Meeting the In-lawsMy fiance is from a fairly large family--and meeting them all at once was, I'll admit, a bit overwhelming--and I sometimes felt I'd landed in the middle of a John Cheever novel. The southern girl being welcomed into the arms of a New York (read: Yankee) family, however surreal to me, was warm and I couldn't have asked for kinder, more gracious greetings.
But family is still family and my fiance and I fell into the familiar traps of responding in old ways to new situations. I relished the banter with his sisters, but in sharpening my skills against their wit, I went a step too far by using it against him--and got bit. We had a fight--not our first fight--but our first in-person fight and we survived. His mother, as a point of interest, came to my defense; so I figured I must have merited some points with her if she was willing to speak up for me.
The next morning we all went to church together and it was a lovely Easter Service. Who knew I was secretly Episcopalian? Soon after, we joined the rest of the family at "the club" for Easter Brunch. I ate too much and enjoyed watching the dynamics of the family sitting around a large round table, not that different from my family's gatherings, with the exception of being spared having to watch the men sit down to watch the game while unbuttoning their trousers in order to breathe! (I exaggerate.) But it was a very elegant affair and I tried not to stand out more than my white turban and chuni already did!
In the past, I've never made a very good impression on my boyfriend's family. So something must have shifted over the years. I think they like me. And more than that, I like myself, which was important to know in the end.