“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” my mother said.“Maybe he’s got some kind of social disorder.”“They have wonderful medications for that now.”“Maybe he’s been to prison.”“We should not stand in judgment if he has already served his debt to society,” mother said.“Maybe he’s still in prison.”My mother frowned. “That would create some problems.”“Maybe he’s been married like eighteen times and he’s one of those sixty plus year oldcountry club types with crinkly, sun-baked skin and big, dark liver spots. You know, serialmarriers who drive out of date Cadillacs and prey on women one third their age to fund their endless rounds of golf and casino trips.”“Maybe that’s enough,” my dad said.“Maybe he’s STILL the big, fat ‘M’ word,” I said.My mother’s face lit up. “In management? Do you think?” So we already spend a lot of time together, but for some reason, Mom expects meals atthe holidays to be different. We’re dressed nice, we’re clean, pressed, and somehow she thinksthat will make the conversation more profound. It is like she thinks we will all come to theholiday table as the family we should have been, instead of the family we became.She has always frowned on booger jokes in this setting.