Saturday, July 16, 2016

In which I read Primo's phone and find the messages that preceded Jack's text about the computer

It was Primo writing about all the hassles of selling Sly and Doris' house and Jack did not respond. At all. Not even with a, "Wow, that stinks! Glad that's done, huh? Merry Christmas!"

Nope. Jack waited three months and then demanded to know what was going on with Sly's computer.

I asked Primo how it is that he, Ted, and Jack all came from the same family, as, as maddeningly slow as Primo is (as we leave for an eight-hour drive four hours later than planned), when Primo is the only one who is not an asshole.

"My mom used to be a really nice person," he said, "before my dad made her bitter and angry."

In which I am still waiting to leave while Primo empties the trash and the recycling, with the recycling not exactly on the critical path if you know what I mean - I am resorting to eating brownies

In which I find out what was actually in the text that Jack sent Primo (while I am waiting and waiting for Primo to be ready to leave)(I am getting a little bit cranky)

Jack's actual text to Primo about the computer:

I can't understand why you haven't sent it yet.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Not ignoring you guys and your fabulous comments - just going to be away from my computer for ten days - vacation! If you are a thief who has figured out where I live - and I cannot imagine someone like that reading this blog - we really don't have anything worth stealing, although you are more than free to take the amber urn in the bookcase in Primo's office. Really. Take. It.

In which Jack texts Primo to ask why he hasn't sent Sly's computer to him yet

Yes. He did.

It's not an unreasonable question, but if I were contacting Primo for the first time in months, I might have said something like this:

Hi Primo,

We haven't spoken in while. I know you must still be busy with settling the estate. Thank you for dropping everything the day before the enrollment deadline at Stephanie's work to get the kids set up on her health insurance, thanks for helping Maria buy a car, and thanks for writing the checks for Maria's student loans and the kids' health insurance every month. It's extra work for you and I appreciate what you are doing for my children.

We had discussed that I would get Dad's computer once you were done with it. Have you had a chance to download all the files you need to do his taxes? Any ideas on when you will be able to send it to me? I am glad to have the windfall of a new computer - I have needed one - and I will be happy  to get it.

I know you have already sold the house and gotten rid of all of Dad's and Doris' stuff, but is there anything I can do to help you settle the estate? It must be a lot of work.

Thanks, bro,


Wednesday, July 13, 2016

In which the email where Ted is "stunned" finally makes its way to me - it had gone to junk mail. This is the email that has Primo wanting to tell Ted that Primo is the Decider

Primo, if you will recall, said he needed to think about being a trustee on TedsSon's other trust.

Ted did not take it well.

Note that Ted would like very much to talk about the issues, as if there is a decision to be reached by consensus. He does not appear to understand that Primo makes the decisions and does not care what Ted thinks.

Thanks, Primo (and cc: TedsWife). My answers in black below. Please note that I would prefer a phone call to a (always perfunctory and monologue) email. Even people who work with/ for me know that setting a time and having a discourse is preferable to a typed-out dissertation. I always found that communicating with Dad and Doris verbally or in person was far superior to typed correspondence; however, as this is your preferred medium, here you go: [irrelevant links]

Ooops! Looks like I did not include Ted's "stunned" response. Here it is:

Quick note, if I may: I'm stunned that you would not want to be a trustee of TedsSon's estate. Family is everything.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

In which there is KonMari with a cat

In which Ted scolds Primo for how he is handling his duties as executor

From an email that Ted sent to Primo, where Ted replies in-line to Primo.

Primo: In January...I agreed to provide reimbursement from the a favor to you and... I explained at the time that I will need to liquidate some trust assets in order to disburse such a large amount of cash and that I'd be working on dividing the trust into four separate accounts for the grandchildren. 

Ted: Actually, Primo, “no” on favor and “no" on spreadsheet. Above is the data you provided several months ago, with the outstanding balance of [more than Primo said].

Primo: I wrote optimistically in an email during our January conversations that "I should be able to do that within the next couple of months," but at this point I have not yet divided the trust. I've been winding down some of the other estate matters ... and have begun the process of closing the estate administration. I've also been spending some time on politics... and trying to enjoy life a bit after the debacle that was 2015 (with the trips to Hawaii and California, for example).

Ted: Great that you have wound down estate matters, volunteered, and traveled to Hawaii and California. Way to go!*

Primo: It is not my goal to postpone further work on trust-related matters for very long, but the timetable is running behind my carelessly optimistic estimate of a "couple of months."

Ted: Your fiduciary duty,** like that of any trustee, is to dispatch with matters of the estate in a timely manner. Stop diddling! (A great Doris word!) I’m only “expecting or hoping” that you exercise your fiduciary duty. TedsWife's mother’s estate has been fully allocated. Larger balance, shorter time.

Primo: For the next eight days, I will be focused primarily on finishing our taxes and on volunteering for the ... campaigns. After April 5, I will have more time to work on the trust-related issues.

Ted: I did the taxes for the two companies I run in one day.*** For a smart boy like you I see a day’s work total. Happy to introduce you to our CPA, if needed.

Primo: Regarding your request that I replace X as TedsSon's second trustee, I'm not in a good position to think about that now. ....Perhaps we can revisit this issue in the future, but at this point I can't agree to take on any additional responsibility that might last beyond the lifetime of the existing trust and its successor trusts.

Ted: We hereby rescind the offer. No worries.

 *  I read this as completely sarcastic. Do you?

** Screw. Him. Primo's fiduciary responsibility is to TedsSon, not to Ted, and TedsSon is not in immediate need of funds.

*** Taxes get a lot more complicated when there is actual income involved. As Ted has not worked for a paycheck for Lord knows how many years, I don't think his taxes can be that complicated.

In which Primo is gone for a political rally and I go KonMari on some corrugated boxes and a bunch of bubble wrap in the basement while he is not watching

I linked to an online story called "13 Questions to Ask Before You Marry" in which they discuss the partners' willingness to make decisions independently.

I am very cool with making my own decisions.

Primo thinks everything should be discussed.

We do not agree at all.

But I shared the story with him and we discussed it and I was able to get him to agree to get rid of the bread machine.

I take my victories where I can.

  • Me

    We did OK on the money

    on some of the other things..... smile emoticon

    not so much
  • 3/28, 1:15pm

    Hey! I think we knew about the issues (other than politics). We were prepared to have a child but equally (I think) relieved when we did not.

    Each of us can deal with the other doing things alone, and we knew that you didn't like my parents.

    And my experience with my ex helped me in our marriage. I still don't do things right, but I'm better.
  • 3/28, 1:18pm

    You don't like it when I make decisions alone smile emoticon

    I want to decide things like getting rid of the bread machine, which we have not used in years

    or of the old coffee maker

    and you will get all panicked
  • 3/28, 1:22pm

    But that was my bread machine. And the coffee maker was mine.

    Why on earth are you so concerned about getting rid of things? (Clutter in the guest room I can understand. But those things are just sitting harmlessly downstairs.)
  • 3/28, 1:30pm

    Maybe we'll use the bread machine someday. smile emoticon (I glanced at the book about decluttering. She made the point that "someday" usually means never.)
  • 3/28, 2:17pm

    Exactly. smile emoticon

    I will make you bread any time you want

    and I don't need no steenkin' machine

    I want them gone because it stresses me out to see all that clutter

    and for things to be stacked

    and for it to be hard to find the things I want because I have to get past the junk
  • 3/28, 2:22pm

    You can donate the bread machine.

    I thought we might use the coffee maker up north. I don't like the one at the cottage.
  • 3/28, 2:23pm

    OK. Let's take it with us. We could leave it there. What do you think?
  • 3/28, 2:23pm

    We can do that.
  • 3/28, 2:24pm

    thank you, sweetie xoxoxoxooxox

    Wow. This feels so weird!

    You actually agreed to something I want!


Monday, July 11, 2016

In which Ted answers email promptly that he is "stunned" that Primo does not want to be the backup trustee for TedsSon's other trust

And informs Primo that, "Family is everything."

Then he tells Primo that "the offer is withdrawn."

You know - "offer" as in "I will do a favor for you" as opposed to "request for you to do a favor for me."

In which I go all KonMari on the built-in china cabinets after Ted ticks us off so much

You know what I did last night instead of falling asleep? After Ted sent that obnoxious facebook message to Primo, Primo and I stewed about it. Primo asked if he was a Bad Person for not wanting a relationship with Ted.

"He keeps saying they want to host us!" he said. "I don't want to be around him!"

"Me neither!" I said.

"And the only reason he is being nice to me is because he wants money! Where was he last year before I was in charge of the money?"

"He was not interested," I answered.

"I thought once my parents were dead that this kind of drama would be over," he sighed.

"What if you had married a vegan socialist heiress instead of me?" I asked "You know, someone they could not possibly have disapproved of."

"They would have found something," he said.


"Well, the vegan thing."

"What's not to like about vegans?"

"She wouldn't eat bacon."

"So? That's more bacon for everyone else. I love having my vegetarian and vegan friends over. I don't have to feed them meat. It's cheap."

"They wouldn't have liked someone who doesn't eat bacon. They would have said that rejecting their bacon was insulting them."

"Of course they would have!"

We chuckled with relief that we no longer have to deal with the Great Bacon Issues.

Then we talked about the looming confrontation with Ted.

"You're never afraid to say no to me," I said. "Why are you so worried about Ted?"

"Because you don't punish me when I don't do what you want," he answered.

Later, Primo went out and I tried to fall asleep.

Only I couldn't.

I kept thinking about the next Ted shoe to drop. How much drama there would be. What a nightmare it would be. But how it had to be done.

Now, I am not comparing Ted to Hitler, but the Allies thought if they let Hitler have the Sudetenland, then he would stop.

Except he didn't.

Bullies have to be stopped. You can't trust them.

It's looooooming.

So I couldn't sleep.

And I couldn't sleep.

Finally, at 11 p.m., even though my alarm is set for 6:00 a.m., I got out of bed.

When I am stressed, I want to control something in my life.

When I am stressed, I want to control my environment.

When I am stressed, I want to get rid of stuff and be in a tidy, spare, empty space.

I got out of bed, went to the basement, found a stash of boxes stored inside boxes that Primo must have thought I would not discover, took them upstairs, and pulled the junk out of the china cabinet.

Years ago, I had a vision of plain white serving dishes. I bought those dishes at the Williams-Sonoma outlet in Memphis with a bonus from work, back in the days when I used to get nice bonuses.

(Not bitter! I am not bitter about making less money now than I did IN 1999.)

But since then, other dishes had accumulated. Sure, some of them by choice - the serving plate I had painted for Primo that says, "But I didn't even eat the salmon mousse!" Some of them gifts. None of them fitting my vision.

KonMari says it is OK to get rid of gifts. (I will not throw away - I will give to charity.)

I pulled out all the serving dishes and the silverplate cream and sugar bowls and the silverplate salt and pepper shakers that I had gotten at Goodwill and WHAT A GREAT FIND THEY WERE! only I HAVE NEVER USED THEM and my china cabinets are messy and I can't find anything and there are piles of piles and I HATE IT.

And I put everything that was not a white serving dish and put it in a box.

And I took the boxes downstairs.

And I put them in the basement.

In six months, I will take them to Goodwill.

(I would take them tomorrow, but SOMEONE in this house would freak out, so I need documentation that we have gone six months without even NOTICING THEY ARE GONE.)

I still couldn't sleep but at least I accomplished something.

In which Ted answers Primo's facebook message with a "Name a time to talk on phone"

Primo kindly and unnecessarily, if you ask me, responded to Ted's facebook message, saying he would email Ted tomorrow.

Ted wrote back and demanded that Primo specify a time to talk on the phone.

Because talking on the phone with Ted would accomplish what? 

This is a one-sided conversation. Primo decides. Period. Phone calls are for arriving at decisions after joint input.  

Emails are for telling someone else what to do.

Ted demanded a phone call and Primo said, "No thank you" and sent an email instead. 

As usual, Primo was polite and cordial and rational, but we are dreading the fallout. Ted is going to be nasty because he's not going to get what he wants. He thinks he can bully Primo and scream at him, but that has not worked so far.

Primo wrote, nicely, that

1. He has not gotten as far on the trust as he thought he would
2. He is very busy with a political campaign and with doing our taxes and with doing Sly and Doris' taxes
3. Yeah, he knows he said, "A couple of months" for more money EXACTLY TWO MONTHS ago, but it has not worked out as planned

[This is the part where I laughed out loud and said, "Your brother really does not know you at all, does he?]

4. He has not set up the trusts because he still has to file Sly and Doris' taxes
5. He wrote, "It came as a surprise to me that you were expecting or hoping to receive it by any specific date in the near future (e.g., for the purpose of funding IRAs by April 15 or for home improvements), as you wrote in the January email conversation that 'We're in no hurry.'"
6. He said, "I have not had time to think about being the backup trustee."

Sunday, July 10, 2016

In which Ted sends Primo a facebook message scolding him for "fail[ing] to respond" to his email and his voicemail

Let's recap last week's episode:

1. Ted and TedsWife are remodeling their house

2. Ted and TedsWife want to fund their IRAs before April 15 (it is March 27 as I write this)

3. Ted and TedsWife plan to take a European family vacation this summer, where they will go on a two-week "trek" through Switzerland.

"Trek" is a word that I am sure would not bother me if someone I liked used it to describe a vacation, but I have reached bitch eating crackers with Ted and everything he says and does annoys me.

4. On Thursday, Ted sent an email asking for money

5. On Saturday, Ted left a voicemail asking for money

And today, Sunday, Ted sent Primo a facebook message in which he noted that Primo had "failed to respond" to Ted's email and voicemail.


In which Primo and I discuss the morality of Not Liking Ted, which is easy for me because we do not share blood, but I point out that I have no interest in ever seeing my cousin Licking Pat again because SHE LICKED PRIMO and that does not make me a bad person. Just because you are related to someone does not mean you have to like that person or spend time with him. Amen.

Primo: Does it make me a bad person that I don't want a relationship with Ted?

Me: No. Not even his best friend likes him, remember?

Primo: He keeps talking about our visiting them. The idea is horrifying.

Me: I am not ever visiting him. I am never talking to him again. I will never see him again. There is no reason for us ever to interact again.