Unique sets of challenges exist for those of us who are divorced and re-enter the dating scene. Many involve our kids, but I faced one this past weekend: meeting the parents.
Immediately, I was thrown back in time to my 19-year-old self. Would they like me? Am I dressed too casually for dinner? Is my lipstick smeared? Will being a redhead work for me or against me? Should I have that second glass of wine or will I look too much like an alcoholic? And what in God’s name will happen if I DO drink that second glass of wine? Which fork goes with the salad again?
The setting was a casual family dinner at his mother’s house. I was to meet his mother, his step-father, his brother (Marine *gasp*), and his sister-in-law (Army *double-gasp*). I briefly debated on whether or not I should update my will and check on my life insurance policy.
Everyone was there when we arrived and I was offered a glass of wine which I gratefully accepted, mentally reminding myself that it was inappropriate to slug it back like a tequila shot.
The conversation was pretty tame at first – we talked about where I worked, what was going on with them, etc. Then the brother dropped the first bomb:
So what are your political views?
Suddenly, I couldn’t remember a single political/social issue over the last one hundred years if you had tied me up and tried to torture it out of me. My face resembled this, I think:
They’re Republican. I’m a weird hybrid of Democrat/Republican. I have somewhat liberal views on a few issues and somewhat conservative views on others. But suddenly, I was placed in a position where I had to pick: Am I A) Democrat or am I B) Republican? Can I pick C? There is a “C” choice, right? What issue could I possibly talk about that wouldn’t A) stun everyone into awkward silence or B) involve me getting unceremoniously kicked out the front door? I stumbled over a few things and finally came up with the Planned Parenthood issue. Suffice it to say, that turned out to be a pretty safe subject and the brother decided I was Libertarian. I was good with that. And to be honest, if I have to be forced into a political box, Libertarian is as good of a box as any for who I am.
That bullet dodged, we sat down for dinner and I was faced with another dilemma – the food. I had been asked prior to the dinner whether or not I liked lamb. I figured, “Does a bear poop in the woods?” would probably not be an appropriate answer to be forwarded to them so I settled for something along the lines of, “why yes, I do!” Fast-forward to sitting down for dinner. I saw two forks. Holy cow. Which one do I use? I dug around in the cobwebs of my brain and remembered someone telling me once that you used the silverware in the order that the food was served so that’s what I went with.
Then there was the issue of condiments. Mint sauce. What the hell do I eat that with? It looked like green Jell-O. Can I have some Cool Whip with that? I passed.
After that, dinner was pretty uneventful until the next bomb was dropped. This time, it was by the step-father: So what are your experiences with guns? I almost choked. Guns? Well, I can shoot a pretty mean Nerf gun.
Oh wait. You mean, GUNS. Let’s see – my son showed me how to shoot the gun he used for trap shooting, my ex father-in-law showed me how to shoot his pellet rifle.
|Kiddo showing me how to shoot
Then he asked, what about pistols? WTF? Is there going to be a dual? Am I going to have to fight for my boyfriend? Why, no, I’ve never shot a pistol. I couldn’t identify any brand names of pistols. I think I flunked that test.
Then I hit the jackpot. The mother reads. Like READS. Suddenly, it didn’t matter that I had different political beliefs and couldn’t shoot a pistol to save my life. I could talk about Clive Cussler and the Highlander series.
Suddenly, we were all like:
I was saved.
Keep in mind that this is a tongue-in-cheek recount of my evening. The family members I met were wonderful and very laid back and I really enjoyed meeting and visiting with them and look forward to many more pleasant visits. This story is my stream of consciousness, the goofy thoughts that popped in my head as the night progressed and my silly reflections afterwards. If you’re a said family member, I promise I bathe daily, I brush my teeth, I can hold a job, I don’t eat small children, and I vote. I also have little control over where my mind goes as you can see from this blog post. My goofiness has no bounds. My sense of humor is weird, off-beat, and I definitely march to my own little beat in life. Be warned.