August 30, 2012

Meeting The Parents

XKCD. Always relevant.

During our road trip the boyfriend and I stayed a couple of nights in Oakland with his parents. Which meant I got to meet them. I'd actually met his dad once several months ago when he was in San Diego on business, but all that entailed was the three of us having dinner. This time we spent 40 hours with them. I'd met parents before and it was fine because I'm awesome and parents love me, but frankly it never really mattered before, and it was always very early in the relationship. I'd never cared enough to worry because by the time my past relationships were into the serious stage I was already well acquainted with the parents. This time it mattered far before I met either parent. Plus, I couldn't help but wonder if being the white girl that stole her son's heart would matter to my boyfriend's mom...

The boyfriend prepared me a bit by telling me stories and talking about how they interact with each other. And meeting his dad many months ago certainly helped. I was a little nervous because I didn't know if his parents were aware of the seriousness of our relationship and if so if that affected his mom's impression of me. And, as previously mentioned, I already cared (deeply) about this one, so being liked mattered.

Not long after we arrived, his mom showed me to my "residence," as she called it, which was a room that was better appointed than most hotel rooms. She told me, "I'm sure you and [the boyfriend] are close..." I stopped her and said I understood and expected that we would be in separate rooms (she had called my mom "very liberal" for allowing us to share a room at Thanksgiving and Easter, something she got a huge kick out of). My room had a queen size bed with my own full bath, and she placed fresh roses from her garden in a vase on the counter. It was ridiculous. I had to camp after that...

One of the most interesting aspects of the day and a half we were there was his parent's interaction. It's been a while since I've been around still-together-parents (my lady friend's parents being the only ones I know) and watching them with each other, and with their son, was... different. His parents have been together for so long that it seems they've just gotten used to being together, and worrying about their fully grown son must feel... weird. 

His mom interjected her stories with "[the boyfriend]'s father says" about the situation she was describing, like she was annoyed. Which, who knows, after being married that long maybe they are rather annoyed with each other. But there is a very clear level of respect between them, too. Every time the boyfriend's dad would forget a part of the story he was telling (where they'd eaten, who said it, what the occasion was, what day of the week...) he'd ask his wife and no matter what she was doing or if she was in the other room she'd answer in a second. They pay attention to each other, which tells me that even if they're annoyed they probably talk to each other, which has to be a step in the right direction. 

His mom was also very concerned with my diet, and it took some convincing for her to feel comfortable making dishes she thought I wouldn't eat. It is hard telling new people what I do and do not eat, and I've more or less adopted a mantra of eat-what-you're-served when in someone's home, and try to make them feel less guilty when I refuse a meat. She made red beans and rice, putting in ground turkey and hot links (I didn't know what those even were... sausage?), and it was delicious. When we stopped back to pick up the dog she had made ribs, and I asked for the red bean and rice leftovers (I've never had ribs, I think... not really any desire to try).

It was nice finally meeting them (well... her). We've been together for long enough and he's met my family a number of times already, so it was kind of starting to be weird that I hadn't met his mom yet. All in all it was a very pleasant day and a half, though I do have to say I feel a bit more comfortable around his dad (sorry, Boyfriend) having known him a bit more. But that might also have something to do with the distinct feeling I was being judged, and not unrightfully so, seeing as how I am dating her only child and he's clearly very into me... I just never really experienced that before. The impression I got from the parents of ex-boyfriends was more along the lines of them being happy their somewhat troublesome son had got himself a nice girl. But if there was a test this time around I think I did well enough to at least earn being called "a nice girl."

No comments:

Post a Comment