Friday, November 27, 2015

In which Doris and Sly draft an email complaining about Stephanie and me and save it on Doris' computer but they do send the email because I remember when Primo got it

This is the email that was on Doris' computer:

I know that somehow Goldie and Stephanie correspond and have a relationship.  But I don’t understand why, because they have absolutely nothing in common unless it is gossip about our family.  Goldie, by so coldly rejecting me and your mother, made it clear that she doesn’t want to be part of our family.  Please let her know that you don’t want to hear any of the gossip she gets from Stephanie about our family.
Stephanie is our daughter-in-law and the mother of our grandchildren, so we have to get along with her even when we disagree—sometimes strongly—with some of the things she does, especially with the children.  I don’t know if she can bring it off this year with [her youngest child], but she has ALWAYS had the children on the dole for free food at school, which here, anyway, includes breakfast.  The program, of course, is for children who live in poverty, which certainly does not describe their household.*
The main reason we have been unable to penetrate the cocoon they live in has always been how closely Stephanie ties them to her apron strings.  Consequently, the children, particularly the girls, depend on her for everything.  They have never yet taken any kind of pill (medication)--another way for Stephanie to control them.

No one from Stephanie's family—and apparently, none of her “girlfriends”—had gone to college before Michael and Maria, and Stephanie doesn’t know how to deal with that.  Maria needs to have an opportunity to learn how to be independent; even Michael criticizes her for her lack of independence.  Stephanie was aware that Maria's friend drove home every other weekend, so there was no need for Stephanie to go to visit her (the money is a factor to us, but not the only one).  As long as Stephanie has lived here, she has always driven fairly long distances very often, as if gas is free.  Recall that she had already exceeded the mileage warranty on the Mazda van before the month was up, and the place where she bought it was initially not going to honor the warranty when she took it in for whatever problem it had.  I don’t know if Stephanie knew that Maria was coming home this weekend.

Doris: re Stephanie driving long distances: for frivolous reasons.  She often travels to [out of town] stores to select clothing items and other “bargains.” How she paid for Maria's Junior and Senior Prom gowns, I’ll never know. Stephanie also seems to have eaten at every restaurant in the area (except for the very highest priced ones).  From the outside, the kids have enjoyed all the luxuries associated with upper middle class to affluent families.
Remember that before the kids were working part time, she often paid for movie-going at $20ea. She is a true shop-aholic and appears to have no self control about her buying mania.***  
Maria had only been gone 5 weeks before Stephanie visited, which required a hotel and gas for 520 miles, plus the shoppin’ for other of Maria's needs/wants.  She had also prepared food to put in Maria's freezer (meatballs, etc.).**

* I don't even know if that's true. But if it is true, then I want to know how Stephanie ripped off the school district. Oh wait. You have to show tax documents? Then I am guessing that if the kids were on free lunch, it was because Stephanie met the income requirements and nobody else in the family said, "Hey! We can afford to buy lunch for our own children! We will not participate!"

** What a BAD MOTHER - to visit her child in college and take her food?

*** And yet Stephanie has always worked, always paid her own way, and has bought a house since her divorce. She helped her children as much as she could for college. She never asked Sly and Doris for anything. I doubt that she is the spendthrift Sly and Doris claimed, because I know how much she makes and I know she just didn't have the cash. 

In which I snoop on Doris' computer and I know it's wrong but I can't stop myself

You guys, Primo and I are on vacation. It is lovely - I am sitting here in a cottage on a big lake and hear nothing but the waves crashing on the shore. At night, we can hear the loons. Primo and I have been playing tennis and eating and reading and sleeping and that's about it. Primo has been doing all the cooking and all the cleaning (did I mention that already?) and that is fine with me.

We used to not bring our computers. I didn't bring mine - Primo asked if I was going to bring my work computer and I said no way because

1. I am on vacation
2. Even though I really like my job, my boss, and my co-workers, I do not want to be reminded of work while I am on vacation
3. If I had my work computer here, I wouldn't be able to resist checking my work email (which I could do from any computer via the mobile login, but I just got a new password and I have forgotten it) and working on the cool projects I am doing

I have been using Doris' MacBook. Primo brought it home from Florida because it has a lot of Sly and Doris' financial information on it. It is tiny and nice except it is a Mac and I cannot find the commands I already know - I don't care if it's easier! I do not want to learn a new system - and it is what I have been using to read my favorite blogs, including, as always, Ask A Manager, and also Privilege - I have met Lisa in person and she is just as fab in person as she is in print - and facebook and coveting this skirt but thinking no, I made a vow to go an entire year without buying new clothes because I work with almost all men and almost all engineers so nobody is looking at my clothes and, because despite what Ted's Wife says, we are not made of money. She did not say we were made of money, but she implied it when she said wasn't it soooo lucky that Primo is unemployed and that we are not financially strapped so Primo could be the one taking care of Sly?

Where was I?

Oh. I have been using Doris' MacBook.

And I had reason to save something to the hard drive and in the process of saving it, I noticed her files, including one that said, "Farewell letter," written several years ago, which I suspect might be a suicide note but I didn't open it because it is none of my business, but I did mention it to Primo and asked if he was going to open it and he said yes, so I will report on that when I have more information.

But then I noticed a file from several years ago named "Goldie and Stephanie" and - well, what would you have done?

I know it's not mine. Even though she's dead, Doris deserves her privacy.

But damn.

It was something about me and my sister in law.

Reader, I opened it.

And saw a complaint that Doris and Sly had emailed to Primo about why on earth was I friends with Stephanie? She and I have nothing in common - we are not intellectually compatible.

1. I remember when Primo told me about that email.
2. This is a Word document. Who drafts emails in Word? Who does that?

This appeared to be a document that both Sly and Doris wrote. In it, Sly said something about how I had "coldly rejected them."

Yeah, Sly. But only after you

1. Told your son not to marry me
2. Threatened to boycott my wedding and
3. Never said a thing after I had a miscarriage

He and Doris also complained to Primo that Stephanie was a liar - she lies about everything! - and he should be sure not to listen to anything Stephanie might say to me that I would then share with Primo.

These people - these people. I don't even know what to say. Except they are no longer a factor in my life.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

In which Primo abandons me to go canoeing by himself

Here is what my wonderful husband has done for me today:

He has left me alone at the cottage with nothing but the water, the sun, and my library books.

He is going canoeing by himself. He is not insisting that I go with him. He is leaving me by myself.

I love that man.

(Along those lines - last year, my sister was posting photos on facebook about her big birthday celebration weekend in Las Vegas. I commented that, Hey! How come I wasn't invited? She answered, "Because I know how much you hate crowds and too much togetherness." She knows me so well.)

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

In which Primo is very concerned about what will happen with Sly and Doris' cats and he is right to be concerned because old cats who bite people do not tend to find good homes

Primo is super concerned about Sly and Doris' cats and so am I. Those cats are not coming to our house - the one bites and scratches and the other has litter box problems - but it makes me angry that Sly did not have a plan.

Primo asked Sly years ago what would happen to the cats if Sly and Doris died first and Sly told Primo that he thought that Primo would take the cats.

Primo informed Sly this was not the case.

Sly did not make a plan.

When Primo and I did our will, after we got married (those of you with minor children, you do have a will, right? ALL of you need a will. All of you.), we wrote instructions to my sister, the executor, to send the cats back to the Siamese cat rescue place and give them a $3,000 donation.

Sly has abandoned his cats. Unforgivable.

A friend just posted something on facebook about kittens who need to be adopted or it's death for them. If people will not adopt cute little kittens, why would they adopt old cats who have problems?

Shaking my head at Sly's irresponsibility.

In which Ted sends Primo an email - while we are on vacation - demanding to have a conference call about the will and the trust because he is ticked off that Sly left him out of the will and the trust and thinks he can bully Primo into changing the terms or something

Primo: Ted wrote today that he, Jack, and I need to have a conference call. 

Me: About what?

Primo: I don't know.

Me: But you're on vacation.

Primo: I know. Ted wants to run things.

Me: OK. But just because he wants a call does not mean you have to take it.

Primo: He can email me a list of things he wants to talk about.

Me: And then you can talk about them during the funeral weekend.

Primo: Ted says that weekend should be reserved for mourning.

Me: Ted is a jerk.

Monday, November 23, 2015

In which Jack is angry that he was not involved when Sly wrote the will and I wonder how many people ask their children about what they should put in their will, as it is my understanding that parents do not consult children about such things

We are on vacation. We are on vacation on an island in a lake and in theory, away from civilization, but a few years ago, Primo got the wireless ID and password from the owner of the cottage and now, we are connected, even though we are on vacation and I do not want to be connected.

I don't mind being connected to facebook and to my favorite blogs (hello, Ask A Manager!), but I do not want to be connected to hotmail. Or, more specifically, I do not want Primo to be connected to hotmail. I want Primo to have a chance to rest. The past few months have been exhausting for him and he deserves a break.

I did tell you that we were going to cancel our vacation but then Sly, in his one act of good timing and of recent kindness, died before our cancellation deadline.

Thank you, Sly.

We are on vacation and yet, Ted and Jack will not shut up.

Fortunately, Primo realizes that he is in the catbird seat and he does not need them, even though they need him.

So he is telling them what's what.

OK. Not really. He is not like that. But he is being firm with them when he is not doing all the cooking and all the dishwashing. (Nope, I didn't ask him. He is just doing it and I am glad. When we are together, he is super thoughtful.)

Jack is (rightfully) ticked off.

He wrote

1. He had never seen a copy of the will
2. If Ted wanted the will changed so much ten years ago, why didn't he do something about it?
3. If Ted wanted the will changed so much while Primo was busy taking care of their dad, why didn't he do something about it? Primo was "obviously concerned with Dad's recovery" and was too busy to do anything else.
4. How come he was not involved with the will or the trust?

Those are all legitimate questions and questions that Primo cannot answer because it is Sly's will. Sly's will. Not Primo's. Primo did not write the will.

Jack also wrote - and this is where I roll my eyes, because let's not forget that Sly and Doris invested $250K in Jack's restaurant,  "Primo, while your expenses are being covered by the trust, what about Ted's and my expenses? Dad told me to use the money in the cookie tin to offset my gas and other expenses, but when I went and looked in the tin, the last $150 was gone. Why would you take it?"

Primo answered, with great restraint, "I used that money to pay Maria* for feeding the cats."

* Jack's daughter

In which I find a book Doris and Sly might have written about me

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Sunday update - real-time post

Guys, I am working on my book (remember the deal - Primo didn't want me to try to publish anything while Sly and Doris were alive and now they are not alive so) and found this quotation. This is from an email that Sly and Doris sent to my nieces and nephew when they were about 12 years old. These kids are great kids and have been hard workers ever since they could get a job. They are not lazy, they are not grabby, they are not materialistic.

Even if they were, what kind of grandparent writes a letter like this to her grandchildren? (I think this might be somewhere on the blog, but I would have posted this and I had forgotten it!)

As I have observed, you always have had more than enough clothes, all the electronic gadgetry that was available, unlimited movies/videos and gaming programs. This was true despite the fact that your Dad couldn't meet the monetary needs of his family and that your Mom lost her employment as thousands of others have during this serious economic downturn. When people can't afford things, they have to understand they can't and act accordingly. You have to face the facts that there is no goose laying golden eggs to underwrite your expenses in life.