Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Cleaning up for the holidays

Friday, November 11, 2005, 6:30PM
Steve's house

"Hello, Jenny?"

"Yeah! Hi, Steve."

"How's it going?"

"OK," she says, unconvincingly, her voice sinking like a boat anchor.

"You and Bill talking?"

"A little. He's upset at me, obviously."

"You TOLD him?"

"I told him I slept with someone. I didn't tell him it was you."

"So, is there any hope?"

"He cheated too, about six months ago. So the whole thing is just marvelous."


"So how's Tim?"

"She's ok. In fact, she's coming over here on Thanksgiving. She's making dinner for both families, hers and mine. "

"So you're inviting me?"

"And Bill. And your mom, of course."

"Mom will come. Bill, I dunno."

"How about you?"

"Yeah, of course!"

"Are we ok?"

"Steve. Of course we're ok."


Now for the tough one.

I hit the flash button and dial.

"Hello, Nancy?"

"No, it's Holly! Is this Steve?"

"Yeah. Hi, Holly."

"How are yoooou," she flirts. "It's my birthday next month you know. I'm gonna be 18 and legal," she adds, before I can answer.

"That's cool-"

"I called you the other day."

"Oh yeah. It's pretty crazy right now. Hey listen, I'm in kind of a hurry. Is Greg around?"

"Fine, don't talk to me," she pouts. "Hold on."

A full minute passes, with muffled conversations audible throughout. "Hello," Greg finally says, sounding annoyed.

"Greg, hey. How's it going?"

I think he's being a little bitch about the whole Jenny incident, but if I want to make amends, I've got to be cordial, and let him know that I hear his concerns. I'm tired of this feud, and it would be nice to have the whole family together for Thanksgiving.

"Ok, Steve."

The mistake a lot of people make in this situation is that they start to debate the issue again. Why bother? Sometimes, people cool off, and they are able to see the other side without help. No sense bringing it up if I don't have to.

"I hope we can put this whole business behind us," I say.

He sighs. "I'm really- disgusted by the whole thing, Steve. But I know that's you. That's what you do. You're still my brother, and she's still my cousin, and I have to accept you the way you are."

"If I was hurting you, Greg, I could see it more."

"I know you think I'm being overly sensitive. I'm sorry! Am I supposed to apologize?"

Overly sensitive? No. Pantyhose-wearing bitch? Maybe!

"No! You don't have to apologize. I just want you to know that if this involved you, personally, in some way, I wouldn't have done it."

"Then what happened with Holly? That's my wife's sister."

"Are we back on that again? Greg, I didn't know how old she was. I probably should have. But it's not like she's hung up on me. It's not like she hasn't been with 1,000 guys since then."


"If I had known Nancy was going to give you a hard time..."

"I gotcha."

"Listen. I want you to come over to my house with the family for Thanksgiving. Tim's making dinner for both families!"

"Wow! You guys are getting serious."

"Yeah, she's awesome."

"She doesn't work for you, does she?"

"Ha ha ha."