Sunday, July 9, 2017

Ch 5 Monday Christmas Eve Stephanie and I compare notes about Sly and Doris and discover we are in agreement that they are not very nice to their grandchildren

Stephanie: Sly and Doris are nagging the kids about how they are paying for college.

Me: What do you mean?

Stephanie: They want to send them these emails telling them what to do. I am glad they want to help, but they can be nasty.

Me: Yes I am indeed aware.

Stephanie: Let me show you the email Sly and Doris wanted to send to Maria and Michael. Doris sent it to me first to get my permission.

Me: She sent it to you first?

Stephanie: Yeah, I know. Weird, but at least this way, some of the worst emails never make it to the kids. And they blind copy everyone on everything. Anyhow, look at this. They wanted to send this to Maria and Michael.

Dear Maria and Michael,

I'm glad we talked today about the issues surrounding your college education.  You probably know that "going to college" was always a given when talking about your futures. Your parents and grandparents assumed that college was where you belonged because you were good students and seemed to have the attitude that schoolwork was important.

I realize that you might have been surprised when grandpop asked if you had put any money away toward college.  For years now you have been given money as gifts from several sources (lately gifts were more likely to be gift cards to stores). He simply thought that you might have put some money aside for the future.

You have always enjoyed the relative leisure of getting and having your needs generously supplied by family/friends.  You haven't learned the necessary discipline of contributing to your own acquisition of luxury items. 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 magic moneytree to underwrite your expenses in life.

Me: Wow. That’s kind of harsh. You told her no, right?

Stephanie: Well duh.

Me: I don’t get it, though. Have the kids been asking them for money?

Stephanie: No! They both work! They both have jobs! They have never asked Sly and Doris for money and have never expected money from them.

Me: And when Sly and Doris gave them these gifts, did they say, “Don’t spend this – you need to save it for college?”

Stephanie: Nope.

Me: Have you and Jack ever talked to Sly and Doris about their funding the kids’ college education?

Stephanie: No! Why would we? They are our children, not Sly and Doris’. We do not expect them to pay for our children.

Me: This is just out of nowhere?

Stephanie: Yep.

Me: I don’t know what to say. My grandparents were always nothing but nice to me. And they never interrogated me about my finances. My grandma used to send me $25 on my birthday and I wouldn’t cash the check because I had a job and they were on a very small, fixed income. All I ever did with them is bake and play cards and hang out.

Stephanie: That’s how my dad is with them. He thinks they are great kids and he loves to be around them and they love to be around him.

Me: He doesn’t take them to lectures about global warming?

Stephanie: Umm. No. My dad takes them bowling.

Me: That sounds like a lot more fun.

Stephanie: It’s like they don’t know how to be nice. I call Sly and Doris every week to see if they need anything. Last month, they told me that there was a problem under the sink – that there was a loose screw. I told them I would come over and fix it. They told me no, they would just wait until Primo gets there.

Me: But you could fix it. It's not that hard. They would rather wait a month for Primo to get here?

Stephanie: That’s what I said! But they said I was too busy and they didn't want to bother me.

Me: But Primo is not busy? It's not OK for you to drive 15 minutes but it's OK for Primo to fly 1,000 miles and use his limited vacation time to do their chores? I mean, it’s not OK for you to be bothered with it, either, of course, but you offered. And you go there to help them anyhow. Which is way, way nicer than I would ever be. You are a saint.

Stephanie: They only want Primo. Drives me nuts. They won't even ask Jack, who lives 45 minutes away and is here once a week to have dinner with the kids to do anything. Only Primo.

Me: I do not get them.

Stephanie: Me, neither.

Me: Hey what’s the deal with your not being able to load a dishwasher? They spend a lot of time on that one.

Stephanie: Ted’sWife and I loaded it one time that it got clogged. It wasn’t because of how we loaded it but because it's a crappy dishwasher. I know how to load a dishwasher. I use my dishwasher all the time and there is never a problem. Ted’sWife knows how to load a dishwasher. They have crappy appliances is the problem. Honestly, they will complain about anything. You know what, though? I don’t care anymore. They need me more than I need them. I’m not letting them get to me.

Me: Why do you even call them? They are your ex in laws.

Stephanie: I feel sorry for Doris. She used to be different. She has no friends and she is stuck with Sly all day long. She can’t drive anymore and he won’t drive her anywhere. He is abusive. She was so nice when Nancy was alive, but after Nancy died, Doris gave up. She doesn’t have it in her to fight Sly anymore.

Me: OK. This is starting to make some sense. But man, Nancy sounded like a nightmare.

Stephanie:  I loved Nancy. She had problems, but she was fun. She was super smart and super funny. We would hang out, do our nails. But she hated Sly. She was awful to him. She wouldn’t even leave her room when he was around. She would ask, “Is That Man downstairs?” I felt sorry for him.

Me: Really?

Stephanie: Well. In those moments. But now –

Me: He is kind of a jerk, I think.

Stephanie: He is not a nice person.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Thanks, Cristina! I stink at search and replace! How pathetic is that?