Doris writes back to me.
I think we need to start anew after I offer our read on how the tensions began. You should tell us your recollections.
The most significant factor in our initial qualms was reading your blog. We were probably too quick to form judgments before we even met you. Your likes, politics, and religious views seem so divergent from Primo's and ours. Plus we know that Primo is often an easy mark. His marriage to ex-wife (which we STRONGLY opposed) turned out to be what we had feared...
Me: Oh my gosh! You have to hear this!
Me: Listen to what your mom wrote. “We know that Primo was often an easy mark. His marriage to ex-wife (which we STRONGLY opposed) turned out to be what we had feared.”
Primo: I know they didn’t like ex-wife, but I can’t regret my marriage to her. We had some really good times. And if it weren’t for that marriage, I would not have M and V. I am really lucky to have such wonderful stepdaughters and their husbands and children. I could never regret marrying ex-wife if just for that.
Me: But you’re just an easy mark. You have fallen prey to my wiles.
Primo: Yes, I am weak and stupid and have bad taste in women.
Me: Oh man! And then she says that she had to suck it up with your dad’s family. Listen:
Sly, of course, wouldn't listen to advice on not marrying his first wife. He was but 19 and Melinda was 23...She even bought the engagement ring! It took me a long time to build a relationship with some of Sly's relatives and the initiative was all mine.
Primo: My dad’s family was not nice to my mom.
Me: So they let your dad off the hook? Your mom did not abandon a spouse and two little boys. That was your dad.
Primo: Yes, but clearly my mother was the one at fault. She chased a married man.
Me: Yeah. So like your mom.
Primo: I know.
Me: Here’s the rest of it:
We would be happy to thaw the ice that has separated us and develop a friendlier relationship. We doubt that we could ever agree on what seem to be some of your world-views.
When we were together, you always appeared chilly, guarded, and rather judgmental. We don't know if you found us welcoming open, rigid, or just old fogies.
We've always felt that you were worried about Primo having responsibilities to us in our dotage.
Sly and Doris
Primo: I am worried about having responsibilities to them in their dotage! That’s not you – that’s me! And I told them that they had to choose – if they don’t accept you, then they won’t be seeing me.
Me: Is that why they want me to tell them what I don’t like about them?
Primo: I think that would be brilliant – for you to tell my mom and dad exactly what you don’t like about them. That would make things so much better.
Me: It would be fabulous.
 That is, screw you. I had to suck up to them so by God, you'll do it to me.
 Well, I demand that everyone share my opinion on things, so I guess this is not going to work.