Saturday, July 1, 2017

Ch 4 Things we do not do at my mom’s because she does not consider her houseguests to be unpaid labor

·         Clean pet poop
·         Go hungry
·         Listen to gossip about my brother and sister
·         Listen to gossip about my mom’s brothers and sisters
·         Listen to gossip about anyone
·         Clean her garage (already clean with boxes neatly labeled)

·         Clean her fridge (already clean)

Ch 4 Things we do at my mom’s that do not involve 1. Booze, 2. Drunkenness, or 3. Criticizing other people and yet are still fun

·         Play Bananagrams every night
·         Go horseback riding with Mary Ann and Hugh
·         Have dinner at Mary Ann and Hugh’s – we eat elk from their ranch
·         They have dinner with us
·         Fix my mom’s computer but it takes only an hour
·         Eat all the really good food my mom has made
·         Look at my baby pictures
·         Go to Garden of the Gods
·         Watch a movie together

·         Go for walks

Shirley can't find her food with the usual landmarks gone

Not trying to confuse anyone - this photo is for people reading the Weekend Free For All at AskAManager.

Yes, Primo and I are in the middle of a home remodeling project.

Yes, we are still married.

For now.

Image may contain: indoor

Ch 4 Friday Primo thinks there isn’t chocolate in my mom’s house and I laugh because that is INCONCEIVABLE

Primo: I want some chocolate.

Me: So have some.

Primo: I can’t find any in the fridge and I feel weird going through your mom’s cupboards.

Me: Let me look.

Primo: See? There is none.

Me: Ha! You really think my mother does not have chocolate?

Primo: We looked in the fridge and in the cupboards.

Me: You? Are an amateur. Follow me. I will show you how to conduct a proper chocolate search.

Which is when I lead him to the basement and open the door to the pantry/Christmas wreath storage area, and open every single Tupperware container until I find the one that has the chocolate chips.

It is the one on the bottom shelf and she has had that Tupperware – actually, all of her Tupperware, since I was a kid. It’s one of the few things I want when she dies, although I should just buy my own Tupperware because I want it to be a long, long time before she dies.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Ch 4 My aunt Mary Ann and uncle Hugh come over for dinner and it’s delicious, of course, and nobody goes hungry

Guys, Primo and I have been busy. I have not had time to write. But Primo and I cooked. My aunt and uncle came over. We ate. It was fabulous.

They invited us to go horseback riding tomorrow.

“It’s our TRADITION!” my uncle said.

My uncle owns a commercial stables. He has been a horse guy his entire life. Every time I have ever visited them or my mom, he has taken me riding.

Primo has never been on a horse in his life.

Me: What on earth did you do with your grandparents?

Primo: I told you! My grandfather taught me to shoot pool.

Me: I guess that counts.

Ch 4 Thursday I hate it when my mom is right, which happens far more often than I would like to admit, but at least she is not obnoxious about it

Mom: You can make your oatmeal in the microwave, you know.

Me: I know.

Mom: It’s easier than on the stovetop.

Me (measuring oats, water and salt into the saucepan): I know. I like it this way.

Mom: Then you don’t have to worry about it boiling over and you don’t have to watch it.

Primo: She likes it this way because she likes it a little burnt on the bottom.

Mom: But it’s easier my way!

Me: I want to do it my way.

Mom leaves to take a shower. I ignore the pot and the oatmeal burns to the bottom, which is not a problem at my house because I have non-stick pans, but this one is plain steel or whatever that sticky surface is and the oatmeal is really stuck to it.

Primo: It’s going to be painful, cleaning that.

Me: Not as painful as the “I told you so” I’m going to get.

Primo: She says that to you? She doesn’t seem like that to me.

Me: No, of course not. It’s implied.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Ch 4 Wednesday I ask my mom about the sleeping situation and she displays a stunning sense of practicality that is nothing like Sly and Doris’ laziness wrt the spare room because my mom does not have a spare room that is so full of crap you can barely open the door, i.e., my mom is superior, OK?

Me: Mom! You have Primo in the same room as me?

Mom: Yes.

Me: Who are you and what have you done with my mother?

Mom: Well. We are going to eat in the family room and it just seemed like too much trouble to set the trundle bed up there and then have to move it.

Me: But – but inconvenience has never stopped you before! I mean, never ever! When Jenny and I were here with John and her boyfriend for Eve’s wedding and you had the rehearsal dinner in the family room, you still had the guys sleep there.

Mom: I know. But I figured you guys aren’t sleeping in separate rooms all the time in Austin.

Me: Mom!

Mom: And I left the bundling nightstand between the two beds. So you know – you’re separated.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Ch 4 Tuesday My mother puts us in the same room and I look for the four horsemen, or, at least, the hidden cameras. OK. I give up. The world is coming to an end.

Oh my gosh you guys! Primo and I just arrived at my mom’s. SHE PUT US IN THE SAME ROOM!

No, my mom didn’t pick us up at the airport in Denver and then drive us to Colorado Springs but she would have. Primo has Hertz points that are about to expire so he figured he might as well use them.

Our flight is delayed and we don’t get to my mom’s until 2:00 a.m. My mom is already in bed when we arrive, but the door is unlocked. I take Primo downstairs, where there is a guest room and a finished basement/family room. My mom has the TV, her treadmill, and the dining room table (which is too big for the dining room upstairs) in the family room. I look in the family room for the trundle bed, which is what my mom has used for previous boyfriend guests.

There is no trundle bed.

There is no air mattress.

There is NOTHING.

I examine the guest room again. There are two twin beds in the guest room. Each of the beds is made up. Each has the top sheet and blanket turned back. Each one has a chocolate on the pillow.

It looks to me like both beds are supposed to be used.

Holy. Smoke.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Ch 4 We are going to my mom’s for Thanksgiving and she keeps emailing about food

My mom: Does Primo like pumpkin pie?

Me: No.

Mom: Does he like apple pie?

Me: Yes.

Mom: Does he like blueberry pie?

Me: No.

Mom: Does he like cranberry sauce?

Me: No. If it ends in “erry” or has that “orange” flavor, he does not like it.

My mom is a fabulous hostess and she is concerned with her guests’ comfort. When I took a former boyfriend, John, who is a vegetarian, to my mom’s, she asked, “I made a pie that has lard in the crust. Will John be able to eat it?” That is how my mom is. She wants to be a gracious hostess and make her guests feel welcome in her home. Don’t all moms?

Yeah, you don’t have to answer that. We know.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Ch 3 My cousin licks Primo and I have to completely re-evaluate my smugness re family, although I promise that if you can’t say, “And then my cousin licked my boyfriend,” it’s not because your family is superior, it’s because your family is too small

So I have been all, “MY family would never be tacky and rude to you!” to Primo because I TRULY BELIEVED THAT. I didn’t think my mom would trash-talk my siblings or any other relatives to Primo because she has never even done that to me. My mom thinks it is Not Proper to Gossip about People, which is one of the reasons that she does not know about this blog. This blog’s entire mission is to Gossip about People, but in my defense, it’s to Gossip about People Who Deserve to be Gossiped About.

But I have not worried that my family could in any way be found wanting in comparison to Primo’s family. I am very sure that

·         My mom would not get angry at me or at Primo if I said Primo wanted separate sleeping accommodations at her house, not that I would need to tell her that because It Is Not Done To Share A Bedroom With A Non-Spouse at my mom’s.
·         My mom would never withhold food from any guest and would, indeed, goes out of her way to identify and prepare foods that a guest will like.
·         My mom would never offer her shower to my guest and me, telling us that she and my dad used to shower together there wink wink.
·         And of course my mom would not tell Primo and me what a disappointment my siblings are to her.

So I have been all self-righteous and superior because my family wins.

And then my cousin licks Primo and it becomes a tie.



I did.

I never thought I would be writing those words, but life happens, people.

Late in the evening, after much drinking on the part of some parties, my cousin Celeste, who I hope has been drinking heavily all day because Lord have mercy if she does this sober, there is no hope for her, stops to talk to us, “us” being my mom, Jenny, Jenny’s boyfriend, my cousin Angie, Primo, and me.

Celeste appears, beer in one hand, cigarette in the other.

Celeste: I’m going to tell you something that no one ever told me.

Jenny: What’s that?

Celeste: You don’t have to marry someone to (screw[1]) him.

I gasp, then give an embarrassed laugh. She said this in front of my mother! My mom doesn’t cuss and she sure doesn’t use the F-word. I have never in my entire life heard her say anything stronger than “shit” and she uses that only rarely. If I use “bitch” on my non-secret blog (the one she knows about and the one that Primo told his mom and dad about), I will get an email from her asking if it’s really necessary to use that language.

Usually, it’s not. Not necessary, I mean. Usually, I am just being lazy.

Me: Is that why you’ve been married four times? You’ve been doing it like they do in Hollywood – getting married instead of dating?

Celeste: Yep. I didn’t know. I didn’t know you could just (screw) ‘em instead of marrying ‘em.

I look at Primo and shrug. See? I have crazy, obnoxious people in my family, too. It’s not just him. Once you get a certain number of people in a family, you are almost guaranteed to have some weirdness. I got an “A” in probability and statistics in grad school. I understand this stuff.

She steps closer to Primo, leans over, and licks him on the cheek.

Then she licks Jenny’s boyfriend on the cheek.

Then she leaves.

Nobody speaks. What do you say?

  • I have never seen someone lick another person like that.
  • She licked my boyfriend. In front of me.

[1] That’s not the word she used. She used the other one. I do some cussing, but I draw the line at that word, at least in cases where my mom will be listening or reading. Except – my mom doesn’t know about this blog. What to do, what to do?

Ch 3 What a person eats at a fish fry

We eat a ton. Fried fish – my uncle has been fishing for weeks to build up the supply. He dredges the fish in a beer batter with a pinch of baking soda, then fries it. They know how to fry fish in Wisconsin.

There are what are called "salads," rolls, and dessert. Desserts. Lots of desserts.

By definition, I believe a salad is a mixture of ingredients that are not cooked after they are mixed. Technically, the dish consisting of apples, whipped cream and sliced Snickers bars for which one finds the recipe in almost any church cookbook, is a salad.

There is my grandmother’s apple strudel, which is excellent. She does not peel her apples.

There is beer. Almost everyone drinks. I don't because beer does not taste good to me, but in Wisconsin? It's what for breakfast.

Primo meets my grandmother, my aunts, my uncles, my cousins, my brother, and my sister – and they are all nice to him.

Ch 3 Primo meets my mom and she looooves him, which I knew she would

My aunt Aggie makes us a huge breakfast with bacon, ham, eggs, coffeecake, and muffins because she does not want us to starve during the 50-minute drive to Rita and Larry’s lake place.

We don’t starve.

Even if we had been in danger of starving, we would have had provisions. Aggie sent a package of muffins and coffeecake with us. And raspberry jam that she made herself.

As soon as we get to Rita and Larry’s place, my mom runs up to us and says, "You must be Primo! I’m so happy to finally meet you!"

She hugs him, grabs his hand, and takes him away from me, saying, “Come tell me all about yourself! Let’s get you something to eat first. Would you like a beer?”

Just like Sly and Doris! Welcoming and offering food from the very first second!

I kid. I kid.

But yeah. I am kind of obsessed with the whole food/hospitality/guest thing, because Sly and Doris are the first people I have ever met who did not offer me food the second I crossed their threshold. Are they the outliers or am I?

Ch 3 My uncle tells me my dad would have liked Primo, which OF COURSE he would have, but it’s nice to have a second opinion

Denny tells me, “Your father would have liked him. I don’t know so much about his politics, but you know what? They don’t matter. He’s a good one. Hold on to him.”

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Ch 3 We stay with my uncle Denny and aunt Aggie, who have a gun rack in the guest room, which freaks Primo a little bit and I tell him not to worry it has been YEARS since my uncle last shot anyone

We fly to Minneapolis and rent a car because even though I expect parents to pick up their children, even adult children, at the airport, I do not expect aunts and uncles or cousins to do so, especially when the visit is not a duty visit to keep the parents happy but something I am doing because I want to.

I also do not expect a parent to drive 150 miles to pick up a child from the airport. Fifty miles, yes. One hundred fifty, nope. That is not in the rules.

My aunt Aggie takes Primo to the guest room to drop off our bags. Mine go in the guest room, his go in the computer room, where there is a sofa bed.

Primo: There is a GUN RACK! In the GUEST ROOM!

Me: Of course there is a gun rack. My uncle Denny hunts. My other uncles hunt. My cousins hunt. This is Wisconsin. People hunt here.

Primo: In the GUEST ROOM!

Me: OK.

Primo: And there are crucifixes everywhere.

Me: Uh huh.

This is nothing unusual for me – to see signs of religion in a home. My family prays before meals. We went to church and Sunday school when I was a kid. My mom keeps the Palm Sunday fronds. My grandma Sylvia had a little holy water thingy by the front door. This is normal for me.

Primo has never seen this sort of thing before. I am pretty sure Sly and Doris would be rolling their eyes.

Primo and my uncle discuss politics while they grill the steak for supper.

My uncle never went to college. He took over the family business, a small car dealership and a garage, which employs about a dozen people, after my grandfather died, and has started other businesses since. He goes to church every week, if not more often. My aunt and uncle’s pattern is the gym at 5:30 a.m., early Mass, then breakfast and on to whatever the day has, including work, chopping wood, working in their half-acre garden, and/or golf. Not drinking.

They are in their late 70s, btw.

Primo: Your uncle disagrees with me, but he’s not nasty or mean. He really wants to understand why I think the way I do.

Me: You mean he’s polite to you? He talks to you? You mean he doesn’t imply that the only reason you could hold your beliefs is because you are stupid? Who knew you could approach things that way?

Primo: I know, I know.

Me: And yet, your parents are the tolerant ones.

Primo: Your aunt and uncle are really nice. They’re wrong about everything, but they’re nice.

Me: What’s more important? That they have the proper beliefs or that they be decent human beings?

Primo: According to my dad, it’s more important to be right.

Me: That explains a lot.