Thursday, September 17, 2015

In which I compare Sly to Rasputin, but only in my mind

Primo and I had a big fight on the phone last night. Started because mainly because he was being a jerk but I suppose I was being one as well. He had scheduled a flight back to his mom and dad's on a date and time that meant great inconvenience to me - either I cancel an oral surgery appointment I made a month ago and had told him about or he leave the car at the airport - because you cannot drive for a few hours after you have taken valium or at least I cannot do it - and I would have to go get it.

1. I don't have any friends close enough I feel comfortable asking to drive me 20 miles to the airport. That's at least a one-hour favor.
2. Seriously? Why can't he take a cab? (Leave the question that getting a cab in this city is almost impossible but God forbid we have Uber because THAT WILL HURT PEOPLE.) A cab would be bad because Sly would have to spend an extra $50 and because Primo is a control freak and hates it when someone else is driving.

So then the fight degenerates to "Well change your ticket to leave at 6:00 a.m. as I had suggested and I can take the bus to the dentist" to which the response is, "But that other ticket is $200 more expensive," to which I said, "Like I care? Shouldn't Sly make some of the sacrifices here?"

Which was when Primo got mad and said I should make some sacrifices and I yelled that I HAD ALREADY MADE MY CANCER-RIDDEN PARENT SACRIFICES THANK YOU VERY MUCH and I was not prepared to make them for someone else's father, to which Primo said, "Yeah well you hate my dad" and what was I supposed to say to that?

I wanted to know why Primo is expected to suck everything up and change his life completely - he has been gone for over three weeks now, with one 36-hour visit home - and Sly is expected to do nothing and Primo said "He has cancer!" and I said, "Your father is still at home, does not feel bad, has not gained 50 pounds in water because his kidneys are not working, has not lost one third of his body weight and all his hair from chemo, is not on a morphine IV. Your father does not get to play the cancer card."

Then Primo said that there is a five percent chance that Sly might die on the operating table when he is having the Whipple procedure and I said that means there is a 95% chance he won't die and that I am pretty sure - in fact, I PROMISE - Sly will not die on the operating table.

I wanted to know if Sly was getting his affairs in order - he has time to watch porn and other videos - and Primo said I do not understand what life is like for old people. "He had physical therapy today and then we visited my mother," he said.

"That's four hours, max. What does he do with the rest of his day?"

Primo got mad again and said I cannot expect eight hours of productivity from an old man with cancer and I said no but I can expect one hour a day and Primo said that Sly does not work that way and do I expect him to micromanage Sly? and I said No I do not expect you to micromanage but I expect Sly to think that perhaps he might die in surgery (he won't) and that he MIGHT WANT TO MAKE SURE LIFE IS EASY FOR HIS WIFE AND HIS SON BUT NO! THAT WOULD MEAN THINKING ABOUT SOMEONE BESIDES HIMSELF!

And then Primo said there was nothing he could do and I realized that I was not being supportive and I cannot fix this and I just have to detach and stay out of it because no matter what I say, nothing will change and challenging Primo about it, even when he brings it up as an issue, just makes him defensive and angry.

He said, "Do you know how stressed out my dad gets out about ordinary things? Putting on the trash on Sunday is a huge deal for him. It takes me ten minutes to empty all the trash cans in the house and take everything to the curb, but he worries about getting it done."

(Jack usually goes over on Sunday to take out the trash.)

("The trash" also includes a lot of empty liquor bottles.)

(No, I have no idea why they just don't buy a wheeled trash can. They insist on dragging the bags out to the curb.)

Then Primo said that Ted had said he could be there after May 17 but Primo doesn't want him there until the beginning of June because Primo has some political thing he wants to attend the first weekend in June and Ted said, "But I have my 35 year college reunion!" so Primo got all mad at Ted because he said AFTER MAY 17 and I said that he probably had not thought into June and it is not unreasonable for him to want to attend his reunion and Primo said that he might as well just CANCEL the flight and CHANGE THE DATES since Ted couldn't do it and I said

"You are crazy. Just because Ted can't be there that weekend does not mean you have to be there. Your dad can hire help. You can call an agency and your dad pays. It does not have to be YOU personally."

And he was still cranky because then he started saying, "And it's all ruined and you're still going to expect me to have a job by October" (I will) "and I will not have had ANY time off and it's NOT FAIR."


And we both yelled at each other to SHUT UP and then I said, "I am just going to fedex you some cheese so you can start throwing it" and he said, "I'm sorry sweetie. I'm being a jerk" and I said, "You sure are" and he said, "But you yelled at me" and I said, "You yelled first" and then we fought for a second about who started it and then we stopped.

He said, "I'm sorry" again and said, "I love you."

I said, "I want to hear you say, 'Goldie, you are the only person in my life who is not f'ing it up and if it weren't for you working so I could take a year off, this nightmare would be even worse.'"

So he said it.

Then I said that I would change my oral surgery appointment so I could take him to the airport.

"But I wanted you to have that surgery right before I leave!" he protested. "It's so gross with that pink stuff in your mouth. I don't want to kiss you. I want to be gone while you're recovering!"

I said, "Just for that, I am changing it for sure because I am not having surgery on your schedule just so you don't have to be grossed out."

Then I said that I wanted to sleep and we hung up.

But of course I could not fall asleep because I was too worked up. Then I thought, "It takes about an hour to get to the airport on the bus but I can read my book and you know, this is a solution."

So I called him back and told him we could do that. He said no, he would change to a different flight and I insisted that no, no, no - I would be the one to sacrifice and he said he had been a big fat jerk and I agreed and he said that he is under so much stress and what about looking for a  job? and I said that if he could inherit a million dollars, working would be up for negotiation.

He sighed and said, "My dad is not going to die."

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

In which Doris is annoyed that Stephanie keeps bugging her wanting to visit

That Stephanie is such a bitch! She called Doris once to ask if it would be convenient for her to bring the grandkids to see Doris and Doris got all pissy and complained to Primo.

Yeah, what an awful thing for someone to whom you have been so mean and said such horrible things about to consider that perhaps you might be bored and lonely after being in a hospital for a few weeks and that you might like to see your grandchildren.

The fact that Stephanie will even consider having anything to do with Sly and Doris after the way they have treated her makes me think she is a saint. She is a far better person than I.

(Primo wants me to send a get-well card to his mom and to his dad. I guess I can do that, but man, I do not want to. I know. I AM a bitch. The main reason I don't want to is because 1. I have to go to Walgreen's to buy the cards. 2. Cards are not cheap and I don't like spending any money on Sly and Doris. 3. I could just write a letter to save the five bucks, but I realize that I would rather pay five dollars than write a letter to them.)

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

In which Sly has cancer, but not pancreatic cancer, Doris is having cognitive problems, and Primo is resorting to ice cream

It's been a few days. It's been stressful. I want this to be over. But it won't be. Our summer is going to be shot.

This is stressful. Primo is not going to tell Sly and Doris to dammit, would they just focus and take care of things.

My sister pointed it out to me. "I have friends who are adult children of alcoholics," she said. "They are not like us. They have been raised with the guilt and the sense that they have to take care of their parents. You are not going to make him do anything. Just support him. If you try to turn him against his parents, he will resent you."

She is right.

Little things over the past week or so:

1. If there is a funeral, I have asked Primo if it could be scheduled around my friend Leigh's visit. It's not like there would be anyone attending a funeral for Sly or Doris besides Primo and perhaps his half brothers, maybe their wives/ex-wives, and perhaps their children. Sly and Doris have no friends in the area. My friend Leigh is visiting for the first time in six years. I think we can schedule a funeral around her visit. Primo agrees.

2. In the 36 hours that Primo was home, he brought into our house an old magazine he had found at Sly and Doris' house - a 1981 issue of Life. The magazine did not have a story about Sly or an article about Doris. I think it had the Rolling Stones on the cover. Primo's sister had saved it. In 1981. Sly and Doris moved that magazine - if you have never moved, you might not know that you often pay movers by the pound and books and magazines are not lightweight - halfway across the country. Correction. They paid someone to move a magazine that had been in their house since 1981 halfway across the country.

3. Primo was on his way to visit Doris and couldn't talk to me for very long because Doris of "Sly and Doris are so refined and cultured and other retirement home residents would be intimidated by us" just had to watch Barbara Walters interview Bruce Jenner about his sex change.

4. Doris is refusing PT. Primo said she does not want to talk about what is going on with Sly and his cancer.

4a. Sly does have cancer, but it is duodenal cancer in his pancreas or something like that. It is not pancreatic cancer. He will have surgery in two weeks. Which means Primo will be gone again.

4. I think Doris is finally letting herself get angry at Sly and I am wondering what took so long. First, she is refusing PT, which is not helpful at all and a factor in the reason Medicare will no longer be paying for her care. But refusing PT hurts only her so I don't get it. But maybe she is good and ticked at Sly and is punishing herself to get back at him? I don't know. That doesn't seem very smart. But I don't blame her for saying she is really not interested in hearing about Sly's problems - she has enough of her own.

And she is forgetting things, like that she just talked to Primo two hours ago. That is a problem when he calls when they have been drinking, ie, any day after 3 p.m. our time, but she has not, as far as we know, had a drink for the past three weeks.

But she is foggy and forgetful and has no interest in doing anything at all - not reading, not watching TV, not playing cards. Primo is very concerned.

5. The will is still not done. It has not been done for six or seven years. Sly says he needs to know what Ted and Jack will inherit from their mother. Ted and Jack say they don't know. I guess there is NO POSSIBLE WAY TO ANSWER THAT QUESTION.

In related news, my aunt is married to a divorced man with children. When my mom moved to the same town as my aunt, my aunt said, "You have to meet [husband's] ex. She is fabulous. You guys will like each other."

When it would have been uncle's and ex's 50th wedding anniversary, they threw a party.

What was I saying about how there is no possible way Sly could find out what his ex-wife has put in her will? No way at all.

6. Primo found out yesterday that Medicare will no longer be paying for Doris' care. He had until today noon to file an appeal.

I do not have a problem with Medicare's decision: Medicare should not be paying for custodial care.

However - more than a day's notice would be nice.

7.  With Primo gone, I am doing all the housework and all the yardwork. I had gotten spoiled, coming home to a house where the trash had been taken out and the mail brought in and sorted and the bed made and the laundry done and the dishes done and the snow shoveled/grass cut.

Now Primo is gone and I am doing everything. I told Primo that he should charge his parents for his time and for the loss of consortium. "Your dad did that, remember?"

"I don't remember that."

"When your mom fell and broke her wrist in the hospital. Your dad, late 70s, sued for loss of consortium. Because your mom has been so eager to consort."

"He watches porn now."

"Ew. Has he invited you to watch it with him?"

"NO! That would be so disgusting. NO!"

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Sunday Sept 13 musings about blogging

Hi everyone,

I have been trying to find other blogs about in laws and have not been having any luck. Are there any you recommend?

Also, in general, what are your favorite blogs?

Mine are (of those who write regularly)

Ask a Manager
Captain Awkward
My Big Fat Cuban Family
A Femme d'un Certain Age
Jen on the Edge

I wish I had time for more, but I have to work and The Man doesn't like it when people spend all day online reading blogs.

I have become friends via blogging with people. I have met Lisa at Privilege in person (and she is as lovely in person as she is on paper). Marta (Cuban) and I are facebook friends and so are Tish (Femme) and I. (I insisted that Tish set up a facebook page. :) ) I will meet both of them the next time I am in LA and in Paris. Oh - and Jen at Jen on the Edge!

I have met Jamie (AAM) in person, along with a few other local AAM readers and that was great, as well. AAM readers, Jamie is as articulate and as thoughtful and as funny in person as she is in writing.

This whole blog thing has expanded my world, giving me the privilege of meeting some wonderful people. I feel very lucky.

And I feel extraordinarily lucky to have you as readers. The things I write about here are not things I can talk about in polite conversation. I don't want to bore people by telling the same story over and over but MY GOD - I EAT BACON WRONG! That is a story! I want to tell it!

Thank you for reading. Thank you for commenting. Thank you especially for your wonderful comments of support and concern lately. I don't want to spoil the ending (there is a lag of several months between real time and posting), but I assure you that Primo and I are just fine. :)