Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Ch 12 Doris is all weepy at my wedding dinner and it kind of ticks me off but then I really listen to her and it makes me sad for her and then she makes a Grand Gesture and it makes me so sad because her daughter is dead and she is married to a jerk and there is nothing she can do

Doris waves me over. Good grief. Now what?

Her cheeks are wet. Why is she sad? This is a wedding, a celebration.

I know! I know! I am joking! She is sad that Primo married me. Or she is sad that she is married to Sly. Or both.

She is drunk. She is weeping.

Doris: The most blissful time of my life was when Primo was a toddler. I would put him in his playpen while I ironed and did other housework. At only nine months old, he started talking. He was so bright. “Out!” he would say. “Out!” Then he would raise his little arms so I could lift him. I treasured those days.

Me: Yes, you’ve told me that story before.
Doris: He is my Only Joy!

Me: Uh huh.

Don’t you just want to slap me and tell me not to be such a bitch? Writing this, I feel really bad. I am not being kind. It costs me nothing to be nice to an old lady. And man, do I get hoist on my petard here. You’ll see.

Doris: No, you don’t understand. He really is the only happiness I have in life. He is the only person in my life who brings me joy.

Oh. Oh. I get it. I would be bitterly unhappy if I lived with Sly. I guess I would drink, too, as much as I could. I still remember what Primo’s brother said about Sly: He turns wives into alcoholics.

Doris: You love Primo. You’ll be good to him.

Me: OK, Doris. OK. I know.

She weeps.

Crap. What do I say? I just don’t want to deal with her weepy, drunk emotions. I don’t inflict my emotions on other people. I don’t want to take theirs.

Doris: Sit down.

Me: Ummm.

I look around for rescue.

Doris: Please.

I don’t want to talk to her, but I feel sorry for her.

Doris: I want to give you something.

Is she going to give me Wedding Night Advice? Great. That would be fabulous.

She pulls out a small box out of her purse and hands it to me.

Doris: Open it.

It contains a ring with a thin, worn band and a tiny diamond. The band has been cut.

Doris: That is my dear, dear mother’s wedding ring. They had to cut it off her finger when she died. I want you to have it.

My jaw drops. She has told me about her mother’s ring and how precious it was to her. She had wanted to give it to Nancy. She cried when she told me about it. I don’t even know what to say to you guys, except see what I mean about being hoist on my petard?

I really don’t know what to say to her.

Me: Thank you, Doris. I don’t know what to say. I know how special this ring is to you and I know how much Primo loved his grandmother. I will treasure it. Thank you.

A hug seems like the right thing to do but it also feels incredibly awkward. I pat her hand. That seems like a good compromise. 


  1. wow... didn't see that coming. what a shame that there was no way to break thru the wall named Sly.

    1. She really did give me her mom's ring - and two years later, asked me to give it back. Wait. Asked Primo to ask me to give it back. And never acknowledged that she had received it after I sent it.

  2. What is it with jewelry and drama? My grandparents had a ring with a huge rock in it, to the point of being gaudy. The jeweler actually called it a cocktail ring, and it's bigger than any engagement ring I've ever seen. Actually, the jeweler was so sure that it was just a good costume ring, they almost didn't want to do a full appraisal, but then when we came back to pick it up they were kind of gobsmacked that it was real! And really good quality stones, apparently.

    Anyway, my aunt pestered my grandparents for that ring relentlessly. She can be very tone-deaf and obnoxious. So when my grandmother passed, she left it to my mom, her daughter-in-law, instead of my aunt, her daughter! And my mom told me before she passed that my aunt had been asking who had the ring since my grandmother passed, but my mom refused to let on.