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. :-p I have this theory that the magnitude of familial eccentricities is directly proportional to the density of family members present (ie - 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 (ie, 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?
Catch up on the tale!
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Equinox Love: Through Our Friends’ Eyes
Equinox Love: Reticence
Equinox Love: The Tipping Point
Equinox Love: Preparations Before the Family Storm