Saturday, October 17, 2015

In which Ted might be offended only how would you know because he NEVER SHUTS UP (I thought Primo was bad about not letting anyone get a word in edgewise)

Two things.

1. Ted did not call today. "Maybe I offended him yesterday when I said maybe two or three calls a day instead of five or six?" Primo asked.

"Then you should have offended him sooner," I suggested.

2. Last night, after we were eating some of the roasted whole chicken we bought at the Greek Fest at the Orthodox church by our house.

Primo: This is so good. We should have bought two.

Me: I suggested that. You said no.

Primo: What? I don't remember.

Me: I did.

Primo: You should have insisted!

Me: Oh, this is on me?

Primo: But it's so good!

Me: I. Told. You. So.

Primo: But why? Next time, you need to push me.

3. That's three things. We are both so tired. We went to bed early for Primo and late for me (10:15) last night. I was already past tired plus I was cranky because TED called at 9:15 - his fifth call of the day - to talk about Doris' obituary.

"I saw one that said, 'She lost her courageous battle with cancer,'" he scoffed. "Nobody writes obituaries like that these days!"

Primo pled ignorance, saying he does not read obituaries.

I wondered why Ted cared how the obituary was written. Was he offering to do it so it could be done right? If so, great. If not, SHUT UP.

He yammered on for another 30 minutes. I don't know why Primo puts up with it. I would not have answered if I had seen it was he calling. Or I would have asked, "Is dad dying? No? Then we can talk tomorrow."

So Primo, who had promised to come to bed early, was delayed and I said that was not my problem - that I did not exist to accommodate Ted's needs and Primo did not have to come to bed with me but I was going to sleep NOW because I was TIRED and because I had to get up at 6 a.m. because I HAVE  A JOB which is the only reason Primo can spend all this time in Florida, which is not a blessing from any angle, is it?

I stayed up for Primo because he asked me to and said he was so tired and so drained and he needed to pick out an outfit for his mom's funeral and what did I think of this and I said that looks fine and it's not like she dressed up for our wedding. I could swear she thought, "What is the ugliest thing I own? That's what I'll wear!"

May she rest in peace. Really. I am being ugly. I am exhausted.

So I couldn't fall asleep until about midnight and then Primo woke up at 5 and got up and I couldn't sleep again so at 5:30, I was up as well and at 6:30 I was at work because I was up and I have things to do and I thought I would knock off early but of course I did not - I still worked until 4:30 and I didn't even go to the gym because I was so tired but also because I just came home at lunchtime and stopped at the mall on the way home to return the beautiful blue leather skirt from White House Black Market that I got for $20 off with free shipping but then discovered was made in China, which means back to the store for you, beautiful skirt that flattered me but was made by slave labor.

I am so tired.

Primo is at a political thing but whatever. Who cares about politics?

PS You guys, today in real life was the first Sly and Doris post in months - instead of all that political stuff - and I have a ton more traffic. This confirms my opinion that nobody cares about politics but we all are fascinated by family drama.

Friday, October 16, 2015

In which Sly treats Primo as the receptionist

Sly called Primo to ask him to remind Ted that the trash needs to go out tonight.

Ted. Who spent the day in Sly's room.

Who is staying in Sly's house.

Whose phone number, presumably, Sly has.

Ted, who is over 1,000 miles away from Primo.

In which Primo cannot enjoy ONE DAY of peace without Sly's drama intruding

Primo has been home for a few days. The first day, he spent sleeping late and catching up on his mail and cutting the grass.

The next two days, he spent at the state party convention.

Today, Sunday, was supposed to be a day of sleeping late, doing nothing, and resting.

And it was.

Until 10:15 a.m., when Primo got out of bed, where we had been sitting with the cats, who were sooooo happy to have Primo home, because he lets them sleep with us at night and I do not, and checked his voicemail.

There was a message from Ted, who has been there a week.

Remember, Primo has been dealing with the Sly drama since December (it is early June now).

Ted has been there one week.

There was a voicemail. They moved Sly to rehab yesterday. This morning, Sly decided he does not like the rehab place - "It's a hellhole and the food is awful!" - so Ted has called Primo.

He wants Primo to solve this problem.

Primo is over one thousand miles away.


What the H is wrong with Ted that he cannot deal with ONE LITTLE PROBLEM?

Here is how Ted should solve the problem:

"Dad, I am sorry you don't like this place. We cannot move you today because it's Sunday. Tomorrow, I will check with the other place."

You don't solve the problem by calling your half brother who is 1,500 miles away.

Primo is super cranky and I don't blame him.

I asked him if he wanted some cheese.

He called Ted and Ted kept saying, "Wait! Someone just came into the room!"

What does Ted want Primo to do? Fly down there RIGHT NOW and get Sly something for lunch?

We have had 45 minutes of drama with Primo trying to talk to Ted and calling the other rehab place that Sly liked which of course does not have anyone in the admissions department because it is Sunday and Ted not giving Primo an answer.

"My mom was in a rehab center for weeks and she did not whine the way my dad is!" Primo said.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

In which Primo brings me a totem

Primo came into the kitchen this morning, holding something before him. "I hadn't unpacked, so I had forgotten that I brought this for you," he said.

I thought it might be chocolate.

Because that is what I would want, right? Or a new purse? One with a divider in the middle so I do not have to remove everything - two pairs of glasses, phone, wallet, my business cards tucked inside a birth-control pill thingy,* handkerchief, a few pens, and container holding my emergency chocolate, my nail clippers, my tweezers, and my migraine drugs - to find what I want.

Purse makers. Do you user test your product at all?

Or is it just to be expected that it will be difficult to find items?

He bore a gift for me. How sweet! What was it?

"When Stephanie and I were sorting through my mom's clothes, I found this t-shirt of hers," he said. "Look! It has kitties on it! And gardens! You love both of those and so did my mom. You could wear this to sleep in!" He lay it on the counter and stepped back happily.

I gasped. Thought.

"I can't see it," I said. "I'm not wearing my glasses."

He brought it to me.

It was indeed a t-shirt with cats and gardens and some caption about cats and gardens.

"Isn't it nice?" he asked wistfully. "You could wear it."

He patted it lovingly.

Lord have mercy what is the proper etiquette when your husband, whom you love deeply, asks you to wear something that belonged to his mother, whom you did not love deeply and who had very bad taste in clothes?

I am going to have to wear that t-shirt, aren't I?

* That was Primo's idea. My three-month supply arrived in the mail one day and I was throwing everything except the blister pack, Primo picked up one of the suede-y little envelopes and said, "This is the perfect size for business cards!"

I laughed and told him he was such an engineer and that nobody in her right mind would use a birth-control pill packet for business cards.

And then I thought about it and realized he was exactly right - it IS the perfect size for business cards - and that is where my cards have resided since.

Monday, October 12, 2015

In which hell freezes over

I picked Primo up at the airport. I was a few minutes late because his flight was 20 minutes early and the early arrival was not posted on in time for me to leave that much earlier. Primo was a little cranky but I informed him that I have spent years of my life waiting for him so turnaround is fair play.

Then he played the, "But my mom just died" card. He won.

Next time a parent dies, I will make sure I am early picking him up.

On the ride home, he told me about the trip and that Ted was driving him crazy by being Ted but that Ted certainly never meant anything personal in his attacks on me when we were talking about Teddy Kennedy and Chappaquiddick.

"It's just politics," Primo argued. "It's not personally at all."

"Yeah, well, when someone is accusing me of having a 'kindergarten-level understanding' of the issue, it's hard not to take it personally," I retorted.

"Ted said nice things about you a lot, especially when my dad kept telling me I had bad taste in women."

"Uh huh," I said.

"He DID!" Primo insisted.

He paused. "Today, he said to Ted and me that he had been 'parsimonious' in his 'I love yous.'"

"Sounds like he has been reflecting on his life," I answered.

"I think so. Because guess what else he said?"


"He has never said this before."


"He said to give you his best. And he said it twice, not just once."

I said nothing.

"I think he might want to have a relationship with you!"

I answered. "If that happens, that will be one of the biggest plot twists I could ever imagine for my blog."

In which Primo comes home after being gone for 18 days and is not a jerk

Primo: At least I didn't throw any cheese when I got home tonight.

[This two minutes after he reconfigured the squeeze points on the toothpaste, which was 46 minutes after he got home.]

Me: Thank you for meeting the minimum standard for civilized behavior.

Primo: You mean, "Thank you for not being an asshole?"

Me: Yes.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

In which Ted and Jack have all these ideas about Sly that they want Primo to implement

Ted and Jack: Dad should move into assisted living! He should never go back to the house!

Primo: Yeah, not a bad idea. But he wants to go back home.

Ted and Jack: OK! You can figure it out! You handle it! Bye!

Primo: Wait! I've been here almost six weeks! I'm exhausted! And I took four other trips down here in the months before that! I need help!

Ted and Jack: But you don't have a job! So you have time!

Ted: And I have to save My Career.

Jack: And I have to work.

Ted and Jack: And you are taking a year off! So you have time! Ta ta!

Open forum (inspired by Alison at Ask a Manager and Carolyn Hax's Wedding Hootenanny)

You guys, you have made so many great comments and so many of you have alluded to in-law problems of your own (which makes me so grateful, not that there are other people who are in bad situations but that I AM NOT ALONE and maybe it's not me), but I only get a snippet of the story.

If you would like, maybe you could share here today some of your worst in-law stories? I feel a little bit like this is our own support group - not Al-Anon (although that would certainly be appropriate for Sly and Doris) but In-Laws Anon.

Please share! And thank you so, so much for reading. I started this blog years ago merely as a way to force myself to get the stories on paper in a way that was not too painful so I could write a book about my experiences, but it has become so much more, with so many wonderful readers who have commented and supported me and told me that I AM NOT CRAZY.

We are not crazy. That is our motto at In-Laws Anon.



PS Primo had asked that I not try to publish the book until Doris was dead. Well, that means I had better polish that manuscript! I got it out a few weeks ago after not having looked at it for two years. I have already cut 75 pages, which felt like what I imagine cutting out one's own kidney must feel like. But the book is getting better!