Saturday, June 17, 2017

Ch 2 February Doris calls Primo from the bathroom, which is the sort of thing I thought happened only in fiction

Primo: My mom just called me.

Me: Oh no! Is something wrong? Your parents never call you! It’s not even Sunday!

Primo: Well, sort of.

Me: What do you mean?

Primo: Nobody is sick or dead, but she locked herself in the bathroom because my dad is drunk and is screaming at her.

Me: Oh man. That’s awful. But what does she expect you to do? Would it even help if you talked to your dad?

Primo: I doubt it. My dad can’t be reasoned with even when he is sober. Trying to convince him that he is not right when he is drunk would be impossible.

Me: So why did she even call you?

Primo: I guess she just wants to hear from someone who isn’t being mean to her.

Me: Your mom’s life stinks.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Ch 2 January Sly says he is glad his sons didn’t have to be in the military and it’s not because he suffered so much – he was on a ship during peacetime, unlike my father, who actually went to war and whose death was caused by exposure to Agent Orange – but because – I don’t know why

Primo: My dad asked what rank your dad was.

Me: Why?

Primo: Why what?

Me: Why did he ask that?

Primo: I don’t know. He was in the navy for a few years and when I told him your dad was career air force, he asked what his rank was. Why wouldn’t he ask?

Me: Because asking someone’s rank is the equivalent of asking a civilian not only how much money he makes but where he stands socially. It is actually a very rude question. A civilian might not know that, but your dad would know for sure. When I was at my friend Julie’s wedding breakfast,[1] another guest, whose son was the aide de camp for some general, asked me what rank my dad was. The second I told her, she turned her back on me and talked to someone else. She knew that my dad could not help her son get promoted.

Primo: Oh. I didn’t know that. So I told him.

Me: Uh huh.

Primo: And he said, “He sure didn’t get very high, did he?”

Me: This coming from someone who was in the navy only because he would have been drafted into the army otherwise? Not because he had a sincere desire to serve his country? And who didn’t get promoted past lieutenant jg? Nice.

Primo: I know. Anyhow, he said he was glad that my brothers and I did not have to be in the military the way he was. Then he said it’s not like the military would have taken us anyway.

Me: Why not?

Primo: Because Ted and Jack have asthma and I have flat feet.

Me: I didn’t know you had flat feet!

Primo: I don’t. And Ted and Jack do not have asthma.

Me: But your dad says you do. So you must.

Primo: My dad is wrong.

Me: I’ll bet nobody has ever said that to his face.

[1] Totally not relevant, but when has that ever stopped me – that breakfast was where I learned how wonderful grits can be. In college, the grits were watery and bland. Julie’s breakfast grits had butter, cream, cream cheese, and cheddar cheese in them, which made them as wonderful as you might imagine.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Ch 2 Primo and I plan to Christmas together and Sly and Doris are pissed that he isn’t going to their place

Need I say more about this? I mean, is there anything else to say but even though Primo just spent several days visiting them that Sly and Doris are very upset that he is not planning to spend Christmas with them? That even though he went 20 years of not spending Christmas with them and they are used to his not spending Christmas with them that now that he is not married to ex-wife anymore that his default should be that he goes to their house whenever they want him there?

Primo tells them nope, he was just there and he is not traveling again.

Primo: They didn’t say anything about your coming with me. They want me to come for Christmas without you.

Me: I guess that would be OK. I am not used to spending Christmas with you.

Primo: No, it wouldn’t. They're not used to spending it with me, either! I want to spend Christmas with you. I don’t want to spend it with them. I don’t even want to spend it with them if you are with me. We were just there and they were not nice to you.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Ch 2 And this is why I don’t care about Valentine’s Day now or ever

Because Primo got rid of the dead rat (that cost $20 of poison to kill) that was making my basement stink.

PS Yes, despite the fact that I almost vomited and ran back upstairs when I saw this foul vermin, I did ask Primo to wait until I had taken a photo before he disposed of it. Looking at the photo makes me almost as sick to my stomach as seeing the thing live. Dead.

PPS Aren't you glad I share these intimate moments with you?

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Ch 2 Sly and Doris do not like how I addressed my thank-you note and I think, “People! You should be glad you got a thank-you note AT ALL because there are plenty of people who don’t even write thank-you notes anymore, even if a person has bought a wedding gift and stood in line at the post office to mail it!”

I write a thank-you note to Sly and Doris because my mama raised me right. Not because I am truly grateful for the visit. I am not. They were not nice to me. They were not welcoming. But they are the parents of my boyfriend and someday husband, so I need to be on good terms with them. 

These are not the sheets that Sly and Doris used. These sheets do not have any holes in them.

And it is a pain in the neck to have people in your house, even if you are not going to be nice to them. You still have to clean the bathroom and put sheets on the guest bed and have food.

Or. You have your cleaning lady take care of the bathroom and the guest room and you don’t have food, at least not lunch food. Different strokes.

But. Thank you note. Required. Just because they were rude does not mean I have to be. They go low, you go high.

I send a thank you note. The good kind – in the mail.

Primo: My mom and dad don’t like your thank-you note.

Me: What’s not to like about a thank you note?

Primo: You addressed the envelope wrong.

Me: But they got it, right?

Primo: Yes.

Me: So what was not right about it?

Primo: You addressed it to “Drunk” instead of “Mr. and Mrs. Sly Drunk.”

Me: So?

Primo: They think you are not doing it right. They were insulted. They said you were being disrespectful.

Me: Did they notice that my return address was my last name only? That I did not include my first name?

Primo: That’s not the point. They were insulted.

Me: I wasn’t trying to insult them. I am lazy.

He shrugs.

Me: Tell them to bite me. I address letters to my mother that way and I love my mother. I was not singling them out in any way.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Ch 2 Sly and Doris are angry that I ate something (but we don’t know what it was) and that Ted'sWife ate all of the pickled herring and left after dinner a few years ago

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.

Primo: Nope.

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.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Ch 2 I google Sly and Doris OH LIKE YOU WOULDN’T – don’t act like you never open the medicine cabinet when you are at someone else’s house – and find a letter to the editor that needs no commentary

I know I am the nosiest person in the world. I like to have information. I wonder what I might find online about Sly and Doris.

So I google them.

As one does.

Remember how they live in Florida? I lived in Miami for two years. Gorgeous weather. I left my windows open and almost never used the air conditioner. A fan was enough. I hate to be cold and about the only thing to like about Florida if you are not in Miami, where the food and the culture are fabulous, is the weather. As far as I can tell, there is nothing else of interest in non-Miami Florida – just a bunch of old people and McMansionettes and big box stores.

Hey. Don’t hate. I have my data points. OK, there is the beach, which is also fabulous, but Sly and Doris do not live on the beach. They live in a generic suburb in a cookie-cutter house where the appliances are crap and the corners are not square.

Back to what I learn with my sleuthing.

So they live in Florida and they are allegedly huge environmentalists. But – they keep their windows closed and run the air conditioning! In OCTOBER! Florida is not hot in October!

Wait! They keep the windows closed but leave the patio door open for the cats. And they still run the air conditioner.

Got that?

1.      They live in a place where air conditioning is not necessary for most of the year.
2.      They close all the windows to keep the fresh air out.
3.      They leave the patio door open.
4.      And they run the air conditioner. Which is not necessary. And which they are using to cool the patio.

I find this letter to the editor from Doris:

Editor: ...we overuse energy, often chilling in freezing air-conditioning. We would rather shiver than sweat. While our young soldiers continue to die or be maimed, we still buy as the president tells us to do.