Thursday, July 2, 2015

In which Sly is alive after surgery and my friend is not - where is the justice in that?

Primo is still at his mom and dad's, helping out because Sly and Doris have for years refused to look at reality in the face, which of course they can do because they know Primo will come to their rescue. I do not understand such behavior. Sure, I would rescue my mother, but my mother has invested time and effort into making sure she does not need to be rescued, which is why I would rescue her. If my mother had refused to put her affairs in order - to have her financial paperwork done (I am the executor of her will and I have a copy, my sister, the nurse practitioner, has my mom's health care power of attorney, and of course has a copy of the paperwork, I have the financial power of atty, etc, etc), to have plans, then I would not be so inclined to help, although I suspect that if my mom were that type of person - a disorganized mess, she would have raised me to be her savior and it would be all I had ever known.

As in - Sly and Doris raised Primo to be their savior. I have read about the children of alcoholic parents. The parents teach, through their actions, the child how to be their rescuer.

I don't know how to make Primo not rescue them. I can't. I just have to detach. He feels like the only choices are to abandon them or to rescue them. I said they could hire help. (They can afford it.) He says they would never find someone they liked. I say then it is not your problem. They are the ones making that choice. But they do have options. They can take care of the problem themselves, they just choose not to.

Primo disagrees, mostly because he feels so bad for his mother.

I had a nightmare that she came to live with us.

Primo's nightmare is that Doris dies before Sly does and he will have to deal with Sly. At least if Sly were to die first, Primo would be left with the parent he likes.

Sly had his surgery. He survived. Came home last night. He was gone for three nights.

Me: Is your mom drinking less with your dad gone?

Primo: Yes.

Me: Huh.

Primo is angry because he keeps trying to get them to make a decision about hiring help or moving but they refuse.

They also have not completed the will. I think I told you about that. They have to write a codicil describing the distribution of their assets, they say. Isn't that what a will is? I mean, essentially, they do not have a will at all!

Sly's excuse, for not having worked on this for the past six years (his excuse other than he has been busy watching porn on the new Apple computer he had Primo set up for him and then kept calling Primo about when there were problems even though we live three thousand miles away from them and Primo cannot fix their computer over the phone and if someone can fix it over the phone, why doesn't Sly just call Apple customer service? Oh wait. I know. Because then he would not get to bother Primo!), is that he needs to know how much money Jack and Ted are going to get from their mom's estate. Their stepfather, who is dead, was quite wealthy.

Sly says he has ask Ted and Jack what they are to inherit and they say they don't know, which may be the truth or may not be. They actually have nothing to gain by telling Sly anything - Sly's idea is that he will reduce their inheritance from him by whatever they are getting from their stepdad. Why would they tell him anything. For someone so smart, Sly sure is dumb.

This whole idea of an inheritance is so bizarre! I do not come from people who leave money - or at least vast amounts of money - to their kids. I inherited $3,000 when my grandmother died at the age of 97. My brother, sister, and I split what would have been my dad's share. So my dad would have gotten $9,000, which is not insignificant but not enough for someone to spend a lot of time agonizing over his will. I am just glad she had money left when she died - that means she had money while she was alive and could not worry about it.

My other grandmother, who also died at 97, died without any money. Her money ran out a few years before she died and my mom and her six siblings were paying the bills. I don't expect to get money from my mom. I don't want to! I want her to spend it on herself. I don't want her to deprive herself thinking she should leave something to her kids.

Back to Sly - Sly claims he cannot finish his will until he has information from Ted and Jack and Ted and Jack claim they do not have the answers he wants and of course Sly would never pick up the phone to call the ex-wife he abandoned when he met Doris. The ex is the evil one - that's why he had to leave her, you see!

I don't know why he doesn't just divide Gaul in three and be done with it.

I have heard of no drama since Sly got home, but I haven't spoken to Primo yet this morning. I would not be surprised if there is nastiness. I will keep you informed.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

In which we realize that Sly has plenty of time to watch porn on his computer and brag about it (yes) to Primo but does not have time to arrange the big things in his life, like cooking and not falling at the grocery store

Primo is at his mom and dad's.


This time, for Sly's knee surgery.

This was not the plan. The plan was not for Primo to take a sabbatical so he could spend all his time at his mom and dad's.

The plan was for him to get a break and to breathe and to think about what he might want to do and to figure out a way to do it.

I am not putting up with the stress of being the sole wage-earner in this household to make life easier for Sly and Doris.

Sly had called Primo on Wednesday to ask him to be there the following Monday for Primo's Tuesday surgery.

It has been a while, I think, since Sly has bought a plane ticket. And even longer since he has had to consider that other people actually do things with their lives other than sit around and drink.

Primo informed Sly that

1. He was leaving town that night for a week-long political event and that
2. Even if he were not leaving town, he would not be able to drop everything to be at Sly's side in only a few days.

Remember, these are the people for whom three months' notice of our wedding was not enough, as they were not sure they would be able to find someone to feed their cats.

(I wish they had not found someone. I wish they really had boycotted our wedding.)

Primo informed Sly and then Doris that not only was he going to this political thing in another state, he was taking the Megabus for $60 because we are down to one income and did not want to spend the money for him to fly.

He said it again to Doris: "We are on a strict budget. Our income has dropped dramatically. It costs us money every time I visit you."

I was not a fly on the wall for the conversation - oh, man, how I wanted to hear this one - but Primo told them that they would have to pay for his expenses, that he had already paid for two trips in the past four months.

They agreed.

I can't believe it.

He should have asked them a long time ago.

They agreed to pay his expenses and Sly changed the date of the surgery.

The surgery was today. I was messaging with Primo while he was waiting in the hospital. He says that Doris is drinking herself to death and that his parents are even worse off than he thought.

We agreed they need to do something - move, hire daily help, hire live-in help.

imagine how difficult it would be to find a caregiver whom my parents could put up with and who would put up with my dad.


My dad would complain all the time.

  • Me

    he already complains all the time

  • Primo

    And criticize the person.

  • Me

    it would give him someone new to criticize!
    a new reason to live!

  • Primo

    It might deflect some criticism from my mom.

  • Me


  • Primo

    He'll say that he can handle things and he'd rather get by without a caregiver. And it'll be OK until something bad happens.
    But they end up with days like yesterday, when they skipped dinner and then my mom was drunk.
    My dad eventually ate something (part of a Vietnamese sandwich and then some peanut butter on a piece of bread). My mom ate nothing but frozen yogurt last night.
  • Me

    If your dad refuses to hire help, I don't know that there is much you can do

  • Primo
  • And they'll probably always have excuses for not making progress on any of the big issues (moving, home care, the will, etc.) because every week seems to be a series of doctor appointments and hospital procedures.
  • At this rate, they'll be unable to manage soon and I'll end up having to choose some place for them to live.
    But my mom is in such terrible shape and I feel bad for her. When I arrived, she said "We need you."

  • Me

    If your dad has time to watch porn, he has time to deal with important things

  • Primo

    But I can't tell him that.
  • Monday, June 29, 2015

    In which Sly expects Primo to drop everything to fly to their place for an elective surgery Sly wants to have next Tuesday

    It is Wednesday. Primo just got off the phone with Sly.

    Sly wants to have his knee replacement surgery and wants Primo to fly down to stay with them during his recuperation.

    He has scheduled the surgery for next Tuesday.

    In case you are multitasking and don't want to do the math, that is less than a week from today.

    1. Primo has a life
    2. We have already paid for Primo to make two quasi-emergency visits to his mom and dad's in the past few months.
    3. Primo has a life
    4. We are not made of money

    Primo is leaving town tonight for some political thing in another state. He wants to go so much that he is willing to take the Megabus, which has mixed reviews. He will not even be back home until next Tuesday.

    Primo is not willing to cancel going to the political thing.

    He told Sly that he cannot be there next Tuesday.

    Sly's next big idea is to have both knees operated on at the same time.

    I cannot imagine a reputable surgeon doing that - how is Sly supposed to use the facilities if he cannot walk at all? Will they even release a person from a hospital if he cannot somehow hobble to the bathroom?

    They are not doing it right.

    Sunday, June 28, 2015

    In which we meet my brother's girlfriend and she is FABULOUS and then, two months later, I find out that my brother might Not Be That Much Into Her

    I thought I had told you guys about this, but I looked at the unpublished posts and realized that I had not.

    My sister organized a party for my brother's 50th birthday party.

    I haven't told you much about my brother.

    He is 50 years old and never married. He brought home a few girls in college, but after that, nothing. I asked him why he never brought any girlfriends home and he said it was because they were not the kind of girls he wanted to introduce to our parents. I said he shouldn't be dating them and he said that they were fun.

    He had a girlfriend about ten years ago who broke his heart. I don't know the whole story - I doubt there was an intentional heartbreaking, but just a lack of fit, which is always so sad. It's easy to break up with someone who is a jerk, but to break up with someone you really like but know would not be a good life partner, that is hard. It is hard to know that you will hurt someone you like. But you can't marry someone just to be nice.

    So his heart was broken. Since then, he has not had a serious girlfriend.

    My sister organized this party. Primo and I flew to Austin for the weekend. Went to Fiesta grocery before we even went to the hotel. Hung out with college friends. Hung out with Austin friends. Had not seen some of these friends in nine years, which is way too long not to see a friend. Ate Mexican food. Ate more Mexican food. And more. Saw yoga-teaching friend from Cedar Rapids who is now repatriated to Texas. Went to Central Market. Saw gay high school boyfriend who is now a pilot for Southwest. Ate at Threadgill's. Saw more college friends.

    Missed Texas, missed Texas, missed Texas.

    And we hung out at my brother's house and went to the party.

    Back to my brother's house first.

    My sister, my mom, my brother in law, and one of my brother's and sister's friends from junior high, when we lived in the Panama Canal Zone, were at my brother's house. (My brother has very loyal, long-term friends.)

    My brother in law gave my mom an iPhone last year and put her on his plan.

    Overall, this was a good thing, as my mom will drive two days to visit us and I don't like the idea of her being on the road without a cellphone.

    I have nagged her about it for years and of course she laughed at my worry.

    And of course, two years ago, I get a call from someone I don't know on my cellphone - my mom's car has broken down in New Mexico and she has left a message on my phone calling from someone else's cell phone. The message gives me elaborate instructions about how to contact her - "Call Sue's phone but tell her it's for me and if I'm not here I'll be at the pizza place next door" - but she gives me NO USEFUL INFORMATION.

    No useful information such as, "I am fine. My car has broken down. It is being taken care of. I will be a day late getting to your place because of the delay, but that's only because they can't get the part until tomorrow."

    Nope. All I know is I need to call my mom on someone else's phone.

    It was stressful. And annoying.

    (Everything was fine.)

    So my brother in law gives her a phone, puts her on his plan (he is very generous), and now I do not have to worry so much.

    The other thing that I learned from my brother in law is that he is a ratfink.

    A few months ago, I had a bike accident. The ER wanted to do a CT scan, but I did not want one. I snapped a photo of my injury - my prescription sunglasses broke and cut my eyebrow - fortunately, my helmet was just fine - and sent it to my sister, asking if she thought I needed the scan. She is a nurse practitioner and I trust her judgment. That is the reason I called her - as a medical professional, not as my sister.

    She told me not to be an idiot and to get the scan. "Remember Natasha Richardson?" she asked.

    And that was that.

    And then my mom calls. And my brother. And I am thinking, "What the heck? Why are they calling? We are not a phone-calling family!"

    I was angry at my sister because I thought she had called my mom and brother to tell them about the bike accident. Honestly - it was none of their business and wasn't anything they needed to worry about.

    Well, at my brother's house, my brother in law admitted that he was the one who had called my mom and brother to tell them about the accident.

    My jaw dropped. I stared at him. "You did WHAT?" I asked.

    He had called them, he admitted.

    I didn't think my sister would appreciate my yelling at him, so I just narrowed my eyes and hissed, "Do not do that again." And I made a mental note to tell my sister, the next time I called her, that any information I share with her is covered under the sister contract, which precludes disclosure to spouse unless specifically allowed.

    Honestly. Some people.

    Where was I?

    So we went to the party, which was great fun. I saw people I had not seen in over 20 years, including my brother's best friend since high school.

    And I met my brother's girlfriend.

    I had not met a girlfriend in 30 years.

    I met his girlfriend and she was fabulous.

    She is smart and interesting - she designs parks!  can you think of a cooler job? - and funny and grounded and nice and cute.

    My sister, my brother in law, Primo, and I all loved her. We voted and decided she would be a great addition to our family. My mom likes her. We all like her.

    So the other day, when I was messaging with my brother, two months after the party, I asked what was up with the girlfriend.

    "Oh I don't know if I am that into her," he said.

    WHAT! No! She is the one! She is the one we all want! He has to be into her!

    And now I am sad.