And my MiL's visit was not exactly epic. She came, she sat, she read O'Reilly. She loves to talk about controversial topics, but she doesn't really have the tools to debate them and no one here was about to challenge her anyway; she'd rather talk than not talk, so the topic turned to neighbors, her family, food, hair. I know a lot more about hair styling now than I did a week and a half ago.
Brian pulled a fast one to get her to fly back to Baltimore with him yesterday rather than have me drive her back today. He didn't reveal until Saturday night that he was flying out Sunday and that she could accompany him. So he presented her with the surprise choice of a one-hour flight with him or a 7-hour drive with V & me. Of course she hates flying, but she chose that option--I should have counseled her that she was reinforcing Brian's manipulative behavior but I only made sure she knew that we had intended to drive her back all along and would still be happy to do it. Now I have a free day to clean up and the house really needs it, so hooray. On the other hand, there is a bunch of stuff I wanted to bring from MD to OH on my return and now it will stay in MD for a long time, so bleh.
As soon as I returned from the airport, I dropped the O'Reilly books off at the library. The good news is she took a book with her from our shelf: Jay Parini's Promised Land: Thirteen Books that Changed America. She had just started reading it and wanted to keep going. I am very excited about this development. Here's some fun from Sunday morning:
"I've been reading about Thomas Jefferson here. Now, what exactly is a deist? And The Enlightenment--I've seen that lately, too, in something else I read--but what is it exactly?"
(Brian and Wikipedia provide acceptable descriptions for both terms.)
"That's very interesting*. You know, that word, enlightenment, it almost sounds like it should be a good thing, doesn't it? Enlightenment? Wouldn't you think that would be something, well, positive? Hmm."
It was nice to end the visit on a note so, well, positive!
*As we all know and do ourselves, "interesting" in polite conversation means "uninteresting" while "very interesting" means "disturbing".