We were almost at the home stretch. Overall things has been going better than expected. We had survived B’s birthday dinner without too much drama, and they were leaving first thing Wednesday morning (although they were still hoping to change their flight). I could almost hold my breath at this point. But instead, I lost it.
B thinks it was over corn on the cob, but really the corn was just the catalyst for what probably should have happened sooner. I am not really even sure where to begin.
The truth is that I don’t like watching people who just go through the motions. I know that I am far from perfect in that regard, but I do try to live like this is not a dress rehearsal because I understand that it is not. I really do try my best to remember what loss teaches.
Anyway, at some point during their visit, the outlaws asked about B’s friends. And it made me think that it might be nice to have lunch or dinner with them and his parents, especially since a couple of B’s friends he has known since grade school. I thought about having them over to the house to make it easier, but then I realized I would suddenly be cooking for up to 10 people again (so easier for who). Plus B’s friends are now scattered across Los Angeles, so not necessarily easier on his friends either.
Then I thought why not go to dim sum? B’s parents like dim sum and so do B’s friends. Plus dim sum is better with more people because you get to try more dishes and it is reasonably priced (at one point we had a debate over if the custom is Asia is more like in Germany where the person having the birthday picks up the tab). B thought I had a hidden agenda, but really I didn’t. I honestly thought it would be nice for B’s parents to see his friends. And so emails went out and a time and day and place were decided.
To be fair, we tried to keep the location closer to us, as we had some concern that B’s parents might back out if they had to drive too far. But the truth is that the place we picked was just down the block from the place Uncle P picked (more on that incident another time). And if it really came down to distance, I was willing to drive.
So yes, I was more than a bit upset that they were unwilling to join us for brunch the Sunday before they left. The only thing else they had on their schedule was meeting Uncle P at 2pm (we were meeting for dim sum at 11am) and pack (which they did for about 6 days of the 14 days they were here).
Maybe it isn’t a big deal to them, but to me, I know it is a big deal to meet someone’s parents, especially when they don’t live in town. I told B that when we lived in Austin, and I was still working for my friend (when we were still friends), I remember when her mother came to town or one of coworker’s mothers came to town and we would go out to lunch. It meant something to be invited. Of course, it also made me feel bad because it reminded me that this was something that I could not do (even though my mother was still alive then, I couldn’t imagine how she would behave around my friends and coworkers given that she was actively alcoholic and in the final stages of the disease).
B and I had a nice time at dim sum. We also stopped for ice cream and then ended up afterward meeting another of B’s old school chums that B found out was in town the night before. We literally met him at the parking lot of a Costco. I joked that B’s parents might show up as I believe this was the nearest Costco to Uncle P. We only chatted for a few minutes as he needed to go by Preparation H for his mom (that is what he said) and then we drove back to the house.
As we left Costco, B tried texting his parents to see where they were, as it was just about 2pm. He didn’t get a response. We would later learn that Uncle P took them on one of his (in)famous drives. Last year he took them to Palm Springs and Santa Barbara. On each occasion, they did not get out of the car. I don’t get it either.
But this time Uncle P decided to take them down to Dana Point. His wife was off shopping, so she didn’t join them. And it turned out that they did stop this time, but only briefly. The Beast tried to say that there was no parking at the Ritz Carlton, and that is why Uncle P stayed in the car while they went inside to check out the place.
I have actually had the privilege of staying at that Ritz Carlton. It was years ago, but I still remember how lovely it was. Everything is “their pleasure”. They really say that. I also know that they are trained to deal with crazy people as I have seen them in action.
So I did correct her, and she did concede, that the Ritz Carlton does have valet parking (only). [What I didn’t add was that they do this to keep the riffraff out.] The really sad thing is that if they had gone in and gotten a glass of wine and some appetizers or such, more than likely the hotel would have validated their parking (at least in part). They could have watched the sun set and enjoyed the company. But that is not how they roll.
While we were having this conversation, B and I were trying to heat up some leftovers for dinner. I didn’t finish my gigantic portion of fried chicken from the night before and so was just going to reheat it in the microwave. B had also found something leftover that he wanted, and was reheating it on the stove top. They were going to have the leftover fish (head) soup she had made, and also the corn she had bought.
All of a sudden she was acting like she didn’t know how to cook corn. She wasn’t sure if she should take of the husks or not? Then she had put on the big pot with just about an inch of water inside. I told her that if she wanted to boil the corn, she needed a lot of water. She then told me she would do it, but a few moments later asked me if I had added the water. She then said she wanted to steam it, and I told her, she needed the steamer. And that is when I lost my cool.
As I said, it wasn’t about the corn on the cob. It did give me a greater understanding though of why her cook might be bitchy. I hate when someone says they will do something and then gets upset because I didn’t do it, or treats me when I don’t know what I am doing. After being berated with this crazy logic for the past 12 days, I really couldn’t take any more. And as I said, really I was upset that they had backed out of going to dim sum so they could sit around the house and stare at the walls. And so I went off on her.
Really I wanted to leave the house. I got my car keys and my purse, but then realized I had no where to go. And all it would do was make B worry, which wasn’t fair, although they are his parents.
And so I went upstairs to my bed and cried, and didn’t come down until Monday morning. I felt like a teenage loaded with angst. I must say that these two really bring out the best in people. Also, I am ever so thankful they have returned to their side of the Pacific Ocean.