Monday, March 12, 2012

Meet the Parents

It has been a couple of weeks since the last time I addressed the saga between my internet fiance Red and myself. There are no exciting new developments to reveal, but we have been communicating privately via email. It has been removed from the public blogging spotlight for a couple of reasons. One of them is the fact that there are real people behind these words. While it has been a lot of fun watching this unfold on our blogs, in order to keep the new developments exciting to read about, it would have to move at a much quicker pace. It just doesn't work like that.

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.

Parents can be  tricky. Whether it is meeting a friend's parents or the parents of a girl for the first time, that first meeting carries a lot of weight. There are a couple of my daughter's past boyfriends that I did not like immediately. I understand. Not only is the impression from that first meeting important, but so is the timing. There are so many things that can go wrong and if the family (especially parents) doesn't like the new person, it can lead to a lot of trouble.

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 did have on a Christmas gift. Just that morning, I had been given a pair of stars and stripes boxers with a big happy face on the front. I didn't normally wear boxers, but these were cool and I was happy to put them on right then. Since we came to join the extended family right after that, I still had them on.

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.

STUNNED SILENCE!!!

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.

Red, I can promise you that if this proceeds to the point that I need to meet your parents, I will not remove my pants. That should be saved until at least the fifth or sixth meeting. I will leave that up to you. You obviously know them better than I do. I can adapt.

51 comments:

  1. Totally funny preach.....I'm still laughing....at your blog not at your boxers....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad you liked it. I think I have told you this story before.

      Delete
  2. Holy Crap! Yes, please do not remove your pants in front of my family! That said, we are not likely to ever be sitting around in "nice sweaters and cardigans" - I fought my mom over every dress she tried to force me to wear - and since I have more siblings than you and almost infinitely more cousins (I can only imagine), I can guarantee a ruckus and never ever calm and quiet - except, if you're lucky, during grace.

    ...after 5 or 6 meetings, the boxers might be appreciated, probably without the drop-trou though. My parents gave funny boxers to Poseidon one year, and he bragged about them on national TV. (They were Tweety-bird, not stars and stripes.)

    Also? If this proceeds to the point of meeting the parents, I will bring in the big dogs (aka sisters) for advice if needed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I will do my best. I don't generally plan to do things like take my pants off. Stuff just happens, you know.

      Delete
    2. "Stuff just happens" ...??????????
      Your pants spontaneously fall off?
      Thanks for the warning!
      ...And for the fresh set of giggles...

      Seriously. Can't. Stop. Laughing. ...stuff just happens, indeed.

      Delete
  3. Very interesting I am looking foward to reading my blogs, as always!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm laughing so hard I'm crying. Ohmygosh. xD This is hilarious.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Everyone seems to appreciate this story but the people that were in that room.

      Delete
  5. So funny! That's a great way to break the ice around the in-laws ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thought so too. In this instance, I was wrong.

      Delete
  6. HAHAHAHAHA

    I remember one boyfriend taking me to meet his Mum, I left the room to go to the bathroom and as I was walking back I heard her say to him "she's not really your type is she..."

    And I hadn't even shown her my pants.
    Although I think part of the problem was her 'baby' liked getting in them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you can't win over the parents, things can get rather difficult. Showing your pants might have made it worse.

      Delete
  7. Hold on a second, you two are ACTUALLY engaged? I am confused. Not against it, just confused.
    I have already prepared my parents for what will never come. I have let them know that, should I get married, they will probably never meet my husband. They wouldn't approve.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Only in the blogging world.

      Maybe you could hire a guy for the day that your parents would like. Let them be happy and then go do something else.

      Delete
    2. My parents expect certain things from me. If I introduced them to a nice man, they would die of a heart attack. I love my parents too much to kill them, and am too busy to plan a funeral.

      Delete
  8. Yeah, I think a general rule of thumb should probably be NOT to remove you pants in front of your in-laws. Save that for the bedroom, IYKWIM.

    My family probably would have been all shocked and morified if my husband did that, but his family is crazy and raucous and hilarious. Maybe next time I'm at a family gathering, I should drop my pants and see what happens. Then again, they have known me for 15 years. I think the shock of seeing ME do something like that might render them speachless. For about a minute, anyway. Then the cameras would definitely come out!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They eventually got used to me, but it was a big shock at first. I really don't think I am that bad, but it was a stretch for them.

      My family would have probably started comparing underwear.

      Delete
  9. Well! I remember the worst meeting of the parents I had and boy I feel a little relieved. I totally kept my pants on!

    I called the parents by the wrong name, accused the sister of cheating, and set the tablecloth on fire. But no pants were removed at any time!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You set the tablecloth on fire? That had to be hard to overcome.

      You should try the pants thing. It makes for great stories for years. They will never forget me.

      Delete
  10. Haha great story dude.

    Don't ever let anyone hinder you from pulling down your pants, especially in front of old people.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, but you have to be careful with old people. They just keel over sometimes.

      Delete
  11. Did I break her brain?

    I can't tell you how hard that made me laugh. How freaking awesome, and I am so glad grandma decided to find humor in the situation.

    Meeting the parents is almost always awkward. Showing them your drawers? Well that certainly takes it to a whole new level.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Despite that first encounter, it all worked out later. They decided I wasn't so bad. Although, I did still embarrass them every once in a while.

      Delete
  12. The sad thing is, knowing your family, this picture really does not surprise me. Actually, I take that back. I'm surprised no one else tried to join in :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was the only boxer boy that day. I did have to stand there long enough for every that wanted pictures to get their cameras.

      Delete
  13. You always have amazing stories! I do agree you should keep your pant on for at least the first few meetings with them.

    I love how you were posing like you were in a Calvin Klein Ad while they were taking pics! At least you were professional when your pants were on the ground.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lesson learned.

      If your going to stand in a room full of people in your underwear, you need to feel confident.

      Delete
  14. You certainly have balls that are a lot bigger than mine. I don't think I'd be able to do something like that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I didn't really take the time to think about it. It just sort of happened.

      Delete
  15. Haha.... great to have another Red and Brett post! I try and remain patient - but sometimes it's hard.

    I love this story and can totally relate although I've never been in that sort of situation myself. My mom's side of the family is huge, loud and crazy - and my dad's side small quiet and very very dignified... sometimes things are awkward lol

    I presume this is one of the pictures you got from your mom - thank her for us... it was a real pleasure to get to see your boxers so nicely displayed!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is one of the pictures. I have boxes and boxes of them to go through. I am going to try to make digital copies of all of them for the whole family.

      Delete
    2. Nice idea - both about preserving the pics and also using them as post prompts.

      Delete
  16. Knowing both families well this story made me laugh till I cried. Oh how I love this story and how this story should have given you clues of how your next several years would go. Love you Brett...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. Looking back, I see all kinds of clues. I was clueless at the time.

      Delete
  17. "Did I break her brain?" I laughed out loud so hard...and then my mouth was actually gaped opened as I read this. HILARIOUS.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. It was an interesting day.

      Delete
  18. First time I met my in-laws, my belt snapped and my pants dropped by themselves. I was mortified.

    Her mother started laughing and throwing dollars at me.


    ...I'm still mortified to this day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ok, that is just hilarious lol Your mother in-law is a genius!

      Delete
    2. THAT would have been funny. I like her spontaneity.

      Delete
    3. I actually come to think now that she's borderline retarded. She really reminds me of that crazy cat lady that's been on the Simpsons for years.

      The lady lives her life in a hillbilly gust of illogicality. Or maybe I'm just like every other man on the planet in regards to my feelings for the mother-in-law.

      Delete
  19. Grandmas are awesome, because they are at the stage of not giving a rats arse and are free spirited once again.

    The return of teenagisim almost.

    Almost.

    If it was a word it would be closer

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She was great. We got along fine after that.

      Delete
  20. I gave you an award. Yes, I did. All you have to to now is send me $100.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Can I make my payments in the form of guest posts?

      Delete
  21. This definitely gave me flashbacks to all the times I've had to meet parents. It also confirms the theory I've always had, that not dropping my pants was a solid choice. Visiting from Finding the Funny. Thanks for linking up today!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am so happy to be past that point in my life. Always nerve-wracking.

      Delete

Leave a comment. C'MON!!! You're already here. Leave a comment. Don't leave me hanging and wondering if any has ever seen these words. I'll rub your feet.