Saturday, January 9, 2016

In which Ted sends Primo an email that he got a package and an email and a text but has not opened any of them

Primo sent Ted a text last week to wish him happy birthday.

He sent him an email yesterday to tell him he was sending him a check and a package.

He sent him a package. As in, he went to the Post Office and stood in line and paid money to have someone deliver items that Ted wanted.

The items included the bracelet that TedsWife wants that Primo could not find for the longest time because he had never seen the bracelet and did not even know what he was looking for. He went to the jeweler where Sly bought stuff for Doris to ask about it. He looked through all the drawers. (I didn't think he should have bothered, the way Ted has been acting.)

He finally found a bracelet that he thought might be it and had to find a magnifying glass to read the clasp for the "14K" notation.

(Primo is not happy that he is losing his eagle eyes. Welcome to the club, my friend. I have been wearing glasses since fifth grade.)

Primo is being way nicer than Ted deserves.

And Ted cannot be bothered to read the text that Primo sent five days ago?

In which Primo returns after being gone for only five days and we don't even fight, at least not right away, until he gets all panicky because I was yelling at the vacuum cleaner and all I wanted Primo to do was to help me but he was all, "Don't yell! Don't yell!"

I picked Primo up at the airport yesterday after work.

We didn't fight.

I have been trying very hard not to fight. Primo can be super annoying but it is on me how I respond. I have known for ten years that he thinks it's really funny to say "pepper" the way Billy Crystal, one of my least-favorite actors, said it in "When Harry Met Sally." I have known for ten years that he thinks it's really funny to say, "I like them French-fried potaters" the way Billy Bob Thornton (whose memoir is really good) said it in "Sling Blade."

He thinks it's funny to say, "You're not doing it right" and to say, "Hey!" to get my attention - and then have nothing to say.

These things are all as annoying as heck and I am sure that if any of you were to serve on a jury after I had been charged with bonking Primo on the head with a cast-iron frying pan, you would acquit because it would have been totally justified.


It is on me not to turn into a bitch when he does that stuff. I can't change him (deep breath). I can change only me.

So I am trying to decide not to let his annoyingness annoy me.

And of course he has been extra annoying. Stress makes him more annoying, not less. When I am stressed, I focus inward. I become withdrawn and I focus just on battling my way through, on the issue at hand.

Primo is the Typhoid Mary of stress. It is not enough for him alone to feel stress - he has to spread it to others.

And then I remember all the good things about Primo and how they outweigh all the bad things, which are not that many. I think about what a good person he is - how much I like him - how much fun we have together when we travel - we both think the Sewer Museum in Paris is super interesting, we both like to browse the grocery stores in Morocco, we both like to caminar sin rumbo fijo and just stumble across cool things. I think about what a generous person he is - he could have been mean to his ex wife and he was not. He could have walked away from his mom and dad and he did not, even though they, of all people, deserved it, or at least his dad did. Anyone who is that loyal to mean people will be really loyal to nice people (me :) ) and will be with me until the end, even though I will get old and everything will sag and wrinkle.

(On that note - I never thought I was vain because I never thought I had anything to be vain about, but just losing the benefits of youth - the firm, tight skin, the eyebrows where they are supposed to be, the glossy hair - is very hard.)

Primo: [Stephanie's friend] and I got a lot done. She is bringing tables over for the garage sale. We found more papers and books in the garage. My parents had so much junk.

Me: Too much.

Primo: She said that seeing my mom and dad's house has inspired her to start cleaning out the junk in her house so her son won't have to do this when she dies.

Me: That is a very thoughtful thing to do - to consider the people who might have to deal with your crap.

Primo: Yep.

Me: If only your parents had thought the same way.

Primo: I found a giant vibrator in the nightstand next to my dad's side of the bed.

Me: Man. This whole thing never ends, does it?

Primo: Nope.

Me: What are you going to do with it?

Primo: I don't know. I got rid of a bunch of papers yesterday, but I still need to shred the naked photos of my parents.

Me: That's not something you want the grandkids to see.

Primo: And I took care of my dad's IRA. I did not list Ted as a beneficiary with you.

Me: Good.

Primo: He has been such a jerk that I do not feel like going out of my way to be nice to him. Plus, for me to make anyone but you a beneficiary, I would have to get a signed, notarized statement from you.

Me: And that would be too much hassle?

Primo: Yes.

Friday, January 8, 2016

In which Primo sends a check, a package, and an email to Ted and we wonder if Ted will be pissy or grateful that he has been paid for attending his own father's funeral

This is the email Primo sent to Ted today. How will Ted react?

From:         Primo
To:         Ted 
Date:         09/04/2015 08:04 AM 
Subject:         RE: Reimbursable FL travel costs: TDR 
A package is on its way to you (USPS tracking number 123 ). It should arrive tomorrow, although Priority Mail 2-day service is not guaranteed. Its most important contents are two small items, your check and what I believe is the correct bracelet for TedsWife. I also included several small items that may be of interest to you, a couple of pictures, a shirt for TedsChild and a cup that still has his name on it, and a few other things for TedsWife (Mom's Citizen Eco-Drive watch*, a silver anklet, and two other pieces of jewelry that are pretty even if they are not valuable).

I did not receive a response to my question about the $114.79 in airline fees that you paid. That amount isn't worth fighting over, so I went ahead and included it. I also rechecked all of the airfares; I came to exactly the same conclusions about prices for the IAD-JAX and JAX-ATL-IAD flights, but the IAD-ATL-SAV flights are a bit more expensive for the upcoming Fridays, with a price of $261.60 per ticket showing up more often than any lower fares (which exist for some of the dates but have very limited availability). Therefore, I added another $100 to the total. Here is the summary:

Air travel: $1582.00
$521.10 for IAD – JAX (5/30)
$161.60 for JAX – ATL – IAD (6/9)
$376.10 for IAD – JAX (6/20)
$523.20 for IAD – ATL – SAV (7/31) = $261.60 x 2 tickets
(Adjusted from prior amount of $211.60 x 2 tickets)
Airline fees: $114.79 (Not included in the previous total)
Car rental and gasoline: $463.69
Parking: $130.00
Dinners: $416.91
Total:  $2707.39 

Please understand that the total amount for your air travel ($1582.00 + $114.79 for five one-way flights) is more than generous. For comparison's sake, I have booked a total of 21 one-way flights  this year (including two trips in February and March before the final series of health crises began), and the total cost for those flights -- including a couple of change fees -- was $3572.10. I did most of my flying to/from Orlando to save money but have also been in and out of Jacksonville and Daytona Beach.

USPS will let me know when the package is delivered, but please confirm receipt of the items I mentioned above.


* This is the watch that Doris accused me of stealing. Had Primo and me tearing our house apart to find it after they were here for our wedding. She found it a year ago in the pocket of a sweater she had brought to our house - AND DID NOT BOTHER TO TELL US THAT SHE HAD FOUND IT.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

In which Primo wants to bring home more of Doris' junk, part 1,204

  • Primo

    Kitties! It's a fleece throw. Do you want it?

  • 9/2, 7:14pm

    No smile emoticon
  • 9/2, 7:17pm

    But it's in good shape, and it has kitties!
  • 9/2, 7:18pm

    No. More. Stuff.
  • 9/2, 7:19pm

  • 9/2, 7:20pm

    No more stuff

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

In which Primo extends another olive brand to Ted, making Primo a far, far better person than I would ever be

  • 9/1, 12:13pm

    I just made my final attempt to be nice to Ted. Yesterday was his birthday. I texted him to wish him happy birthday. I also told him that I don't understand why he has such a huge problem with me and I'm willing to discuss things if he wants to. If his response to this is to continue being an asshole, I will give up.

That was today. 

Let's recap this situation with Ted, shall we?

July: Sly dies. Four days later, Ted tells Primo he might contest the will. As if Primo can do anything about it - Primo is not in the will, either.

More July, while we are on vacation: Ted sends insistent emails, asking Primo questions about the estate and the trust and how much the executor (Primo) can charge for expenses. Ted demands a conference call. Primo declines.

August: Ted comes to the funeral and is a bit of a jerk, although not as jerky as he could be.

After the funeral: Ted emails Primo, telling him he wants to be reimbursed his travel expenses. Primo thinks Ted is talking about the trip Ted took in early June to be with Sly while Primo came home. (And even then, Ted called or texted -  I am not exaggerating - five times a day to tell Primo things like Sly didn't like the food.)

August: Ted emails again with a list of expenses. The expenses include not just the early June trip but his trip to attend Doris' funeral and his trip to attend HIS OWN FATHER'S FUNERAL.

The expenses include a reimbursement of $875 per ticket per trip for tickets he got with frequent flier miles that could have been purchased for about $400.

August: Ted emails, demanding that Primo give him a date when he will write a check.

Note that not one single other creditor of the estate has been paid. Primo's expenses have not been reimbursed and his expenses are legally allowable to be paid.

Ted makes a snide comment about Primo's grammar and asks why Primo signs his emails, as "It's clear who it is from."

August: Primo emails Ted that he does not think it reasonable to pay $875 per ticket when the tickets could have been purchased for far less. He tells Ted he will give him the $400 a ticket once he gets the checks for the estate.

Ted calls Primo and screams at him that Primo does not know what kind of trouble he is in now that Ted is angry with him. No, Ted had not read the email but his wife had and HE NEVER WANTS TO GET A PHONE CALL LIKE THAT FROM HIS WIFE AGAIN!

(I tell Primo: Then perhaps he needs to discuss that with his wife.)

Then Ted shouts, "I am hanging up on you!" and hangs up.

Late August: Ted emails Primo, saying he has finally read Primo's emails and 

1. He is learning things about Primo he does not like
2. Primo is losing his trust
3. He feels sorry for Primo. (Me: Because you have a brother like Ted?)

Early September: Primo sends a nice text asking for detente.

Now we wait.

Monday, January 4, 2016

In which Primo wants to bring home more of Doris' junk, part 345

Also, do you want this? It zips all the way around. [Stephanie's friend who is helping get ready for the garage sale] said that it's for a pie.

No, I do not want the zip thing

Sunday, January 3, 2016

In which there are kitties

I had wanted to post this photo a few weeks ago, to go with Sly's funeral, but I lost it and couldn't find it and talking about kittens in a cage at the farmers market doesn't make so much sense without a photo.

But Stephanie and I went to the farmers market the weekend of Sly's funeral, which is one of the few things that made being in Florida bearable that weekend and two of my workdays. Yes, my company gives funeral leave, which is very generous, and my boss is fabulous, but I don't like being at Sly and Doris' house, even under the circumstances, and my work does not go away just because I am not there, so I was still trying to get work done and I was having to deal with Ted and Ted'sWife and Ted'sSon and Primo was dealing with all of them as well. The only nice part was getting to see my nieces and nephew and getting to hang out with Stephanie, whom I LOVE.

She and I went to the farmers market and there was a cat rescue organization there so I took photos and sent them to Primo and suggested that perhaps the cats could go to the rescue place, along with a nice donation from the estate.

If you have pets, please figure out what should happen to them if you and anyone you live with should all die at once. Don't make the executor have to send them to a shelter and don't make the executor have to be super stressed about rehoming elderly pets. It is not fair to your executor and it is really not fair to your pets.