't make it to the list.
He lived in a tiny two bedroom place with one of those dorm refrigerators. He didn't even have a washing machine. Washed his clothes by hand in the sink. Maybe that's just standard European millionaire fare. I don't know. Maybe he was a miser. Or maybe he was a liar.
We dated long distance for months, then he broke up with me after sending me an e-card for my birthday. This was after I had done the research and gone all over Miami to find a special boutique bourbon to take to him but whatever.
Nine months later, he came to the US for work. Wanted to see me. Took me to lunch. I found the most expensive restaurant in town. He told me he was getting married. "That's great, Yves!" I said. "I'm really happy for you." And I was. I was over him.
"Who is she?" I asked.
"Oh, you know her," he answered mysteriously.
"I do?" I couldn't think of anyone I knew in Paris. Maybe he'd met someone else at work.
"It's you!" He beamed.
I blinked and shook my head. "No. No!"
"But I need an heir!"
He sat back and stiffened.
“I’ll put half my money in your name.” (A big deal for him – I told you he was a miser.) “We can live wherever you want. You can work or not work, but if you want to live in London, I might have to keep working.”
I kept shaking my head.
“Why would any woman turn this down?” he asked in disbelief. And he really couldn’t understand why.
I tell Primo the story about Yves. He already knows about the Moroccan millionaire, Gomez, because I wasn't exactly - um - done dating Gomez when I started dating Primo and it took me a while to tell Gomez that we were over, but in my defense, I didn't want to break up by email because I think that's tacky and I kept waiting for Gomez to call me and he didn't and didn't and I was hoping that maybe he just never would and he would forget about me and I wouldn't have to deal with the situation. Oh don't judge me. You've done the same thing yourself.
He skyped, BTW, which honestly, if you're a millionaire, don't you have the money to make a decent phone call? Or is that how you become a millionaire - by not wasting money when you don't have to? Actually, Gomez became a millionaire the old-fashioned way - by being born into money in a third-world country.
But anyhow. I tell Primo to tell Sly and Doris that they can kiss my butt. Oh, I'd love for that to happen! But of course he would never do that and neither would I. And actually, I don't want him to tell them anything. Let them think what they want. Our finances are none of their darn business. Let them think that I sit on the sofa eating bon-bons and watching soap operas all day long. It will drive them crazy trying to figure out how to re-write their will so that Primo gets their money but I don't.
* More about that later. [Rolling my eyes.]
** "Talking" = Primo is ranting and I am waiting for him to stop so I can get back to blogging.
*** Well yes I did as a matter of fact. I was engaged after college, then had a few boyfriends who wanted to get married and one who said he would convert from Islam to Christianity for me so we could marry, which taught me not to use religion as an excuse to break up with someone. You just have to say you don't love him any more. It seems mean, but it lets him get on with his life.
**** Oh yes it's true. I come from Thrifty Folk. I owned that house eight years and I owned it.