The Power of Love (or: Things My Mother Does Not Know About My Father After 29 Years of Marriage.)

If you are reading this, then there is a good chance that my mother knows everything about you. She knows when you were born and how much you weighed. What elementary school you went to. Your favorite type of Girl Scout cookie.


I can say this with certainty because she really does remember everything. I’ve seen her whip out personal trivia on people she hasn’t seen in decades, and I’ve seen them stumble for an explanation on how she could have remembered something so forgettable. The first time I saw the show “Chuck,” I thought: a Jewish person with a Polish-sounding last name and a database of totally useless information stuck in his head? Hey, that sounds like my mom!

Which is why I was so surprised to learn last week that when it comes to my father — with whom my mother has been married for the previous 29 years — my mom doesn’t really know that much.

At all.

It started innocently enough at first. My mother wanted to transfer some airline miles between frequent flier accounts. We logged onto Delta’s website, and logged in with my dad’s information. (He had the miles.) They asked us to first submit two security questions for my father. Our choices were:

Mom looked at me. “Are there any other choices?” she asked.

I just stared. “Mom, one of the options is, ‘Where did you meet your spouse?’ Come on, you remember that one.”

“Don’t you?”

Mom kept staring at the screen. Then she yelled up the stairs.

“Billy! Where did we meet?”

Now, I’ll say this: some of those questions are tricky. I don’t even remember the name of my first pet. (Or even what type of animal it was. A goldfish, maybe?)

But it’s also worth wondering: Should a woman who’s been married nearly three decades really get foiled by a Delta security questionnaire?

Especially on a question involving herself?