Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A visit to Indianapolis -- Part II

Scroll down for Part I.

So I missed Phillip Humber's perfect game. So what? White Sox pitchers have hurled three in their history, two during my lifetime. I missed both of them. (Buehrle's came in a day game against Tampa; I was at work. My wife held the phone to the TV during the ninth inning.)

Who cared? The important thing was that Older Daughter may or may not be pregnant. We want her to "catch" this time; that's why I'd accompanied Long Suffering Spouse on this mission of mercy -- not that we can do anything, mind you, except take up space, but when that's all you can do, you do it.

The other thing we did was go see the house the kids are planning to buy. Before we found out about the perfect game, Hank had to go over to his church -- an architect by trade, he's on the church building and grounds committee, too -- and Older Daughter thought that while he was on this errand she could show us the house.

I'd mentioned the house briefly yesterday. The house looks nice enough, I suppose, a two story, brick and siding affair with a two-car garage on a suburban-type street. Older Daughter insists that this house is merely a temporary stop, an investment, but that she and her husband will eventually move to Chicago. Hank has friends in Chicago, I'm told, and there's plenty of work here in his architectural specialty, if he can only get hooked up with the right job. I don't believe it. Hank's parents are in Indy; he's an only child. Hank has been tied into his church choir his whole life; he's a paid soloist besides.

"She's all alone down there," Long Suffering Spouse tells me.

But, when we'd seen the house, we drove back to the church (the house is much closer to the church than the apartment -- and, no, I'm not surprised by this either) and waited.

There was a wedding about to get underway. The daughter of two long-time choir members was being married; Hank and his wife had not been invited. That was something of a scandal (although Hank's parents were, so I think that makes up for that somewhat).

Anyway, we parked by the church -- Hank wasn't quite done yet -- and watched the invited guests arrive.

Now I don't know what it is about Protestantism that makes for such obnoxious punctuality. But Older Daughter assured me that all these guests hustling into the church were early, not late. Nobody's on time for a Catholic wedding, including the bride, but the good Episcopalians at Hank's church consider a person late if he's not an hour early. Since Older Daughter was married in that church, now almost three years ago, that was a matter of some stress for us at the time.

But the point is this: Older Daughter, who my wife fears is "all alone" in Indy, named every person passing by, providing sly biographical details for most of them.

After we returned from this errand, and after the baseball news, and after we'd resumed our Harry Potter film festival for awhile, it occurred to both my wife and me that now might be a good time to think about getting something to eat.

Older Daughter and Hank wanted to order pizza from a nearby place. The last time they'd ordered pizza from this place, when Long Suffering Spouse and Younger Daughter were on their now-infamous road trip, during Older Daughter's first go-round with IVF, it had taken hours for the pizza to arrive. When the food finally did show up, green olives had been substituted for green peppers. My wife likes green olives well enough, I suppose, but not on pizza. But Hank didn't even call the joint to complain -- and, by that time, Long Suffering Spouse was hungry enough to eat olives or the cardboard box the pizza came in. (The box tasted better than the olives, she said later.)

So, naturally, of course, they'd go back there on this trip, right?

Now, the first problem was what to order. While it was generally agreed that green olives were not a good idea, there was no agreement on virtually anything else. All I wanted was just plain cheese. I'm a boring person. Long Suffering Spouse will take sausage or pepperoni or green peppers, but not onions, licorice, ham and eggs or whatever it was that Hank and Older Daughter were talking about. Once I was assured that some portion of some pizza would be cheese only, I tuned the discussion out. Watching a Harry Potter movie for the 80th time was far preferable than watching Older Daughter struggle to make a decision.

Let's put it this way: I recall a discussion at Thanksgiving dinner in 2002. Older Daughter was then but a freshman in college, at the University of Illinois. She'd done from a high school of 350 or 400 girls to a college of 35,000 or 40,000. In high school, she'd had few schedule choices; in college, her choices were virtually unlimited. I asked her if her schedule was set yet. Everyone at the table assumed I was asking about her second semester schedule; Older Daughter and I both knew, however, that I was inquiring about her first semester schedule, the one that would end in just a week or two. "Almost," she said.

And this was without hormones, and shots and acupuncture and trying to buy a house besides.

Eventually, however, Older Daughter and her mother decided what to order -- but then Older Daughter could not figure out how to work the pizza joint's ordering system from her cell phone. She fiddled with it for what seemed like an eternity and then woke up Hank, who'd made the perfectly understandable decision to take a nap while the negotiations over toppings dragged on. She wanted him to place the order instead.

Hank was not pleased to be snatched from the arms of Morpheus.

In Hank's defense, I have to agree that naps are very important to me, too. I nap every chance I can get. I'd be napping now, only I have to write this post and prepare for an interview this afternoon. (OK, yes, I'm stalling on the interview prep by doing this post. Don't be such a pain.)

But, while I acknowledge that Hank had every right to be miffed at being prematurely awoken from his nap, it occurred to me, if not to him, that he was miffed at the woman who had just undergone hellish medical procedures in order to be able to carry his child. She wasn't functioning on all cylinders, true, but you'd think he'd make some allowances. Instead, he refused to place the order.

"They also have a phone," he said. "You could call them on the phone instead of placing the order online."

But she didn't want to call them on the phone; she wanted to place the order online and the site wasn't working on her phone. Hank gave her his. "Try this, then."

They must have bickered for another half hour before the order was eventually placed. I'm afraid I can't tell you if they did put the order in online or over the phone. I was verrrrry carefully not paying attention at this point.

Look -- yes, I am an attorney -- but, no, I don't particularly like conflict. I certainly don't like it in the home. Older Daughter, on the other hand, doesn't seem happy unless she's battling with someone. In this, she resembles my mother-in-law. Long Suffering Spouse and I have had a number of conversations about whether Abuela's home is getting to be too much for her. And it might be -- but we can't imagine her living with anyone either. It might technically be called an apartment in the suburbs but it would really be located in a state of perpetual conflict.

Older Daughter and I were alone in the living room at one point over the weekend, she on the couch, me still on that love seat (I was sitting or laying on that thing for 90% of the trip). Long Suffering Spouse had gone to the kitchen to chop up vegetables for a snack. My wife called out a question to her daughter, but I could see that Older Daughter was dozing, eyes closed and everything. I tried to answer in a stage whisper that she was sleeping -- when a sleepy voice from the couch interrupted: "I am not!"

As near as I can tell, Hank's no better. He'll pick at any scab he finds too.

Sometimes Long Suffering Spouse and I wonder how well these two really know each other. They don't seem as supportive of one another as we'd like, or in sync, or in tune, or whatever phrase you use in your experience. Hank knows that his wife can't lift anything consequential in these critical first few weeks, but after we'd gone home he refused to buy groceries. Later, though, he bought flowers and all was sweetness and light again.

Anyway, we got the pizza -- without green olives this time -- and, late as I thought it was, Long Suffering Spouse assured me (later) that this was at least two hours earlier than she'd been fed last time. "I think they were on their good behavior because you were there," she told me later when we were headed home. "That was their good behavior?" I asked.

4 comments:

Empress Bee (of the high sea) said...

i like plain cheese too...

smiles, bee
tyvc

Steve Skinner said...

I'm with you, cheese pizza is the best way to go.

The Curmudgeon said...

I'm a cheesy guy. What can I say?

sari said...

I hope it goes well for them, sounds like a lot going on to deal with.