“Dinner At Mom’s”


One Saturday morning we received a call from my husband’s mother inviting us to dinner that night. She told Adam that we were having vegetable lasagna.

When Adam got off the phone and related the conversation he had with his Mom, I felt miserable.

I love my mother-in-law, astonishingly, more than I would have believed possible and I did not want to hurt her feelings. The truth is I detested lasagna.

Every time I tried to eat it, I would start gagging. The pasta was always mushy. If I tried to force myself to eat lasagna, I would be sick before I finished the meal. Therefore, I decided to eat a late lunch, and lots of it.

As the time moved closer to dinner, I tried to come up with plausible excuses for not going to dinner tonight.

What if I said, a rare exotic fly bit me, when I was out of the country last time.

Just why it took six years to start creating problems for meat this time, there were no answers.

What if I said I was on a diet, Right, and just when did this diet start?

Once again, there were no answers. I wished, we could simply give her a call and say we took a wrong turn and that now we were utterly irrevocably lost… I was certain she would believe that story.

Especially since, we lived less than two miles from her and we could not disappear forever. The truth was, I was going to have to go to dinner at mom’s tonight and I knew it.

As the day progressed to evening, I discovered that the more plausible excuses I tried to come up with the more ashamed of myself I became.

I spent the rest of the day feeling as if I were the most dishonest person in the world!

All these excuses were merely lies. A rose by any other name was simply a rose. Not Shakespeare’s version, my version, there was just nothing sweet about my rose.

This made me feel nauseous; perhaps I would not have to tell a lie after all. No, that was not the truth. Tonight, I was going to tell a lie.

At five in the evening, Adam, our daughter Caitlyn and I got in the car for the short, two-mile, ride to Moms house. We
made the trip there in record time.

Adam was driving me to my impending doom, or so I felt, more rapidly than necessary.

Of course, it could have been that he was hungry, since it truly was dinnertime.

I honestly do not know if Mom sensed anything was wrong, or different with me, but in my mind, I was sure that she knew I was prepared to lie about dinner.

As soon as my nerves started settling down, I started to notice the aroma that was wafting throughout the house.

The smell that was coming out of the kitchen was the most wonderful attention-grabbing smell that I had ever known!

My mouth was watering within seconds.

Well of course, I told myself that food could smell incredible and not actually taste good.

That little speech I gave myself made me feel better. Well, the truth is, better in the sense that if I had to lie, at least I could honestly say it smelled great.

We visited with Mom and caught up on each other’s daily activities and projects. Mom, being a high school English teacher,
always had interesting stories to tell.

For a time my mind was on the subjects at hand, until Mom announced, it was time for dinner.

Guilt and worry were instantly back. Now, all I had to do was just get dinner over with, and not make a complete idiot of myself. Adam and Caitlyn were first in line to fill their plates.

Mom told me to fix my plate next. I was reluctant, but I went ahead and put a small amount of the dreaded lasagna on my plate.

At the same time, I was still trying to compose a believable lie. Knowing that if the food did not make me wretch, the lie would
probably choke me.

We bowed our heads, Adam asked the blessings, and then it was time to eat.

Reluctantly, I took an extremely small bite. I was so shocked I almost choked, anyway.

The lasagna was beyond good, it was unbelievably good. It was the most wonderful food I had ever eaten.

I ate the small amount I had on my plate, and hurried back to the counter to put more food on my plate. With a noticeable difference this time, I filled it as full as I could get it.

As we ate our dinner, I began to feel worse than ever. Of course, I praised the dinner along with everyone else, but I had been ready to lie to Mom.

There was only one-way to straighten out this mess. I knew no one else was aware of my pre-planned lie, But I knew.

I spent the next thirty minutes explaining to Mom, the story of how I had come prepared to lie to her tonight.

How I managed to tell, from beginning to end, my story, I will never know.

Mom was very gracious and forgiving, as moms frequently are. I had spent the entire day in a state of pandemonium, for no reason. Even if I had detested the dinner, Mom would not have been upset.

Lies always encumber the heart. For me, constructing the preparations to lie is the same thing as lying.

I like to think I learned from that night, and I pray that the culpability of a lie, any lie, will stay with me forever.

As we drove the short distance home that night, my heart was light and my soul felt renewed. I had a song on my lips and a smile on my face.

I also had that wonderful recipe in my hands.


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