Momma was in the kitchen and Katie sat on the sofa across from me, relieved to have completed the long and arduous drive down the interstate from DC, what with all those eighteen-wheelers and the holiday traffic from too many states to count. She’d been nervous about meeting the family, but she and Momma seemed to hit it off well enough. To be honest I was surprised to see Momma smile and blush and react to her the way she did.
It warmed my heart.
Now she only had to meet Aaron. I’m sure if she met my big brother in another place and time, like on the street or something, they’d get along with ease. But today on Thanksgiving, with his way too “colorful” wife Trudy in tow, I really couldn’t see it going well at all. Trudy had a way of throwing a monkey wrench into everything.
I don’t know what other way to put it.
“Well where are they Mitch?” Katie asked. “I mean what time do you think they’ll get here?”
“I’m not sure really. They said they were still down by Fairview, so probably another hour or so I’d say, maybe less.”
Katie looked up at the clock on the wall then at me. “Tell me again Mitch. You and Aaron, you get along well?”
“Oh yeh, well enough. You know, we’ve had our ups and downs over the years.”
She eyeballed me. “And?”
“And what?” I laughed.
“Will I like him? And him me?” She was prodding me, trying to dig deeper. “And what about her Mitch? What’s she about? How old is she?”
“I don’t know, around our age. I’m sure he’ll like you- what’s not to like?” I smiled at her. How could I help it? Not only was she beautiful, but Katie was the first girl I’d brought home since Mary died, rest her soul. “Katie, about Trudy let’s just say, things are different when she’s around.”
“How are things different?”
“Trudy’s a nut job.”
Momma peeked out from the kitchen. “I don’t like that Mitch. Don’t you say that about her, it just isn’t right. You know she has low self-esteem.”
“Well Momma, you know it’s true.”
Momma brought in a tray of the hot apple and pear dip she always made in the fall, from fruit that she bought at the orchard down the road. “Katie try this and tell me what you think.” She placed it down on the coffee table between us. “We’ve been eating this every Thanksgiving since the boys were little. Mitch’s Daddy used to love this.”
Katie dug in, and Momma nodded at her encouragingly. Once she got Katie’s approval, she slipped back into the kitchen.
Katie chewed and with her mouth full she asked, “What do you mean she’s a nut job Mitch?”
“Well I don’t know Katie, gosh. She’s just lives fast we’ve learned. I don’t know why Aaron hasn’t left her. Like last month she got fired from the job she had for twenty years, accused of sexual discrimination. They say she’d performed oral sex on several married men in the office, and in the company restrooms too can you stand it?”
Katie put her hand over her mouth to prevent her from spitting out the dip.
“Mitchell!” Momma came back out of the kitchen.
“It said so in the deposition just like that.”
Katie busted out laughing. I couldn’t help myself I busted out laughing too. We both looked at Momma whose face went from horror to a big toothy grin. She couldn’t contain herself and started laughing at the top of her lungs.
We hadn’t stopped laughing when the front door opened.