Friday, March 07, 2014

La suocera

My mother-in-law/suocera arrived today. For the record, my suocera has a huge heart and an even more huge brain. That said, as with all stories concerning familial visits, I am going to try to just stick to the facts, m'aam. My blogging philosphy for the sake of this encounter holds true for all of my encounters with anyone in my life who ends up as blog fodder, and is one that I have borrowed from the great Anne Lammott.

F went to go pick Anna and her enormous suitcase up from the airport at 3pm and got her settled into her hotel with the elevator down the road by 4:30. By 4:45 she had made the heroic climb up to our apartment, wheeled walker, extra coats and sweaters and all. She asked us about three questions about our lives in the new country and then proceeded to tell very involved stories about people we don't know for the next four hours.

She told one story about a man who drew the Disney cartoons for the film of Bambi, but who now makes amazing silk kites which he flies every fourth weekend with the help of a young man who is not his son. It had the potential to be a lovely story, really it did. Anna doesn't allow for awkward silences and fills all of the potential dead air time with details. I came to find out that this man whose name is Uncle Tim wears a broad brimmed, fisherman's hat and that he eats almonds and dried apricots for his snack among many, many other things. About the kites mostly. It struck me as odd that we all haven't seen each other in over four years and this was the main topic of conversation, but I went with it. F was convinced by her intensity that Uncle Tim must have been a forgotten relative of his, but he came to find out that Uncle Tim is Chinese. At this revelation, I turned to him brightly and announced, "Honey, we have something to tell you. You're adopted!" I, sadly, was the only one who found this amusing, so I played it off that drinking wine at 6:00 pm is something that we do every evening.

Later, the stories took a more pointed turn when Anna started talking about my niece and nephew and what their possible career paths might be. She turned to me and asked, "So what is it exactly that you want to be when you grow up?" To which I responded that I am exactly what I want to be when I grow up right now. It is F's assertion that the remark was not meant to be offensive in any way. And while this is surely true, it still managed to sting. 

 I'm pretty sure she thinks of F's falling in love and marrying me as though he were the talking snail in the cartoon below:

Luckily, we still have seven more days to pursue all these theories a lot further.

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