Friday, September 12, 2003

This deserves its own post.

The final entry in the This Week Sucked category is so extraordinarily weird and outlandish that it just had to get its very own post. I'm afraid there is a lot of backstory.

Will's mom has this boss, who we'll call Franny. For years, Franny championed Will's creative work, getting him a book deal through her company and hiring him for assorted brainstorming projects. You could possibly call Will her pet project. I always thought it was kind of sweet. I admit, it annoyed me that Franny and Will's parents looked at Will as the Golden Boy - none of them have ever acknowledged that I am a writer, and just as talented as he is; in fact, they all (in the past - Will's parents have been wonderful lately) pretty much dismissed me as worthless.

When Will and I had been living together for about 2 years, Franny called him up and proposed that she pay for him to travel with her to Los Angeles. At this time, Will's goal was to be a screenwriter. Franny's goal, it seems, was to get Will to move 3000 miles away from me at any cost. I wish I were exaggerating or misinterpreting her intentions, but I don't believe I am. Will went to LA with Franny, at my urging (it seemed like a good idea). He was there for a week, and when he came back he was distant and weird. I admit, so was I. In fact, I did some things I am very much not proud of. Regardless, when he announced that he was moving to Los Angeles as soon as possible, he made no effort to include me in the proposal. We were broke, and me going with him was not an option. He didn't ask for my opinion. I got drunk a lot after he left and did something very hurtful. It was ugly. I believe (though it may not be fair) that Franny had poisoned his mind against me.

So Will moved to LA, and as pretty much everyone knows things went well for him. He isn't a screenwriter, but is doing quite well as a creative executive. He and I worked through everything and I moved out here in April of last year.

I'd been here for a few weeks (maybe a month) when Franny called and said she'd be in LA for a few days, and could she buy us lunch? Of course we said yes, because we're that sort of people. So we had lunch, and I still felt the strange "Will is a better person than you are" vibe from her, but I wrote it off as insecurity and paranoia. Anyway, the food was very good. [Digression: Good grief, I am famished.]

Several months after this lunch, Will told me that he'd received a letter from Franny shortly after the lunch. She had, as I understand it, written several pages on Why Annika Is Not For Will. She thinks I am beneath him, she thinks that I will drive a permanent wedge between him and his parents. I never saw it, but I am certain that it was even more revolting than it sounds. Will was so furious that he ripped it up and sent it back. We haven't heard from Franny since. She's off the guest list for our someday wedding.

So yesterday I found out that my Grandpa had died. Will came home at lunchtime, and we ate together. We were cuddling on the couch, enjoying the few minutes before he had to go back to work, when the phone rang. I expected it to be my father, and answered it.

It was Franny. For me.

This is where my week went from Kinda Crappy to Ultra Surreal. (This is also where the actual story begins.)

Her company had some merchandise arrive at a vendor in LA in less-than-perfect condition. She never saw the merchandise, because it came straight from the manufacturor in China. As best I can understand, it was a Nativity scene and the people had straw hair. The manufacturors had not trimmed the straw, and the little people had straw hair in their faces. The vendor was displeased. Now, as if that wasn't weird by itself, she was calling to ask if I would be interested in (I swear to god) going to Van Nuys, picking up the merchandise, bringing it home, and cutting their hair.

I explained that my grandfather had just died and I didn't know yet when the funeral was. She asked if I would check with Will and see if we could think of anyone else who might do it. She found out that the funeral would be in Pittsburgh and actually got excited. "Oh, so we can see you!" I swear, that is what she said. I managed to not reply, "No, you can't, because you are a rabid bitch who should have been put down a long time ago."

The whole conversation, I was just waiting for Will to point out the hidden camera. Except, I knew that even if it was a joke, he wasn't in on it. I was so confused. I honestly didn't believe it was real until Will's mom came on the line to offer her condolences. She asked me to call her if I needed anything while I was in town, which may have just been an empty gesture but I truly believe was sincere.

I finally hung up, relayed the entire conversation to Will, and collapsed on the couch, alternately laughing and crying.

I explained the situation to the one person I know who might have done it if the money was good, and I think he laughed even more than I did. Then I took a nap because my head hurt, and I didn't wake up until Will came home. I didn't know what to do about calling Franny back. I avoided it.

This morning I drove Will to work, and on the way I begged him to deal with it. That worked out nicely, as he just called his mom.

And that, my friends, is why I am considering getting Caller I.D.