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.

One thought on “Good Man Doesn’t Know My Mother’s Name!

  1. Comment from: Donna in VA [Visitor]
    08/27/09 @ 20:03

    Comment from: John from Daejeon [Visitor]

    I guess you really impressed the interviewer with all that documentation and photo evidence.

    By the way, how are you getting time off from work to take you honeymoon during the school year?
    08/27/09 @ 21:57

    Comment from: seeny [Visitor]
    congrats! must be a huge relief!
    08/27/09 @ 22:02

    Comment from: umma2kimchilovers [Visitor]
    Congratulaltions. Glad it went well. Why would GM know his MIL’s name, Korean don’t refer to anyone older by their name only by their title. Isn’t that correct?
    08/27/09 @ 22:18

    Comment from: admin [Member] Email
    Donna and Seeny, thanks! Yep, it’s a HUGE relief.

    Umma, yes you’re correct, but I don’t think immigration would like that answer. :) Good Man calls my mom “your mom” or “Amanda’s mom.” I just asked him if he’d ever called her Terri. “No.” I asked him if he ever would. “No.”

    John, I suspect that half the time (or more!) the interviewers look at how much stuff you’ve brought and think “well, must be real” and then don’t ask for it. And if you don’t bring a lot they wonder why you didn’t take it seriously and ask for more. I could be wrong, but it seems to work like that.

    As for the vacation question–I work at a modified calendar school. We started (with the students) August 3rd. Everyone else starts the day after Labor Day. In October we have a two week break. We can take this as vacation (honeymoon!) OR teach extra classes at the school for our regular rate of pay. In December the normal calendar schools get 1 1/2 weeks of vacation. We get that and an extra week of vacation or intersession. In March/April when everyone else gets 1 week for spring break, we get the spring break week and 2 weeks for intersession/vacation.

    I worked 1 week of the October intersession and both weeks of the spring intersession last year. It’s nice because you choose what to teach, you choose the level/grade, and you get three two-hour blocks in the day. Also, you get your normal rate of pay with taxes taken out, but not mandatory pension, health care, etc. So if you work two weeks, the net pay is almost like a full month. And if you choose not to work intersession, you actually get time to wind down the quarter and reflect on what to do the next quarter. (Easy to do when you have vacation. Not so easy when the quarter ends on a random Wednesday.) And if you choose to vacation, in October at least, almost nobody else is out of school. (Doesn’t line up quite so nicely with December, March/April, but that’s OK.)

    And enough me-me talk–it’s good for our students. For students of our SES that extra five weeks of school, even if it’s in fun classes, is really helpful. That’s five more weeks of language development. That’s five weeks to catch up. That’s five weeks to learn “fun stuff” they should be learning at home but don’t.

    Unfortunately…due to budget cuts, this is slated to be the last year of modified calendar. :(
    08/27/09 @ 22:34

    Comment from: jason [Visitor] ·
    Congrats! I know you guys would do well.

    PS I agree that Goodman would never call your mom by her name, so he deserves a break for not knowing it^^!
    08/28/09 @ 01:01

    Comment from: Jonathan in florida [Member] Email ·
    Hey! Congratulations! After reading about all the red tape you had to wade through, it all ends with a 30 minute interview, huh? Craziness.
    08/28/09 @ 01:09

    Comment from: Wanda in AR [Visitor] ·
    Congrats! I knew you could do it.
    08/28/09 @ 07:52

    Comment from: Paul / samedi [Visitor] ·
    Congratulations to you and Good Man!

    I’m really glad to see that the interview went relatively easily, especially considering the slight hiccup concerning your mother’s name.

    (By the way, there’s one instance where you wrote Good Man’s real name in this entry — thought I’d point that out in case it’s something you’d like to change.)
    08/28/09 @ 08:44

    Comment from: Amanda [Visitor]
    Mazel Tov! Must be a huge load off of your minds!
    08/28/09 @ 11:10

    Comment from: Palila [Visitor] ·
    Hooray and Congratulations!!
    08/28/09 @ 11:59

    Comment from: admin [Member] Email
    (Thanks, Paul! That was a mistake!)

    Jason, Jonathan, Wanda, Paul, Amanda, Palila–thanks. It feels GREAT.
    08/28/09 @ 15:57

    Comment from: Bob Patterson [Visitor] ·
    Goodman’s memory will get worse the longer he is married. I’ve been married 10 years and I’m lucky I make it out of the house with pants! (much less ironed pants and a matching shirt)

    Go easy on Goodman. Marriage is hard on men.
    08/28/09 @ 18:49

    Comment from: admin [Member] Email
    If he’s forgotten my mother’s name after less than 5 months of marriage, we’re in trouble. ;)

    Nah–the interview is stressful. And now it’s done! Thank GOD~!
    08/28/09 @ 19:06

    Comment from: Katie [Visitor] ·
    08/29/09 @ 01:47

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