Wednesday, February 24, 2016

In which Ted implies again, after Primo put all of Doris' jewelry in a box and mailed it to him, that Primo is hiding the Good Bracelet and somehow cheating everyone

I present this email from Ted to Primo without comment. Almost every week, I find myself surprised that I am surprised at how much of a jerk he can be.

Primo is honest and ethical. He works hard. He has been busting his butt to take care of this estate and to do so in a financially responsible manner. He loves his nieces and nephews and wants them to get as much from the trust as possible. He will drive an extra hour to Orlando airport to save money on the airfare the trust is paying for. He has been eating the awful processed food in Sly and Doris' freezer instead of buying decent food, again so he can save the trust money.

For Ted to imply that Primo is acting in poor faith makes me want to fly to DC and punch Ted in the nose. I bet there would be a line.

Subject: Re: Dad's 82nd birthday
CC:; ted'

Thanks, I guess, for the package you sent to our house—although I can’t for the life of me (and neither can Ted'sWife) understand why on earth you sent us all that stuff. We made it clear when last at Dad's that we were very happy with a few keepsakes. But in the interest of fond reminiscences, we’ll keep or properly re-designate some of those items. For example, we’ll send the costume jewelry to Maria and Pia  in a few weeks; neither Ted'sWife, Ted'sSon, or I would wear any of that. The clock would have cost hundreds of dollars to repair to “minimum working condition,” so we sold it for parts for $15. I owe each of you a tuna sandwich next time we’re together. Several of the glass items arrived in splinters and have been tossed or recycled.

As far as the now infamous bracelet Dad promised to Ted'sWife, I’ll leave that to Ted'sWife, who’s on business travel the next two weeks.

On the home sales front, beware of realtors eager to charge an (outrageous) “staging fee” to install furniture, etc. for a few weeks to help sell it. The spouse of the realtor that Ted'sWife's stepdad's children chose—over Ted'sWife's wishes—wants to hire his spouse to do that, for only $5,000. Gotta love Southern incest and chutzpah.

Primo, Ted'sWife is going to contact you directly about financial implications relating to Ted'sSon's outstanding student loans and continuing educational costs. Special education sure is special—especially how much it costs.

As Ted'sSon's guardians, and legally in the context of Dad’s (as Doris' survivor) trust, we are interested in an accounting of the trusts’s assets and the disposition and plans for those assets. Unless my legal and financial advisors are mistaken, we (and Jack) are entitled to that information and you are required to disclose it. 

Lack of disclosure strikes me as bad practice for any family, irrespective of legal or ethical obligations.

Maybe we can discuss this sometime now that the vast majority of your good work on the estate since Dad’s passing almost 10 weeks ago is done.

Eldest Bro
cc: Ted'sWife

On Oct 13, 2015, at 1:04 PM,  Ted Drunk wrote:

Thanks for the update Primo. Man, that’s a heckuva deal on the Subaru! Ted'sWife sold her mom’s 2011 Ford Fusion SE with 31,000 miles to our next-door neighbors for $11,500 (KBB had it at $10,386 for a private sale; had it at $9,475). We’re very fond of our neighbors and would have listed it for $12,000, so they got a bit of a break.

I hope you got the real estate agent down to a 5% commission. Six-percenters get laughed out of the room these days. Ted'sWife and her sister were strong-armed by their stepdad's kids (because one of them lives locally) into choosing the realtors they preferred. At least they listened to my insistence that 5% is the max rate. But they did not listen very closely to Ted'sWife's other wishes, and the house is still on the market—for $339,000 but it’s only been 3 weeks.

Dad’s birth date has been auspicious around here for awhile. Last year I had the pleasure of a weekend with 14 college freshman-year classmates on the Cape and some family time on the Vineyard. 

And yes we thought a lot about Dad and, of course, Doris on the Fourth. We were at a wedding Fri— pictures of which you can check out on Face the Book.

Note that my iMac, my main desktop machine (24-inch, early 2009, 2.93 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo) definitely runs slower than before—despite my upping the RAM to 8 GB 1067 MHz DDR3) now that it’s running the latest OS (OS X El Capitan, Version 10.11). So Bob you may NOT want to upgrade from Yosemite . . . just sayin'


On Oct 12, 2015, at 11:50 PM, Primo wrote:

Ted, Jack,

In honor of Dad's birthday, I had an extremely productive day:
  • I sold the Subaru (to the next-door neighbor) for $2900. Considering the damage to the right rear door and bumper and the lack of recent maintenance, this was a good deal but not a fire sale. It was a bonus that the deal closed just hours before the registration expires. (In Florida, I think it always expires on the owner's birthday.) The attached photo was taken just before the Subaru left the driveway at for the last time.
  • I signed a contract with a real estate agent to list the house for $299,000. The agent is a good friend of Stephanie's friend. I met with two other agents and am comfortable with Agent, not only because of the family connection but because of his life story and his style of work. He will be taking personal responsibility for the majority of minor repairs and sprucing up. The house is now about 90% empty (vs. 80% last week). I have learned that the 80/20 rule applies to clearing out a house.
  • I shipped another package to you and upgraded the memory in the iMac (which will be ready for you at the end of the month, Jack).

The house should be on the market within 7-10 days. Agent's goal is to have it listed even sooner, but I think that's a stretch.

I wish I had taken a photo before leaving the house (showing the emptiness of the great room), but I was in a rush. Stephanie gave me a ride to Daytona Beach because I had no car after selling the Subaru. I will return once more from October 27-31 to complete the process of emptying the house. That will be the last time I stay in the guest room.

I thought about Dad a lot today, and I'm sure that you two did as well.

Your little brother,


  1. That's...that's not what incest is, Ted. Nepotism, sure. But not incest, or at least I devoutly hope, as the walls of that poor house have already seen more than enough, at least if Sly's posthumous trash pile is any indication.

    1. I've just choked pomegranate juice out my nose! You're terrible.

  2. I am so curious as to how this all works out in the end. Then again, I read movie spoilers and also may read the last chapter of a book first, I know that is horrible.

  3. i'm only two hours from D.C.... in case you want to put out a contract on a certain Ted. Just sayin'. Actually, his living in D.C. sort of explains some stuff!

    1. LOL to your last comment because it's kinda true! Does Bob = Primo?

    2. Anon, I have no idea why Ted decided to call Primo "Bob." Maybe like "Bob's your uncle?"

      BTW - Ted majored in German. Primo majored in electrical engineering and worked for a software company for years. He also worked for Apple. But of course Ted is more qualified than Primo to decide what upgrades are appropriate for an Apple product.

  4. Ted is really a piece of work. I'm glad to know that Ted's wife (and ted) can't run rough shod over the mother's estate. And how long does Ted think it takes to sell a house? And is the house price too high or not high enough? Or just simply not the what Ted would do? Ted is impatient isn't he?

    1. Ted is a jerk. That is becoming my standard answer to everything.

  5. I'm an attorney, but probably not in the state where Sly & Doris lived. Primo is Doris's only living child. All of Doris's jewelry should now belong to Primo.

    1. If only she had nice jewelry! (That we could sell.)

  6. People who accuse others of bad faith and unethical conduct, with no evidence of such behavior, are, in my experience, projecting *their own behavior* onto others.

    (I started reading your blog after the Bad Bacon Eater comment on Captain Awkward. I have nothing but sympathy for you and Primo in your dealing with jerkrelatives.)

    1. Dr. B, I think you are exactly right! Anyone who would expect his father's estate to pay for him to attend his father's funeral already has an entitlement mindset!

      (PS Glad to have you here!)