I sent the following e-mail to Luisa yesterday:

...have I told you lately how beautiful you are? You are just the best darn girlfriend a person could ever ask for. You really rock my world. My mother is coming for a week at Christmas. I think that you have the most amazing eyes and I have nothing but love and respect for you : )

So, what's new with you?


That Luisa...she is so clever. She picked out the hidden message right away. She then called me and asked if the little part about my mom was true. I confirmed the news and she said, "I hope this goes well. I'm a little concerned." Really? Just a little? Shall we make a list of visits gone bad? Oh, yes, let's do:

1. When we went to our baby shower in KC, my mother told me that she knew Luisa would never let her hold the baby and then would not utter Luisa's name for the next few months.

2. On another visit, my mother accused Luisa of accusing her of switching the Iced Tea and Diet Coke when she brought them to the table. Can you follow that? Yeah, me neither but my mother got quite riled up about it.

3. My mother once told Luisa, an immigrant, that she didn't like people moving to this country, taking jobs from Americans and then refusing to learn English. I stopped leaving Luisa alone with my mother after that one.

4. My mother has complained about our cooking nearly every time she has come to visit. I believe that she referred to our homemade pesto as "that green shit".

5. My mother has never stayed with us for more than four days. She can only handle about two days before she gets surly. This past July, our new toaster took the brunt of it. Who goes to someone's house and complains repeatedly that their toaster is too slow? We all know the answer to that question now.

Now, in my mother's defense, she has mellowed with age and things have gotten better. Christmas might very well be a joyful time, full of merry-making and memories. We could have our very own Miracle on 35th Street and our hearts will be full of love and the Christmas spirit.  Of course, we could also have something more like How the Grinch Stole Christmas without the happy ending. Either way, I'll have stories to tell.