My people look for any chance to get together. (Including funerals. Which are sad but still, we get to see each other.)
Marido thinks it’s a big deal to have people over for supper and thinks it’s a little weird that I make brownies for new neighbors and food for friends who have babies or when there is a death in the family.
He thinks it’s odd to write condolence notes: Nobody sent me a note when my parents died. Nobody helped me when my parents were sick. Nobody brought me food.
Me: Maybe because your parents didn’t form the reciprocal social relationships that lead to that sort of interaction.
He was annoyed when he tried to call me and I had my phone in airplane mode: What if there were an emergency? Then how would I reach you?
Me: You would call Maggie (our next door neighbor) or Ken (our catsitter). They both have keys to the house.
Marido: I don’t have their numbers!
Me: Then I guess you need to get them.
I am coming to realize that one of us grew up in a completely bizarre home.
I don’t think it was me. I. Whatever. I am descriptive instead of proscriptive when it comes to language.
Isn’t taking food for babies and for deaths normal? Isn’t writing condolence notes the right thing to do? Isn’t having people over to eat or having people stay at your house if they are visiting your city normal? Isn’t it normal to have a party that’s just a party and not a fundraiser for some politician I don’t care about?
(NB If you ever have a fundraiser at your house, do not make any effort with the food. Get the cheapest veg tray you can from the grocery store and don’t worry about it. Cooking all the food from scratch does not mean you will get more money. It just means you do more work for the same amount of money.)
(Even more important NB: Don’t have a fundraiser at your house.)
Me: So… What kind of social interactions did you parents have when you were a kid? Did they have friends? Did they know their neighbors?
Marido: They had some friends they would go out to dinner with, but people didn’t come to our house. That’s why I get so stressed when you invite people to dinner. I think the house needs to be perfectly clean for that.
Me: The house should be clean all the time, not just for company.
Marido: Having people over is extra cleaning work.
Me: It shouldn’t be. The house doesn’t have to be perfect all the time, but it should be walk-in clean. That’s how I want it and I am just as important as company. Did they have parties?
Me: Did people stay with you?
Me: Did you stay with other people when you traveled?
Me: What on earth did your parents teach you?