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Blame George - Elizabeth Unexplained
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greyautumnrain
greyautumnrain
Blame George
Yesterday was apparently Blame George day.

George is Warren's brother. He and his wife were over for Thanksgiving, along with their 11 month old baby, George's 16 year old son from his first marriage, and George and Warren's mother.

Blame George day got off to an early start. My MIL had an 8:30 flight and Greyson (George's eldest) had a 9:50 flight back to California where he lives. The plan had been that I would wake George and Greyson at 6am, and we would leave with MIL for the airport at 7am. Given expected traffic conditions at dawn on a Sunday morning we thought this would be plenty of time. Sadly, my MIL got it into her head that this was not early enough, only she didn't bother to tell anyone the night before when it would have helped. Instead she made a lot of noise at 5:40 am in what was clearly some sort of passive-aggressive way of trying to get us up earlier, such that she succeeded in waking up Warren (who was supposed to get to sleep in) as well as me. Of course I didn't actually get out of bed until my alarm went off. By then she was already in the downstairs apartment and had awakened everyone there, including the baby who had not been sleeping well the entire trip. Having learned this, I go back upstairs and get in the shower. I like to stick to the plan, and my plan was to shower after my alarm went and I was assured that G&G were awake. I get out of the shower, don robe, and go back to my bedroom to quietly (so Warren can get back to sleep) start to comb my hair and assemble something to wear. About 60 seconds into the process George comes upstairs looking for me. Apparently MIL is very anxious to leave NOW. (I later learned that MIL has pitched a fit at George about us not leaving on her schedule.) George tells me I don't have to go, he can leave now and drive, he just needs clarification on the route to the airport. He then asks how to get to route 2. Since I have already showered, I'm pretty much up for good anyway, and since he's under the delusion that going to the airport involves route 2 I am not inclined to give up my role as driver on the airport trip. Even though I am still naked under my robe and uncombed I inform him that it will be faster for me to get dressed for the drive than to expain the airport route to him.

Five minutes later I am equipped for an airport trip and we start loading my car. MIL is furious with George of all people. Never mind that I, having not caved in to her passive-aggressive rescheduling attempts, am the limitting factor on when we leave. Also lost on her is the fact that her fit pulling has, if anything, delayed us slightly as I would have been ready to go a good three minutes earlier had I not had to have the conversation with George. Even so we leave the house around 6:40 am. As predicted traffic is light. I don't rush, but I still get to the airport in 13 minutes flat. Getting out of the car in central parking at 6:55 MIL proceeds to yell at George for treating her like a stupid person. I valiantly bite my tongue on the obvious comment. She is checked in and through security by 7:03. Sadly I doubt that sitting at the gate for well over an hour is going to make her realize that we did not need to leave any earlier than 7. Its just easier to blame George.

George, Greyson and I wander from terminal C to terminal B to check Greyson in. We sigh over MIL's behavior. George observes that there are only two people in the world who bring out his temper: his mother and Paige (Greyson's mother).

We now have two hours to kill before its a reasonable time for Greyson to head for his gate. We have breakfast, chat, and Greyson crashes on the restaurant bench seat for half an hour. Then we head to the gate and see Greyson though security before George and I head back to the house. George gets in a brief nap before he and Brittany pack up themselves and the baby for their drive back to NYC. George appoligizes for MIL's behavior and thanks me for putting up with her.

Even though George is now gone, it is apparently still blame George day. Warren and I have cleaned up a bit. Dishes are drying in the rack and there are loads of laundry in both the washer and dryer. We're playing Warcraft, doing some Arathi Basin so that our characters don't get demoted from Knight. The phone rings. As per Warcraft-playing protocol I let the maching get it. Its an unfamilar and fairly miffed voice telling us that this is Paige, Greyson's mom, and she wants to know where her son is. She leaves her number. I mute my computer and grab the phone whilst my character is ressurrecting from her latest defense of the gold mine. I dial her number while waiting for the res timer to count down. She answers immediately. I tell her that we saw Greyson through security on our end and ask if he hadn't arrived when expected. She tells me the problem isn't that he didn't arrive when expected but that she doesn't have his flight information. Greyson didn't tell her, and George should have realized that he should have told her himself because Greyson is only a kid. I observe that Greyson is 16 and will no doubt know to call her from the airport. She tells me its an hour and a half drive to the airport, and she can't have Greyson waiting that long at the airport for her. I refrain from observing that waiting 90 minutes to be picked up is a good way to learn the value of letting people know your plans ahead of time. I tell her that Greyson is flying America West, that his flight out of Boston was at 9:50, and that he had a connection to make in Las Vegas with about a one hour layover there. I suggest calling the airline to get more specific information. Paige tells me she doubts the airline will give her any information. She launches into a tirade about how irresponsible George is, and how she can't believe that at his age he doesn't know better by now. I scan humanoid tracking for enemy players while I wait for her to pause for breath. Then I ask if she's tried calling George yet. He's not home. I say I'm not surprised, the drive is probably taking a lot longer than four hours given that they're travelling with a small baby. Allusion to the fact that George has remarried is apparently a tactical error, and I am treated to more about just how mad she is at George. I bite my tongue so as not to say something along the lines of 'the divorce was 15 years ago, get over it already'. I again council calling the airline, assuring her that they can help her, especially if she mentions that Greyson is a minor. I try to calm her down by telling her how impressed I am with Greyson, but this does not go over as well as expected and I am left with the impression that she thinks less of Greyson than I do. The call finally ends with one last remark about how she can't believe how irresponsible George is. When she calls back five minutes later I let the machine take it again. She thanks me and confesses that to her surprise the airline actually did tell her Greyson's flight information, but she's still really mad at George.

The irony here, of course, is that George is actually quite responsible and punctual. George spent his twenties commanding SEAL teams, and he was good at it. He's not always good about protectiong other people's feelings, but he can certainly take responsibility and get the job done. I actually work pretty well with George. Its easy, really. You let George be in charge, and if you disagree with him you explain why. If he delegate responsibility for something to a person he leaves that person alone to get it done. Sadly, not everyone is OK with this in spite of it being a good management model. My MIL thinks everything should be done her way, even in the face of logic that says otherwise, thus we have blame George day part one. Paige apparently isn't happy with him delegating a simple task to an otherwise responsible 16 year old, never mind that giving a kid responsiblity and then enough rope to screw up is a good way to teach responsibility, thus we have blame George day part two.

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Comments
enugent From: enugent Date: November 28th, 2005 10:49 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm glad someone is sticking up for George.

I wonder if Greyson called his mom from the Las Vegas airport. That's probably what I would do, rather than waking up a West Coaster at some ridiculous hour as I was leaving Boston. Unfortunately, you'll probably never know, since Paige is not likely to tell you that he turned out to be responsible after all.
greyautumnrain From: greyautumnrain Date: November 28th, 2005 12:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yes, it is quite likely that Greyson was trying to call his Mom from an airport pay phone in Las Vegas and getting a busy signal because she was on the phone telling me what a bad person George was. And never mind waking a west coast Mom up at 3:30 am their time, Greyson wasn't more than nominally awake when we left the house. A small matter of spending the entire trip near a baby who may have had an ear infections, and was thus waking up screaming every couple of hours throughout the night. Of course there was also the fact that his aunt was letting him play World of Warcraft on her account, but I'm hoping Greyson has the sense not to mention that little factoid to his mom and stepdad.
mjperson From: mjperson Date: November 28th, 2005 11:06 am (UTC) (Link)

I missed it...

You've got to make these announcements before the actual event occurs. Had I realized yesterday was Blame George Day, I could have blamed George for all of my scheduling problems too. As it was, I had to blame roommates and the like.
mijven From: mijven Date: November 28th, 2005 03:49 pm (UTC) (Link)

George, our hero!

Yeah, wish I'd known. I came home to this huge hole in the middle of the staircase and I could have blamed it on George!

MIL probably kept blaming George out of habit, but there's also the fact that she can get him to change plans when she requests (such as getting ready, pestering you) whereas you, who would have modified plans with advanced knowledge or given sufficient reason, didn't capitulate.
greyautumnrain From: greyautumnrain Date: November 28th, 2005 05:05 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: George, our hero!

I'm sure you both can retroactively blame George.

As for MIL, yes, I think non-capitulation has been a winning strategy for me. Warren wonders why I am not pyched about the idea of having her help us raise the kids we are trying so hard to conceive. The fact that I use the self same coping strategies on her that I would use on willful two year old is certainly part of the reason why I am not so impressed with her baby sitting credentials.
enugent From: enugent Date: December 14th, 2005 02:01 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: George, our hero!

(Catching up on old comments that I didn't read at the time.)
The fact that I use the self same coping strategies on her that I would use on willful two year old is certainly part of the reason why I am not so impressed with her baby sitting credentials.
Our main children's health book says that if a two-year-old does not have other two-year-olds around to interact with, he will figure out how to push the appropriate buttons to turn any handy adult into a two-year-old. So Warren's mom might be a perfect babysitter for that age! ;)
From: (Anonymous) Date: November 28th, 2005 12:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
utterly unrelated to george, blame, or thanksgiving, but since i don't have your email address... have you seen this website?
http://flyingskirts.com/catalog/skirts.shtml
nice more-than-circle skirts for not completely outrageous prices. possibly entirely the wrong style, but there are some nice-looking ones there. just thought i'd pass along the info :)
coraline From: coraline Date: November 28th, 2005 12:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
utterly unrelated to george, blame, or thanksgiving, but since i don't have your email address... have you seen this website?
http://flyingskirts.com/catalog/skirts.shtml
nice more-than-circle skirts for not completely outrageous prices. possibly entirely the wrong style, but there are some nice-looking ones there. just thought i'd pass along the info :)
greyautumnrain From: greyautumnrain Date: November 28th, 2005 12:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for the link! Some of the simpler skirts would certainly make good ballroom practice skirts.
merastra From: merastra Date: November 28th, 2005 07:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oooh, nice.
From: readsalot Date: November 29th, 2005 03:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
Since this is a paid account (which you can check by looking at the userinfo), you can send email to greyautumnrain@livejournal.com , and it'll automatically forward to whatever account Elizabeth has set up for lj to use.
coraline From: coraline Date: November 29th, 2005 03:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
huh -- i could have sworn that i'd checked and that it was free, not paid, and therefor unemailable. i do know that dodge, thanks for pointing out the obvious :)
firstfrost From: firstfrost Date: November 28th, 2005 09:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
George must be the cause of my sore throat! I had previously been blaming tirinian, but you're right, George is must more convenient.
From: readsalot Date: November 29th, 2005 03:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
Could be me, though--I came down with a really nasty cold on Sunday night, which means I was probably contagious on Saturday during the game. Unless George somehow transmitted the cold to me...
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