Good Man Doesn’t Know My Mother’s Name!

We arrived at our interview at 10:00. Got through security and up to the second floor by 10:15 (appointment time). Nobody was waiting at the reception. Woman finally showed and took our appointment notice. We sat until 11:00 before getting called.

Our interviewer was calm and quiet and while we were nervous, it wasn’t nearly as bad as we thought it was.

Until…he asked Good Man a really easy question: what is your wife’s mother’s name?

Good Man froze. Good Man stared. Good Man looked panicked.

I said, “Did you forget my mother’s name?” This is one of those stupid “you better know it” questions.

“Yes! But—!”

The interviewer smiled and said, “Do you know where her mother lives?”

“Yes, Minnesota.”

“And her father’s first name?”


“And where does he live?”

I thought, Oh, shit, if he doesn’t know my mother’s name, he’ll have no clue where my dad lives. “Arizona.” Good job, Good Man!

The interviewer said, “By the way, her mother’s name is ‘Terri.'”

Good Man smiled. “I knew it started with a T, but I kept thinking ‘Ted Kennedy’ because of the news.”

The interviewer laughed. I suspected at that point there would be a slew of “what’s your husband’s birthday,” “what did you get your wife for her birthday last year” etc questions directed at each of us about the other person. But the interviewer just kept asking Good Man about his G-325 (bio sheet). Luckily, Good Man knew his own birthday and parents’ names. I wonder if he didn’t go into harsh mode because he could read Good Man’s face. You can’t fake that sort of horrified “oh no, I don’t know my mother-in-law’s name” look.

The interviewer asked how we met and we just bounced back and forth with a broad time line of our relationship. He asked for some more supporting documents. I gave him proof of insurance, the phone bill, photocopies of our joint credit cards. Most of it I’d already sent in. He also took the two dozen photos. He stopped at the photo of Good Man’s parents throwing the dates and chestnuts at us, so we explained what that was.

The whole time, he made lots of little red check marks all over our files.

And that was it.

Then he went down a few of the questions on the “are you a terrorist, do you plan to spy, have you ever belonged to the Communist party” list. He ran to get a print-out, came back, and we were approved! He took Good Man’s I-94 and said that Good Man would get his green card in about 3 weeks. He told us to apply to lift the restrictions in one year and nine months. We thanked him, he congratulated us, and Good Man is now a conditional permanent resident!

Interview was 30 minutes, start to finish.