“We’re not paying for your wedding.”
I raised my eyebrow at my mom, annoyed but not surprised. My parents are very traditional, and very religious. They’ve never been happy that I don’t impose the same rules on myself that the Catholic Church does. In this case, cohabitation with my partner.
“Well then, don’t expect one.”
It may not have been quite as snappy as that, but that was the gist of the conversation. My dad had taken the English Muffin onto the patio of their serviced apartment in Queenstown to give him the “what are your intentions for my daughter” speech – something that grates on me as a independent adult capable of having my own intentions for myself, but that I understand is something my dad just can’t not do with any of my boyfriends.
Having never dreamed about my future wedding, I wasn’t too bothered by it. I’ve never gone out of my way to live with my boyfriends, it’s just he way life worked out. I moved interstate with one [“What do you want us to do, Dad? Get separate apartments?”], and happened to fall in love with my roommate [“Was I supposed to kick him out of the house the moment we realized we had feelings for each other?”]. Most times, I’d probably have preferred not to have lived with them! I like my space, and don’t mind being alone, so it wouldn’t have been huge loss as long as we lived near each other. But regardless of any qualifying circumstances, this was a line my parents had decided to draw.
At any rate, my sister will probably have to deal with this before I do, since she and her [now live-in] boyfriend just celebrated their 5 year anniversary. I’m sure she will find a way to break my parents resolve; she’s always had better money-extraction skills than I have.
Other than this uncomfortable exchange, the “Meet the Parents” episode of my relationship with the English Muffin was a nice one. We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful place for it to happen [Queenstown, NZ], and we spent much of the 6 days we were all together being outside, exploring New Zealand [also known as Heaven on Earth].
Fast-forward six months, and the EM and I were preparing for a trip to the USA to celebrate two weddings that were fortuitously planned 4 weeks apart. So naturally, I decided it was important to cram in meeting most of my aunts and uncles [of which there are 15], about 2/3 of my cousins [of which there are 30, not counting spouses], and my siblings [of which there are 4, including my brother’s wife] into those 4 weeks. Oh and maybe 50 or so friends.
Did I mention the English Muffin is an only child with a tiny extended family?
However, the EM works in recruitment, and he’s developed social skills that include being able to talk to anyone, make people like and trust him, and be a good listener. This is also why he makes a good romantic partner, as he’s pointed out to me [darling, why are you on eHarmony?]. Plus he’s English, which means that if nothing else at least he’d be polite.
Thus, he was not only able to rock the family get-togethers, he actually was a bigger hit at BOTH weddings than I was! I had one of my aunts swooning over his accent [“What did you call it? A bin? Say butter again!”] and he after-partied at my university friend’s wedding long after I had collapsed in a heap in our hotel room. At the end of the first wedding, my Seattle friends’ boyfriends were hollering, “Someone get this man a green card! Come to America!”
All in all, a pretty successful trip home for him, even if I was feeling a little bit like chopped liver. Just because I don’t have a posh English accent!
I did have the chance to meet his dad, who happens to live in Connecticut after falling for an American woman [apple doesn’t fall far from the tree…], so for the two people I had to meet, an exchange of 90 or so seems fair. Right?
Til next time, xoxoxo!