That doesn't mean our followers are to be left out. You will be kept in the loop. Of course, what is or is not shared is totally at our discretion, but you will hear things from time to time. Today is one of those times.
Almost two weeks ago, Red announced that she will be moving to Indiana, which is 900 miles closer than her present residence. In that same post, she explained why meeting with her parents, especially her father, may not be a good idea right now. We may be engaged in the virtual world, but the transition to the physical world has different rules.
On Christmas Day in 1995, I was sitting in a room filled with my new in-laws. I had just gotten married the previous September and while I knew my wife's immediate family, I had only met most of these extended family members briefly at our wedding. The room was filled with her aunts, uncles, cousins and some grandparents. Since my wife was helping in the kitchen, I was on my own. They were very friendly, but I couldn't help but feel under dressed. While they were all dressed in nice sweaters and cardigans, I was in my usual jeans and t-shirt. The room was also very calm and quiet. It was quite different from the loud ruckus that happens when my family gets together.
Being the newest addition to the family, a lot of attention was directed toward me. They wanted to hear about my upbringing, my parents, my job and anything else they could think to ask me. It wasn't an interrogation, they just wanted to know more about me, but it did get tedious after a while. They all appeared to be so cultured and proper, I answered carefully, not sure if they would be appreciative of my perspective and sense of humor. I was feeling them out the same as they were doing to me. Needless to say, I was relieved when the attention shifted to a cousin who had arrived late.
One of the aunts asked about the beautiful sweater she was wearing. The cousin explained that her husband had given it to her that morning for Christmas. She then called him in so she could show off the slacks she had bought for him. The whole room began to share with each other the various pieces of clothing they had received as Christmas gifts. Eventually, someone asked me.
"Brett, are you wearing anything you got for Christmas?"
This was the first time all day that I felt I could actually contribute to their conversation without it feeling forced. I stood up and boasted, "Yes, I am." Without thinking about where I was, I began to undo my belt.
|Let's pause right here for a moment!|
I unfastened the button on my jeans and dropped my pants to the floor to show off my Christmas present. I raised my arms above my head and spun around so everyone could see them.
I immediately come to the realization that this crowd does not know me and may not appreciate my underwear even if they did know me. I pull my pants back on and quietly take my place on the couch. Still, no one is talking, and the aunt and cousin that were sitting next to me created extra space between us on the couch. Grandma is still staring at me with her mouth hanging open. Did I break her brain?
What feels like several minutes goes by and still no one is speaking. Suddenly, my mother-in-law walks in to the room to announce that dinner is ready. I immediately jumped up to get out of there, but she was blocking the door. Looking around the room, she inquires, "What happened in here?" Her sister speaks up, "You will not believe what your new son-in-law just did."
She had been around me longer than the rest of the family and immediately blushes and looks at me, "What did you do?" She didn't know what had happened, but knew it couldn't be good and she was not happy.
While they were all looking at each other trying to decide who was going to say it, Grandma starts to laugh. Since Grandma was laughing, I guess that made it okay for the others to find humor in what had just transpired as well, but their laughter was very reserved and nervous.
Grandma said, "Linda, I like this boy."
About six hours later, I am sitting in a room full of my family relaying this story and they demand to see what the problem was. Their reaction was much different.
|My family pulled out cameras.|
That may have been almost 20 years ago, but I still remember the lesson I learned that day. I believe it still applies today.