So Dr. Darling‘s Dad calls last Tuesday night to wish her a happy birthday, and during the course of this conversation he invited himself and his partner Christina down to our place for the day on Thursday. They wanted to bring a couple of small pieces of furniture we were inheriting from them since they had recently downsized from good-sized house to a significantly smaller condominium.
But instead of saying something like, “Gee Dad, that would be great, but your favorite daughter-in-law will be working all day, we’re boarding a friend’s dog this week, I’ve got laundry time booked for Thursday afternoon and Shazz is planning to drag me and the dog to a performance of selections from Carmen at the outdoor amphitheater in Pildammspark that evening,” she responded with the Swedish equivalent of “C’mon down!”
Okay, maybe she didn’t say that exactly, but she didn’t dissuade them from coming either. (And clearly “Pappa” hadn’t taken the hint that we were kind of booked up on Thursday.) I didn’t have any opportunity to object before the plan was set, or to suggest a better date, so I was sure to make my feelings known after she got off the phone.
But the Swede had a reasonable response for every one of my concerns … Christina would just have to deal with the dog (she’s supposedly allergic), I could excuse myself after dinner and go to Carmen as planned, and Dr. Darling was able to rebook the laundry room for Friday afternoon. Fine. Now all we had to do was get the apartment ready for guests (it was tidy enough for a flat-coated retriever but not for in-laws) … and we had less than 48 hours notice to do it. Fun.
But it turned out to be a really nice visit. Our boarder was beautifully behaved and Christina cooked a delicious dinner for us all. I ended up skipping Carmen because of the threat of thundershowers (it will be back in July). After all was said and done, I actually felt a little guilty for having such a bad attitude about them coming beforehand.
Until Dr. Darling spaced the re-scheduled laundry time on Friday afternoon. And I don’t know why this should have surprised me considering that the only reason she remembers our usual Thursday slot is the recurring alarm I set on her mobile phone.
Now maybe it was because I’d had a tough day at the end of a very hard week at work, or I was over-tired, or a combination of both…but I got really bent out of shape about this. Especially when the focus of the conversation turned from Dr. Darling‘s inability to remember the laundry time (that she herself had selected less than two days before) to my lack of flexibility and spontaneity.
Because part of me thinks she may have a point, and part of me thinks the entire episode was just an elaborate scheme designed to get her out of going to Carmen.