Primo has his weekly call with Sly and Doris. I told you about that, right? Did I?
Every Sunday, before 3 p.m. his time, he calls them. Even if he is at my house or I am at his place, he calls. He can’t call any later because they start drinking at 4:00 and once they start drinking, they do not remember phone conversations, which would not be an issue except then they get angry at him for not calling.
They do not call him. He must call them. Because you know – those are the rules. If he doesn’t call, he gets these passive-aggressive emails about how they sure hope everything is OK and that he is not dead in a ditch because that would be the only possible reason for him not to call.
OK. I am making that part up – they don’t literally write that he might be dead in a ditch, but that is the subtext.
The sub-subtext is, “You are a horrible son for not calling us.”
Primo: They brought up the pickled herring again.
Me: Didn’t they talk about this when we were there? That they were mad at Ted'sWife for eating all of the pickled herring?
Primo: Yes. And then they complained that Ted'sWife left dinner early and returned to the home of the friend where she and Ted were staying and never went back to their house.
Me: When did this happen?
Primo: A few years ago, I think.
Me: What? They are still mad about something that happened years ago?
Primo: They are very good at remembering people not doing things right.
Me: Like elephants.
Primo: They are mad at you, too.
Me: Again? I mean, I know they are mad that I was ignoring them by reading the paper when they were reading the paper.
Primo: Nope. This is new mad at you.
Me: OK? What now? Besides the ignoring them and them telling you not to marry me, which 1. Is a little premature—
Primo: It is not! I thought we had already agreed to get married once the divorce is final!
Me: I don’t know why you didn’t deal with getting divorced five years ago. You know – when you and ex-wife split.
Primo: Because I wasn’t in a hurry to re-marry and ex-wife didn’t have a job, so I wanted to keep her on my health insurance.
Me: OK. What I meant about being premature is not that we’re not getting married but that your parents don’t even officially know that we will get married. It is considered poor form, I believe, to announce an engagement while one is still married.
Primo: My parents really don’t care about poor form.
Me: Really? I hadn’t noticed.
Primo: What’s the second point?
Me: Oh! Yes. First point that it is premature of them to be telling you not to marry me and second point is that apparently, they do not learn from history, because history would teach them that telling you not to marry someone does not work.
Me: So other than they don’t want you to marry me, what else are they angry about?
Primo: You ate all of something that you were not supposed to eat.
Me: All of what?
Primo: I don’t know.
Me: Didn’t they tell you?
Primo: I get tired of their complaining and I try not to encourage it by asking for details.
Me: You need to find out! Besides – there was almost nothing for us to eat there. They didn’t even have lunch food.
Primo: I can’t remember, but you were not supposed to eat it. And if you didn’t know you weren’t supposed to eat it, you should have known.