Monday, September 08, 2014

Curmudgeon believes he makes a helpful intervention, but goes unrewarded

Yesterday, the first Sunday after Labor Day, really was Grandparents' Day. I suppose I would have known that if I'd been keeping up with my long-neglected Blog of Days.

I knew that my wife's school was welcoming grandparents yesterday. Long Suffering Spouse had photocopying and laminating to get done in preparation for classes this week, but she'd already told me about the grandparents' open house and how she didn't want to be there during that.

The light bulb started to flicker a little bit during the early Sunday Mass. Long Suffering Spouse and I were joined, for this occasion, by Younger Daughter and Granddaughter #1. During the Prayers of the Faithful, an invocation was sought for all grandparents.

Anyway, we got home and Long Suffering Spouse and her daughter and her daughter's daughter set up camp in the living room, in the front of the house. I was in the den, at the back of the house, on the computer, reading the comics online. Olaf, who had not joined us for church, stumbled down the stairs in search of coffee.

"Today is Grandparents' Day," my wife told him. "Are you doing anything with your parents today? You should probably call."

We tease Olaf about being a troll sometimes -- he is Norwegian, you'll recall -- and often with good reason. This was one of those occasions. He responded to my wife's well-intended suggestion with an unpleasant diatribe that started being about Hallmark holidays and went downhill from there. Although they've been very generous with him, our son-in-law has a sometimes-prickly relationship with his parents.

I could feel the tension levels escalating in the living room. I knew for certain that my wife was getting angry.

Without budging from my chair, I decided to intervene.

"Wait a minute!" I bellowed. "It really is Grandparents' Day?"

My wife, at least momentarily diverted from hurling any immediate verbal daggers at Olaf, assured me that it was.

"So, do I get presents, or what?"

"What?" That was my wife, instantly exasperated with me.

"Where are my presents? If it's really Grandparents' Day, shouldn't I be getting some major swag at this point?"

"No!" my wife said, rather sharply, I thought. "You're not getting any presents."

"Well, then, I'm with Olaf on this. Doesn't sound like a real holiday to me. Are you sure I don't get presents?"

I didn't get any presents. But the crisis was past.

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