Dinner. At least there's wine on the table, so they're not completely mad. Oh, wait. Yes, they are: "What church do you affiliate with? Are you Baptist? Methodist? Catholic? Presbyterian? What is your preference?" Whoa! Hello, Scantron Sheet of limited religious options! Meredith keeps herself composed and responds that she's "open," adding helpfully so that Jeanne can wipe off the look like she's been hit with a sock full of communion wafers, "I definitely believe. If that's what you're asking me." Through the dead silence so loud it starts buzzing, Jeanne flings back, "I just, that's very important to me that my grandchildren would be raised in a Christian home. Lanny, excuse us." Yes. It actually happens that quickly.
Retiring to the kitchen, Lanny admits to his mom that he doesn't think Meredith was raised with as strong a religious background as he was, and Jeanne tells him, "By her answer, I just took it that she does not have a strong religious background. I don't want religious," she continues, like there's a line drawn I'm not seeing somewhere. But if her mania extended just to her faith, I'd certainly be taking it too far by mocking it. People believe what they want to believe, and I'm a-okay with people digging whatever god they find grooviest, as long as it doesn't infringe on anyone else's beliefs and make holy wars that destroy great nations. However, we're all back in the dining room now, where Jeanne continues on by dictating the terms of what her twenty-seven-year-old son finds best for him in a potential mate: "When he says 'I need you, I want you to be there whether you like it, or whether you don't'...He would be head of the household...you love him enough to honor and respect what he says...God first, your husband and your family second, your job third, and, of course, the individual's fourth." And, according to her sweater, needlework is tied for third.
Oh, Christ. We've yet to toast poor Lanny:
You'll fit in well, dear, you'll be just fine
Should you not consider any other culture but mine.
Those pearly gates you'll head right toward
If you learn my way of how we're all supposed to love the lord.
I'm not trying to be overly critical
But hear my words on matters from theological to political.
And if into this family yourself you should push
I beg of one thing more: for the love of god, dear, vote for Bush.
Meredith deems Lanny's mother's rant alternately "sweet" but "intense," but she doesn't hear this confessional because she's too busy making for the border: "He treats his mother with so much love and respect, that she can only expect many times more what he does for me." Lanny hugs her goodbye, and Meredith runs like hell.