by Kami Cornwall
When I met my husband I had just left a very volatile relationship. While the scars were still healing I insisted we remain best friends for a while. I knew he was one of my favorite people in the world, though, and before long I was sitting down at dinner with his family. Meeting the parents can be such a nerve racking experience. I had no idea what I was in for.
As soon as everyone had said "Amen" his four brothers were piling as much as possible onto their plates with speed that Superman would be jealous of. Dinner conversation consisted of movie and t.v. quotes. My head was spinning! His mother commented that quoting movies had become her kids' favorite things to do and my only means of survival was to smile and nod my head like her. She tolerated it and tried to engage me in proper discussions like where I was from and what my family was like.
I thought back on a typical dinner at my house. My parents had taught us to be quiet, cut everything in small pieces, chew quietly, never speak with your mouth full, never slurp, sit still, and display general good manners. We were expected to reflect good breeding.
My new family was breaking all the rules, and I after my initial shock, I loved it! There was a warmth and closeness there that I didn't expect. I even found the perfect time to throw in a "Ralph" quote from the Simpsons. There was a moment of silence and then the whole family erupted with, "Whoa! That was perfect!" and they all laughed.
I was in.
Ten years later he's still the yin to my yang and we're raising our family somewhere in between his way and my way. I'm also wondering today how many others out there were first shocked at meeting the family and what that experience was like. Awkward? Comfortable? Do tell.