Friday, April 09, 2010

Email alerts.

It's all very well to decide not to pick up the phone if caller ID says it's my mother or brother. (Babbling co-dependent loonies, the two of them.) It's a good plan, although annoying in that they will call and call and call and call the house, and my bluetooth in the car doesn't have caller ID, so I end up speaking to my brother all the time on speaker phone in the car because I keep forgetting he has my cell phone number.

Nonetheless, I've been successfully avoiding my mother, although Dear Butcher spoke to her a few days ago. He ended up laughing at her, which I don't think made the conversation a very positive experience for her. (Apparently she said something like, "Now that the custody arrangements are going to go the way I want them to, everything will be perfect." To which Dear Butcher guffawed and said, "Really? Just like that? Perfect.")

Well now, four days later, the custody arrangements are not going the way she wants, so after calling me 14 times yesterday, she sent me an email.

I didn't open it, but when I turned on the computer this morning, the first line of the email was excerpted onto my home page. Just that one line was enough to make me grit my teeth and start thinking of a thousand snappy comebacks, logical devices, snarling rejoinders and other responses while I was making my coffee.

Deep breaths and a mug of coffee later, I'm back on solid ground again.

Our furnace died two days ago. Yesterday we had an HVAC contractor come out to look at the 20 year old beast. After much poking around in vents and examination of electrical service and duct capacity, we're going to not only replace the furnace, but install air conditioning. For this, we have to take out a small equity loan. But the manager of the bank LOVES Dear Butcher. They can sit in the lobby of that teeny bank and discuss The Fed and Prime Interest Rates and the Chamber of Commerce and Main Street happenings for hours. Yes, hours. For all my politicking, those "we are men of business" conversations just make me want to start shrieking and rending my clothes out of boredom. But when Dear Butcher calls the bank manager to say our furnace died, the bank manager yawps into the phone, "Come on DOWN! I'll have the paperwork filled out for you in FIVE MINUTES!" Sometimes schmoozing is a good thing.

But the thing with the furnace is that I'd like to get a handyman in to run ethernet cable up to Neo's room. The wireless is NOT working in this house. We've tried everything, but if you are upstairs there is no signal, and Neo is completely frustrated. With the AC, I've killed any discretionary funds for Neo's computer, so I told her we would ask the grandmothers if they would be interested in helping me pay for the cable work. Shouldn't be much.

The first line of my mother's email detailed how she was going to lose all her savings on fighting for my brother's custody of his son. Woe is me, and aren't I a good mother, and don't you feel sorry for on for more details.

He's almost fifty and you're STILL paying his legal bills and didn't you have to sell your HOUSE to move into an apartment because you were supporting him? Now you're complaining that the custody case is going to wipe out any profit from the sale of your house? The house you did construction on so you could live there in old age. I wouldn't mind a little help with the Furnace and the Computer and Summer Camp you know. But hey, this way is MUCH better. Better for my soul, if not my bottom line. But don't whine to me, OK?

So how do I block my phone, my cell phone AND my email?

I need to find a desert island with an air conditioned house.


Shaina said...

is a restraining order out of the question? that's the only way to block her fully that i can think of...

p.s. i'm glad you're back. i like reading your writing.

Lyvvie said...

"The first line of my mother's email detailed how she was going to lose all her savings on fighting for my brother's custody of his son. Woe is me, and aren't I a good mother, and don't you feel sorry for on for more details."

I read this and had a sudden need to get the disinfectant for the toilet. I went to the cupboard, noticed something else, dealt with that and then forgot what I was going to do first. Came back, re-read that sentence and remembered I had to clean the toilet.

That's some fun psychology! Good luck with your dramas. Keep neutral, don't be dragged in, and keep sharing because I enjoy the read too. Last resort, I have a spare room here in Australia ready for you when you need it. ;)