This morning when I came into the kitchen, Suegra excitedly told me about a great pair of shoes, barely used, that she dug out of someone’s trash down the street. My nose instinctively crinkled but I managed to mutter, “Qué bueno.” Suegra could tell my enthusiasm wasn’t sincere, but as usual, she continued talking.
“They had other good things in their trash but a man came by walking his dog and I felt ashamed so I left it and came back home.”
I nodded while waiting for my toast to pop up. Maybe she was expecting me to tell her she had no reason to be ashamed because she looked thoughtful and then asked,
“What do Americans think about people getting things out of the trash?”
My toast popped up.
“Um, they probably think you’re homeless,” I said shrugging.
She shook her head, “He saw me come back to the house, so he knows I have a place to live.”
“That’s not exactly what I meant. What I mean to say is, they would probably think you’re poor… or dirty.”
Suegra sighed. “What a spoiled life Americans live that they can just throw nice things in the trash… You know what else was near the trash can?” she said, getting excited again.
I looked at her blankly.
“A carpet! It was a nice carpet, all rolled up. I should go back and get it!”
I had to think of something to say to discourage her from bringing a filthy rug back to the house. It isn’t like we have any need of it, and she has no room for it in her tiny, cluttered bedroom. I’m not trying to be funny when I tell you, I think she has that hoarder disease. She is way beyond “pack rat”.
“The rug could be dirty,” I said. She didn’t look convinced. “Maybe those people smoke cigarettes. It’ll stink.” … She still seemed defiant. “Maybe those people had sex on that carpet,” I blurted, knowing exactly how to disgust her.
“Ay, no!” she cried. I smiled in satisfaction. “Qué pecado! What sin! No, no, no,” she said, shaking her head, as if trying to dismiss the images that had entered her head. “Sex on the floor! That’s against God!”
I started to laugh. “Against God? What’s wrong with sex on the floor?”
She shook her head even more vigorously, her face pinched as if she’d throw up, disgusted that I found nothing wrong with it. I imagine at this point she realized that her daughter-in-law was defending sex on the floor because, sin of all sins, her daughter-in-law had had sex on the floor… with her son!
“No!” she said, “It’s wrong, it’s wrong. God would condemn sex on the floor. It isn’t right.”
I smirked. “And Adam and Eve? You think they had a bed?”