I have no idea what I was thinking, I really don’t. Perhaps it was my feeble attempt at ripping the bandage off all at once, or maybe I never stopped to consider the potential for disaster. After all, I’m the girl who still gets in the pool one excruciating inch at a time, even though I know, I KNOW, that diving in is a far better, far less traumatic, plan.
So when I brought my lovely WASPy boyfriend of a year home to “meet the parents,” why I chose to do so at an extended family gathering is beyond me. In retrospect, the fact that he didn’t ditch me and run screaming back across the Potomac should have eliminated any doubt I had regarding his investment in our relationship. The man was clearly all in.
When you grow up in a large family, the noise expectation at parties is different. When twenty-some people are all chatting at once, there’s really no quiet possible. I remember my husband trying to escape to the living room for a moment, only to be dragged back by the barking orders of my elderly aunt, requesting him to “Get you ass in here.” She really just wanted to know more about him, but I could tell my amusement wasn’t helping matters.
And later when we tried to take a break by offering to walk my four year-old nephew to the park, the little guy bristled at his intrusion and required a talking to before acquiescing. That was the moment the sarcastic, “Ready, Freddy?” phrase was born in our home. It seems four year-olds aren’t keen on sharing their aunties.
It took another year and a half before my husband introduced me to his parents.