Lisa Scottoline and Francesca Serritella are back with another collection of warm and witty stories that will strike a chord with every woman. This series is among the best reviewed humor books published today and has been compared to the late greats, Erma Bombeck and Nora Ephron. Booklist raved of the third book in the series, Meet Me At Emotional Baggage Claim, "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." This volume, Have a Nice Guilt Trip, maintains the same sterling standard of humor and poignancy as Lisa and Francesca continue on the road of life acquiring men and puppies. Ok, to be honest, Lisa is acquiring the puppies, while Francesca is lucky enough to have dates with actual men. They leave it to the listeners to decide which is more desirable and/or or easier to train.
About the Author
LISA SCOTTOLINE is the New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty novels, including the Rosato & DiNunzio legal thrillers (beginning with Accused). Her standalone novels include Save Me, Don’t Go, and Dirty Blonde. Scottoline has won an Edgar Award and Cosmopolitan magazine’s “Fun Fearless Fiction” Award; multiple Earphones Awards for her nonfiction book recordings; and a “Paving the Way” Award from the University of Pennsylvania. She has served as the president of Mystery Writers of America and teaches a course on justice and fiction at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, her alma mater. She lives in the Philadelphia area.
FRANCESCA 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 lives in New York with only one dog, so far.
Scottoline and Serritella write a weekly column, “Chick Wit”, for The Philadelphia Inquirer. The columns have been collected in Why My Third Husband Will Be a Dog; My Nest Isn't Empty, It Just Has More Closet Space; and Best Friends, Occasional Enemies, among others.
Date of Birth:July 1, 1955
Place of Birth:Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Education:B.A., University of Pennsylvania, 1976; J.D., University of Pennsylvania Law School, 1981
Read an Excerpt
I hate it when Mother Mary is right, which is always.
We begin a zillion years ago, when I’m a little kid with a bad cold, and Mother Mary goes instantly for the Vicks VapoRub. As a child, I had more Vicks Vapo rubbed on me than most consumptives. My chest was as shiny as a stripper’s and even more fragrant.
Camphor is still my favorite perfume.
Which could be why I’m single.
Another favorite home remedy of hers was the do-it-yourself humidifier. By this I mean she placed a Pyrex baking dish full of water on every radiator in the house.
I never knew why, and neither did my friends. None of them had radiators, because they had nicer houses. They had something called forced air, which sounded vaguely scary to us. The Flying Scottolines never forced anything, especially something you needed to breathe.
And in the summer, those same people had central air, which was something else we didn’t have. Our air lacked centralization. The only central thing in our house was Mother Mary, and that was how she liked it.
But back to the do-it-yourself humidifiers, which sat like an open-air fishbowl on every radiator. As a child, I understood that this would cure something dreadful called Dry Air, which we had in spades. I didn’t really understand why Uncle Mikey had to move to Arizona for the Dry Air, when he could’ve just moved to our house, but be that as it may, I was grateful that I had an all-knowing mother, who understood that air came in forced, central, and dry, and that everything could be cured by Pyrex.
The only time this was a problem was on Sundays, when Mother Mary actually wanted to bake ziti or eggplant parm, and there were no dishes available except for the ones cooking water on the radiators. She would dispatch me to get a Pyrex dish off the radiator and wash it out, and I would do so happily, if the end result was eggplant parm.
I will still do anything for eggplant parm.
Make a note, should we meet.
But back to the story, cleaning the baking dishes was a yucky job. Often the water in the dishes would have dried up, leaving a scummy residue, and even if there was some water left, it wasn’t a pretty sight. Dog and cat hair would be floating on the surface, or ash from a passing cigarette.
According to Mother Mary, smoking was fine for air quality.
You win some, you lose some.
So fast-forward to when I become a mother myself, and baby Francesca gets sick, and of course Mother Mary advocates Vicks and Pyrex, but I reject these ideas as old-fashioned. I am Modern.
I had that kid so pumped up with amoxicillin she could’ve grown mold. In fact, I had her on them prophylactically, so she’d never get another ear infection, and if I could have her on them now, I would, so she’d never get pregnant.
It’s a joke, okay?
But then recently, I got the worst cold ever, and I called the doctor, who told me that antibiotics weren’t such a hot idea and what I really needed was Vicks VapoRub and a humidifier. I couldn’t believe my ears. I wanted the magic pill to make it all better but he says that it’s a virus and all that, and no.
I didn’t tell this to Mother Mary. Don’t you, either.
I suppose I could just get a Pyrex dish and put it on the radiator, but I am still Modern and I refuse. Also the doctor says I need a cool-mist humidifier, and not a warm-mist humidifier, and once again, I feel lucky to learn more about the mysteries of air, which now comes in mist.
Who knew oxygen could be so complicated?
So I go to the drugstore, buy the requisite cool-mist humidifier, and bring it home. I spend exactly one night with this thing and want to shoot myself. It’s thirty degrees outside, and in my bedroom, it’s twenty. An Arctic chill blasts from the cool-mist humidifier, and I’m up all night.
So I go back to the drugstore and buy a warm-mist humidifier. I take it home, and it frizzes my hair, but you can’t have everything. Also, it comes with a little slot for a stick that’s impregnated with Vicks VapoRub, and you know what I’m thinking.
This is the revenge of Mother Mary.
Copyright © 2014 by Smart Blonde, LLC, and Francesca Scottoline Serritella
Table of Contents
Homely Remedies 5
Shades of Gray 8
Baby Fever 11
Fun for Free 14
With Apologies to Mary Poppins 17
The Married-Ex Milestone 20
Brusha Brusha Brusha 24
Mother Mary and The Fighting Scottolines 27
Mother Mary Misbehaves 31
Third Month's the Charm 34
The Scent of a Woman 38
With Apologies to L'Oreal 41
Bon Voyage? 45
In Which I Officially Hit the Wall! 48
William Wordsworth Needs a New Password 51
Love and Marriage, Then Divorce 54
You Say Tomato 57
Call of Jury Duty 60
To Catch a Predator 64
Dog Years 67
I'm on It, Walt 71
Stage Mom 74
Extra Extra Crispy 78
Ovarian Contrarian 81
Saving Grace 84
Be Careful What You Wish List 87
I Know It When I See It 91
Stars and Puppies 94
Milk Sheke 98
The True Meaning of Words 102
Rolling Without Homies 106
Happy Thanksgiving 109
Gym Pat 118
Gifts for Him 122
Mother Mary and the 600 Thread Count 125
The Season of Giving 128
Happy New Year Dotcom 131
Being Good in the New Year 134
They Call Alabama the Crimson Tide 138
Unreal Estate 141
I Want a Name When I Lose 144
Thought Bubbles 148
A Dog's Pursuit of the Far-Fetched 151
Fish & Game 154
Recipe for Disaster 158
Number One Can Be Hazardous to Your Health 161
Urban Studies 164
Season to Taste 167
Airport Insecurity 170
Festival du Crime 173
Relationship Spoiler Alert 176
Engagement Ring-A-Ding Ding 179
Extremely Speedy Delivery 182
Old MacDonald Takes Manhattan 191
Desitin Days 195
Mother Mary Talks to God and Luis 198
With Our Powers Combined 202
God, Man, and Prada 205
Hobby Horse 208
King Baby 211
Politics and Farm-Fresh Eggs 214
Mother Nature Is a Bad Mom 223
Make It Twerk 226
Gangrene Thumb 230
Reply Hazy, Try Again 233
Restaurant Wars 237
Greased Lightning 240
Do the Meth 243
Suing Stevie Wonder 246
Ho for the Burn 250
Magic Kingdom 253
A Wall of Guilt 257
Mrs. Uncle Sam 263
Mother Mary Twerks It Out 266
My Grandmother is Not the Same 270