Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Meet the Parents

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.

8 comments:

  1. Enjoyed your blog. I could just picture the two very different dinner styles.

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  2. My first dinner with his parents was quite opposite of yours as his parents were the quiet and mannered ones. Yet, some of their questions lacked manners at the same time. One of the questions to him as I sat there was "So, when are you going to get back together with Jenny?" As I left that night, they commented, "Thanks for coming, you're quite the plain girl compared to some of his other girlfriends." I think after 20 years they have finally gotten used to the idea that I'm not going anywhere cause they stopped asking about those other girlfriends a few years ago...let's just say some of the awkwardness never left.

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  3. I don't have a story to tell but I loved your scene. Too funny.

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  4. Johnsonteammom, That's horrible! The scariest question I got was, "So...what are your intentions with our son?" at which point we weren't really an item. I didn't really have any "intentions". They don't remember asking that and when we talk about it now they are so embarrassed.

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  5. I am glad you were able to recognize and enjoy the warmth and closeness!

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  6. Great post and comments!
    I am from Northern Arizona... my husband is from Long Island - very New York. Let your imagination go on this one. And it was about the same. I flew out to meet his family and it happened to be when the cousins from France were there also. It was a challenging encounter. Now 11 years later I can understand them, don’t always agree yet still get my feelings hurt occasionally.
    The worst was when my mother-in-law told me I was a waste of brain space and not contributing to society as a whole for wanting to be a stay at home mom. Needless to say, I stay home but work online. So it is a compromise.

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  7. Loved the blog. Sounds like you and your hubby are doing great. My first meeting went fine, but I have too many scenes since that make my toes curl. I best not think on it any more or I will get all worked up and not sleep. Hey, maybe this could be a good book.

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  8. Great story, Kami. You can't go wrong with Ralph.

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