Less than a week before the wedding, our parents had yet to meet! This, I think, is among the strangest things about adulthood – the stark realization that your parents have yet to even meet those who will become deeply entwined with your future. Your fiancé’s parents – they will be your parents. And your parents, the people who have guided you, molded you, counseled you, bathed you – they will be his. For me, this truly solidifies the notion that you and your fiancé are really, and finally, becoming a family.
So naturally, I was a little anxious about the first meeting. I mean, our parents made us, and we like each other – so they must like each other, right? (Sorry, Juliet.) Even though Mr. Bear Cub and I are astronomers, we’re lucky not to be so star-crossed.
Amidst the mayhem of preparations, my parents (Momma Bear & Papa Bear) and siblings (Sis Bear Cub & Bro Bear Cub) flew into Portland from Oklahoma Monday afternoon. Mr. Bear Cub’s mom and two sisters also flew in from Wyoming that day. And then Mr. BC’s step-grandma (his step-mom’s mom, and also our officiant) trained in.
We decided that a good common ground would be dinner at a restaurant – this was such a good idea. We made reservations at a nice sushi place in the Pearl District (agadashi tofu OMNOM), and everyone trickled in around the same time.
And you know what?
The “meeting of the families” went fine. I think I was anxious because as much as I love my family, they’re weird. For that matter, everyone’s family is weird – in their own way, of course. I have this theory that the magnitude of familial eccentricities is directly proportional to the density of family members present (i.e. – my whole nuclear family + his whole nuclear family = A-bomb of eccentricities??). Then throw more family (and friends) into the mix, and you might as well call it a “Manhattan Project Wedding”. I kid!
The dinner conversation was going smoothly for a long while (everyone was talking about how awesome Mr. BC & I are 😉 ), and then someone (I can’t remember who) added the enriched uranium to the noun and verb soup: church and/or politics.
If Mr. BC and I are star-crossed in any way, it’s that his family is staunchly progressive democratic (Oregon, hello!) and deist, and mine is values-voter conservative (straight outa Oklahoma!) and very Catholic. Being the progressive humanist that I am, I’ve learned to choose my battles over church and politics very wisely. Read: AT ALL COSTS, don’t add this reactive substance at the first meeting! (Subsequent tests are at your own discretion 😉 ).
I think it was something about single-payer health care. Someone on the left (literally – his family was sitting to the left of us) said something like, “Why don’t we have single-payer health care already? It makes so much sense!”
I saw my dad (sitting, ironically, just to the right of Mr. BC’s dad) suck in a long wind of air, firmly place both palms on the tabletop, and then retort with, “And raising taxes to pay for it makes sense? [grmblgrmbl]…” (this is largely paraphrased, by the way!)
Mr. Bear Cub and I froze, our chopsticks mid-air, sashimi halfway to our previously blitheful mouths.
There was some sshhh-ing on the left of the previously unknowing provocateur, the world [for us] stood still for a few seconds longer, and then it all passed. Sashimi hit mouths, wedding chatter continued, and atomic warfare was averted!
All in all, it was a pretty successful first meeting for our families! (Just add sushi!)
How was your Meet The Parents experience?