Meet Me at Emotional Baggage Claim

( 5 )

Overview

“A warm, lively collection of narrative vignettes chronicling the day-to-day relationship of two women who also happen to be part of a successful mother-daughter writing team.” —Kirkus Reviews

Love and guilt are thick in the Scottoline/Serritella household, and Lisa and Francesca’s mother-daughter-turned-best-friends bond will strike a familiar note to many. But now that Lisa is a suburban empty-nester and Francesca is an independent twenty-something in the big city, they have ...

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Overview

“A warm, lively collection of narrative vignettes chronicling the day-to-day relationship of two women who also happen to be part of a successful mother-daughter writing team.” —Kirkus Reviews

Love and guilt are thick in the Scottoline/Serritella household, and Lisa and Francesca’s mother-daughter-turned-best-friends bond will strike a familiar note to many. But now that Lisa is a suburban empty-nester and Francesca is an independent twenty-something in the big city, they have to learn how to stay close while living apart. How does a mother’s love translate across state lines and over any semblance of personal boundaries? You’ll laugh out loud as they face-off over the proper technique for packing dishes, the importance of bringing a coat in the summertime, and the dos and don’ts of dating at any age. Add feisty octogenarian Mother Mary to the mix, and you have a Molotov cocktail of estrogen, opinions, and fun. 

These stories will make you laugh, cry, and call your mother, daughter, and all your girlfriends.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

Like most parents and offspring, Lisa and Francesca Scottoline have a complicated, ever evolving relationship. The difference, however, between them and us is that they write about it in such infectious ways that we can't help but chuckle and identify with their unfolding predicaments. In the aptly-titled Meet me at Emotional Baggage Claim, the bestselling mystery author and her talented daughter wrestle with the archetypal empty-nester quandary: How can we stay close when we live so far apart? Filled with rollicking stories and ample quantities of accidental wisdom, this new book by the mother-daughter who gave us Best Friends, Occasional Enemies renews our faith in second generations. Editor's recommendation.

From the Publisher
Praise for Lisa Scottoline and Francesca Serritella

"Readers can count on an ab-toning laugh session, a silly giggle, a sympathetic sigh, and a lump in the throat as life’s moments are rehashed through the keen eyes and wits of this lovable mother-daughter duo." —Booklist on Meet Me at Emotional Baggage Claim

"Essays that are fun to read, share, and ponder." —Publishers Weekly on Meet Me at Emotional Baggage Claim

"Despite all the "emotional baggage" they carry (and fearlessly claim), however, their faith in and commitment to each other remains unshaken because, writes Scottoline, "that's love"...Erma Bombeck for mothers and daughters, with a zesty Italian twist." —Kirkus Reviews on Meet Me at Emotional Baggage Claim

"Feels like one big gabfest with your best girlfriends, whatever their age." —Booklist on Best Friends, Occasional Enemies

"[A] witty and sweet return to the ins and outs of life in the sometimes kooky, always smart and funny, family."

Publishers Weekly on Best Friends, Occasional Enemies  

"A clever compilation from two generations of women reflecting on family, love, dessert, and everything in between."—Booklist on My Nest Isn’t Empty, It Just Has More Closet Space

"Rueful, uplifting, sweet, kooky—and always amusing."

Publishers Weekly on My Nest Isn’t Empty, It Just Has More Closet Space  

"Delightfully witty." —AudioFile on My Nest Isn't Empty, It Just Has More Closet Space

"One of the best double acts in the business." —Connecticut Post on My Nest Isn't Empty, It Just Has More Closet Space  

"Shrewd, tart, sensitive and hard to resist." —Kirkus Reviews on Why My Third Husband Will Be a Dog

"The perfect present for moms, grandmas, and aunts." —Cosmopolitan on Why My Third Husband Will Be a Dog

"Scottoline savors every last bit of her life, and so will you."  People on Why My Third Husband Will Be a Dog

Publishers Weekly
The witty and warm mother-daughter team are back with their third collection of “Chick Wit” columns they write for the Philadelphia Inquirer. New York Times bestselling author Lisa is the 56-year-old single mom of Francesca, a 25-year-old aspiring novelist and new resident of New York City. They work to establish boundaries and maintain a lifelong connection as Lisa settles into her Philadelphia-area empty nest (well, except for dogs, cats, chickens, and an errant fawn) and Francesca ventures out into the big city (complete with, alas, a frequent flasher). As always, Lisa and Francesca write about (grand-) Mother Mary with admiration, occasional frustration, and love. There’s a lot of love in this book; readers who have affectionate families will feel at home, and those who don’t will enjoy these relatives who are also friends. As in their previous books, the women muse on dating, aging, and carbs; the vagaries of home improvements, swimming, and online shopping are also addressed. Francesca’s contributions are, like her mother’s, by turns funny and poignant; “I Love You, Man,” about bro-ing out with mom (over action movies, gross-out comedy, and sports) is a hoot, and “Grandmother Whisperer,” wherein she brokers communication between the generations, is sweet and wise. Family photos round out this delightful collection of essays that are fun to read, share, and ponder. (Dec.)
Library Journal
Scottoline is doing so well with her juicily acerbic essay collections, particularly those written with daughter Serritella, that one wonders whether they will start taking precedence over her best-selling fiction. Here, mother and daughter deal with separation anxiety of an adult sort, as Serritella moves to the big city and Scottoline looks about her suburban empty nest.
Kirkus Reviews
A warm, lively collection of narrative vignettes chronicling the day-to-day relationship of two women who also happen to be part of a successful mother-daughter writing team. In this sequel to Best Friends, Occasional Enemies (2011), best-selling mystery writer Scottoline and her 20-something daughter Serritella offer insight, peppered with plenty of dish about men, their pets and each other's quirks, into the powerful bond they share. Love and worry, like "two strands in the double helix of some very twisty DNA," are at the heart of what keeps them together. And when Scottoline isn't worrying about her daughter or being worried over by her mother, then the three of them are driving each other crazy with contrarian behaviors. In describing a crosstown move she helped Francesca make, Scottoline writes, "it takes me five seconds to pack a box"; but for her daughter, packing--and especially dish-packing--involves wrapping everything several times over in white paper and then "stuffing the sides of the box with even more white paper." Fights are also par for the course for Scottoline, her mother and her daughter. In fact, it's the thing she claims they love best because all fights eventually devolve into risible caricatures of themselves. Then there's the guilt that inevitably goes along with the love. If it isn't Francesca feeling like "a jerk" for wanting her mother to stop trying to dress her, it's Scottoline feeling the need to buy her mother an expensive gift at Christmas that the latter claims she doesn't want. Despite all the "emotional baggage" they carry (and fearlessly claim), however, their faith in and commitment to each other remains unshaken because, writes Scottoline, "that's love." Erma Bombeck for mothers and daughters, with a zesty Italian twist.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781250025081
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 5/6/2014
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 127,859
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Lisa Scottoline

LISA SCOTTOLINE is a New York Times bestselling and Edgar-Award winning author of twenty-one novels. She has served as the president of Mystery Writers of America, and her recent novel Look Again has been optioned for a feature film. She is a weekly columnist for The Philadelphia Inquirer, and her columns have been collected in four books and optioned for television. She has 25 million copies of her books in print in the United States, and she has been published in thirty countries. She lives in Philadelphia with an array of disobedient pets.

FRANCESCA SCOTTOLINE SERRITELLA graduated cum laude from Harvard University, where she won the Thomas Temple Hoopes Prize, the Le Baron Russell Briggs Fiction Prize, and the Charles Edmund Horman Prize for her creative writing. She is working on a novel, and she lives in New York with only one dog, so far.

Biography

Most authors admit that they need to work in silence in order to get into the creative process. For them, writing is serious work that requires the utmost peace and concentration. Of course, most authors are not writing the kind of whiz-bang, sharp, wild, and witty works that Lisa Scottoline is producing. Scottoline's unusual working methods and desire for all things pop culture have helped her to create some of the most unapologetically entertaining and compulsively page-turning novels in contemporary popular fiction.

Scottoline's initial impetus to become a novelist was not quite as joyful as her novels might suggest. She had recently given up her position as a litigator at a Philadelphia law firm to raise her newborn daughter at the same time as she was breaking up with her husband. While the birth of her daughter was an undoubtedly happy moment for Scottoline, she was also thrust into relative isolation in the wake of her separation and the end of her job. To keep herself busy (when not tending to her daughter, that is), she decided to write a novel, the provocative story of an ambitious young lawyer whose hectic life becomes even more manic when she learns she is being stalked. Three years after beginning the novel, Scottoline sold Everywhere That Mary Went to HarperCollins a mere week after taking a part-time job as a clerk for an appellate judge—her first job since beginning the book. While her transition from lawyer to novelist may seem abrupt to some, Scottoline asserts that it was law school that gave her the necessary tools to spin a compelling yarn. In a 2005 interview with Barnes & Noble.com, Scottoline asserted that the job of a lawyer is surprisingly similar to that of a good writer: "Take the facts that matter, throw out the ones that don't, order them in such a way in which a point of view is created so that by the time someone is finished listening to your argument or reading your book they see things completely in that point of view."

Scottoline's sure-handed way with an intriguing narrative has led to a string of bestselling thrillers and a popular series revolving around the women of Rosato & Associates, an all-female law firm in Philadelphia—the author's own beloved hometown. Jam-packed with humor, mystery, eroticism, and smarts, her novels are published worldwide and have been translated into twenty-five different languages.

Good To Know

Lisa Scottoline is definitely no TV snob. She feels no shame when revealing her love of everything from Court TV to Oprah to The Apprentice to I Love Lucy.

One of the reasons that Scottoline is such a fabulous writer may have something to do with having a particularly fabulous teacher. While studying English at the University of Pennsylvania she was instructed by National Book Award Winner Philip Roth.

Don't try this at home! Scottoline completed her first novel, Everywhere That Mary Went, while she and her newborn daughter lived solely on $35,000 worth of credit from five Visa cards, which she'd completely maxed out by the time she completed the book three years later.

Read More Show Less
    1. Hometown:
      Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    1. Date of Birth:
      July 1, 1955
    2. Place of Birth:
      Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    1. Education:
      B.A., University of Pennsylvania, 1976; J.D., University of Pennsylvania Law School, 1981
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

Meet Me at Emotional Baggage Claim

By Lisa

 

I was just talking with a friend of mine, who says she has to nag her kids every time they leave for a trip. She nags them to pack their bags, to get ready on time, and to not forget their sneakers. She feels bad for nagging them, and all of it takes me back to when Daughter Francesca was ten years old and we had one of the best fights of our life.

And yes, you can have a good fight with your daughter.

If you’ve read me before, you know that I think fighting is healthy and normal, and a good fight is when you learn something from your kid. Not when you win.

If you win, ten years later, your daughter will turn up pregnant.

Don’t try to win. Try to learn.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

I’ll never forget the day of our fight, because it’s when I started traveling light.

Now I have it all figured out, especially with respect to nagging. We either do what our mothers did, or we do the exact opposite.

And hopefully, this is a conscious choice, since in due time, if we have any self-awareness at all, we catch on and live the examined life. We figure out our own way to parent, and even to live. We don’t have to become our mothers unless we want to.

We have free will, and better shoes.

Most of the time, I want to become Mother Mary. I parent the same way Mother Mary did, in many ways, mainly in loving my kid more than words can say and saying so, complete with hugging, kissing, praising, and celebrating in general.

Mother Mary thinks it’s cute when I fart, and that’s what we call unconditional love.

Love is such a positive emotion, and kids need to hear it all the time, even grown-up kids. It makes everybody happier, like a hearty plate of spaghetti.

I’m Italian, remember?

But one thing that Mother Mary did not do is nag.

And there’s a reason for that.

Let me remind you that Mother Mary grew up as the youngest of nineteen children. This is not a joke. Well, at least, I’m not kidding.

The Flying Scottolines were excellent Catholics, way back when.

Her mother, my grandmother, was married twice because her first husband died, probably from the exertion.

Even Italians have limits.

Anyway, I grew up with Mother Mary telling me stories from her childhood, all of which rival Angela’s Ashes for their cheeriness. There were siblings who died in infancy. The family was so poor they ate her pet rabbit. There was no money to send anybody to college, and though my mother did well in school, her mother wanted her to drop out and get a job.

Nobody puts Mother Mary in a corner.

She defied her mother, worked while she went to high school, and graduated at the top of her class.

God bless her.

But even her funnier stories from her childhood make it sound like she was raised by wolves. Half the time, her parents didn’t know she was around. Once she got pneumonia, and nobody noticed. No one helped her with her homework, got her to a dentist or doctor, or made sure that she had books or clothes, much less that she was dressed and ready for anything on time. In fact, she walked half the city to go to her high school, through some very rough neighborhoods, all by herself.

Needless to say, nobody nagged Mother Mary.

So when she raised me, she didn’t know she was supposed to nag me. She didn’t get the memo.

She made a decision to be more loving than her mother, and love came naturally to her. But although she loved us, and was there when she needed us, she just wasn’t in our business. She always worked as a secretary, and we let ourselves in after school and were generally responsible for ourselves.

Not that I’m complaining. Brother Frank and I had a great childhood. We grew up happy, healthy, and pretty much in charge of our own fates. And when we got burned, we felt the consequences.

So we never did it again.

For example, Brother Frank started to ditch English classes in high school, and my parents didn’t catch on until a notice came home saying he wouldn’t be able to graduate.

Opera ensued.

My parents went hysterically to the school, which agreed to let him graduate if he went to summer school to make up the classes, but also required him to walk at the end of the processional line at graduation.

This was worse than it sounds.

The processional line was in order of height, and the guy at the end of the line was so tall he went on to play for the NBA.

Brother Frank was five feet, six inches.

At graduation, he looked like a sheepish caboose, or a punctuation mark at the end of capital letters, LIKE THIS.

And everybody laughed, eventually even Frank.

Fast forward to when I become a mother, with a daughter, and in the meantime, the world has changed. Walking at the end of the procession isn’t the worst that can happen anymore. There’s meth addiction, psycho killers, and reality television.

So you know where this is going.

I started nagging.

When Francesca was little, I nagged her to do her homework, take a bath, clean her room, and wear a heavier coat, and she always told me to stop nagging. Then one day, I remember the morning, she was in fifth grade, and I was rushing her out the door, nagging that we’d be late to school, and she simply burst into tears.

She said, “Mom, you’re ignoring me. I’m asking you not to nag me, and you’re ignoring what I say.”

And I looked at my child, whom I had made cry, her round blue eyes brimming with tears. And finally, I heard her. I realized she was right. She has never been late for anything. She was even born on her due date.

I was nagging her because I needed to nag her, not because she needed to be nagged.

And that’s why they call it emotional baggage.

I’m learning to check it, in all senses of the word.

Because I still carry it around, whether it’s the way I parent or the way I deal with my daughter, my friends, men, the people I work with, and even my dogs.

Dogs don’t have emotional baggage.

And if they did, they’d forget it at the airport.

They know they don’t need it.

So I look for when it gets in the way of my relationships, especially mine to Francesca, as she grows older. We are best friends, but we’re still smoothing out the wrinkles between us. It’s a lifelong process, because we both keep growing, and those wrinkles have made for some of the best, worst, saddest, and funniest moments of my life.

This is a book that chronicles those moments. It’s about our lives, my daughter’s and mine, living both together and apart, as we both grow older. Precious few books are devoted to a mother’s relationship with her adult child, which is crazy, because these bonds become more important, not less, as time goes on.

Family is forever.

So read on.

I bet that these stories will resonate with you, because you’ve had moments like these, too. The only difference between us is that Francesca and I wrote them down.

And, as you may have guessed, I haven’t stopped nagging, not completely, especially not since she moved to New York, where the meth addicts and psycho killers form a processional of their own.

Just kidding.

Though you’ll read in the following pages about Francesca’s adventures in the big city, complete with her own personal flasher.

The truth is, sometimes nagging is required, and sometimes it isn’t, and the most anybody can ask of a mother is that we pause, examine what we’re doing and why, then nag if it’s in order. Then it’s a conscious choice, and we reserve the right to nag.

Because we’ve lived longer, and we know more. Even if you’re an adult child, we’re still more adult.

And you have to listen to us. Not because we’re your mothers, but because we listen to you.

And that’s love.

Forever.

 

Copyright © 2012 by Smart Blonde, LLC, and Francesca Scottoline Serritella

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Table of Contents

Meet Me at Emotional Baggage Claim 1

Shakespeare Was No Dummy 6

I Love You, Man 9

Motherhood Has No Expiration Date 13

Ode to Vance Packard 16

Cushy 19

Field Guide to the American Male 22

Boxers or Briefs 25

Tickle 28

iBurglars 31

Homebodies 34

Once Upon a Time 37

Moving On 40

Advertise Here 43

Insecurity Clearance 46

Fawning 49

Starry Starry Night 53

The Many Homes of Mother Mary 56

Happy Birthday 61

Aftershocked 65

Stroke, Stroke, Bail, Bail 69

The Facts of Life 73

Southern Exposure 76

Wag the Technology 79

Kicking Tuches 82

Labor Day 87

I Stink, Officially 91

You're So Vain, This Is About You 94

Shortcut Sally 100

Doggie Universe 103

Unspecial Delivery 106

There Was a Little Girl, Who Had a Little Curl 111

Final Curtain 114

Emotional Baggage 117

Willpower and Won'tpower 121

Hairy and Crazy 124

Very Personal Shopper 127

9/11, Ten Years Later 130

Gateway Paint 135

Gateway Brownie 138

Bittersweet 143

Plan C 146

Snow Job 150

Lisa Hits the Eggnog 153

You Can Never Buy a Gift for a Mother 156

And Many Happy Returns 159

Controlled Freaks 162

Dating at the Speed Limit, or the Bad News 165

Skype Appeal 169

Dating at the Speed Limit, or the Good News 173

Girl with a Pearl Earring 176

Magic Mushrooms 179

Mythical Beastie 184

Blizzard of Oz 187

Mother Mary and the MRI 190

Grandmother Whisperer 193

Feet Don't Fail Me Now 197

Slip Sliding Away 201

In Which Spunky Teaches Me About Mother Mary 205

Subtext 208

In-box of Letters 212

Spoiled 216

To Everything, There Is a Season 220

Hang-Ups 223

Nobody's Passenger 227

All We Have to Do Is Take This Lie and Make It True 231

Called to Order 235

I Am Mother Mary 239

Get Well, or Else 243

Gadget Girl 246

Jazz Hands 251

An Open Letter from an Open Heart 254

Acknowledgments 261

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 5 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 22, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    We all have baggage just make sure yours is on wheels!

    I have long held to the claim that even though you deny it, everyone has baggage. We carry around and cannot get rid of regardless of how hard we try and boy do we try really hard. We have childhood issues we never resolved, guilt we project very effectively, and daily insanity we just have to deal with regardless of how much we try not to.

    In this story Lisa Scottoline and her daughter Francesca Serritella both famed writers in their own right join forces to tell, the stories that have made them stronger are mother and daughter. The thoughts are well documented with an honesty that at times will have you cringe knowing “I have done that.” The relationship between parent and child is a tight rope of life altering decisions then letting go, it is not easy. As Lisa and her daughter, Francesca lay out the road map of their life each reveals the bumps and huge potholes that went along with getting to where they are now.

    What I adored about this book was the fact that both mother and daughter write about how imperfect individuals live in a world surrounded by perfect people. These people are not perfect but they appear to be which is Lisa’s point at times “perception is reality” so go with the flow.

    Thanks for being such great writers and showing readers a little touch of your personal fun side.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2013

    RAFE TO ANYONE I NEED HELP

    Can someone go to heart result ten and tell nichole that rafe got locked out and she shoul go to heart result 15

    1 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2013

    Zeyna

    Hey guys.

    1 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2013

    Meet me at emotional baggage claim

    Gives the story of a lady struggling with Her feelings for her X-Husband, her new boyfriend. Picking up the pieces, putting them all back together again with her dog.....

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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