Friday, January 04, 2008

Oldest Son brings home a guest

Catching up quickly with a tale of Christmas just past....

In some families any girl who makes it to a second date is provisionally adopted by the boy's family (or vice versa). I don't subscribe to that myself.

Call me a curmudgeon, but I don't really want to invest the time and effort in getting to know someone and forming opinions (positive or otherwise) about the young man or young woman, only to watch that kid get dumped by my kid the next week. My position is simple: I'll be nice to anyone my kids bring home, but I'm not forming any attachments.

I'm nice to Older Daughter's Boyfriend (ODB). Older Daughter has been dating the same young man now for several years -- but there is as yet no ring. I did confirm with Older Daughter, in the course of the recent holidays, that she and ODB have had full and frank discussions on a wide range of topics and that the matrimonial option is under consideration. But nothing has yet been decided -- so I'm trying not to get too used to ODB. Even if he stays at our house every few months.

Recently, you may recall, Oldest Son revealed that he's seriously dating someone. He flew to Texas to meet her folks before Christmas; he suggested that he might bring her to meet us after Christmas when she came to Chicago.

Sure, I said... and then I got on the phone. Long Suffering Spouse was none too pleased that I arranged a party -- she knew on whom the burden of preparation would fall -- but it seemed to me it would be a lot of fun for everyone in the family to take a gander at Oldest Son's new prospect. For everyone, that is, except Oldest Son and his girlfriend.

I knew what that was like. I don't think I brought anyone home to meet my parents until I brought home the young woman who would become Long Suffering Spouse. I brought her to Thanksgiving Dinner -- always an Event in those days, with my aunts and uncles and all 32 or 27 or 36 cousins in attendance. (I never could keep track. I know it was more than six.)

Yes, I knew what it was like... and I did it to Oldest Son anyway.

Still, it was a grand occasion. Long Suffering Spouse did manage to get some minimal cooperation from a couple of the other kids (mostly by pointing out that she was still recovering from surgery) and I got hold of my friend Steve and my sister Betty.

Betty is Oldest Son's godmother. Years ago she found she could embarrass him nearly to death by ruffling his hair and making baby talk noises and trying to kiss him. It's even funnier now that he's 22.

Oldest Son didn't believe Betty would show up; he thought I was making an idle threat....

Oldest Son and his girlfriend were seated on the living room couch making awkward small talk with the rest of us when the doorbell rang.

"It's Betty!" I said.

"Oh, shoot," Oldest Son said, only he didn't say 'shoot.'

And Betty proceeded to muss his hair and coo at him and plant a big, exaggerated smooch on his cheek. He squirmed ineffectually and the girlfriend watched.

But you know what? It all seemed to go well -- the girl seems very nice -- and -- Younger Daughter assures me -- Oldest Son's Facebook status remains unchanged.

Was I cruel? I don't think so -- not really. After all, Oldest Son did volunteer to bring her over. And it was a lot of fun.


MommasWorld said...

It definitely not cruel. It is a parental right, entitled to all parents. I will be polite to ManSon and Oldest Daughter’s friends, guests, sweethearts but I haven’t taken the road to adopt any of them. Not even when they specifically asked me to. I am completely in agreement with you.

Sorry I haven’t been around in a long time. I have been super busy. Promotion and triple my normal work load. I hope to have more free time soon.

Jean-Luc Picard said...

A good family story.

Shelby said...

like the fam stories!

katherine. said...

"...only to watch that kid get dumped by my kid next week..." laughing...

good to not form the attachment...sometimes they come to you for help...yikes!

Patti said...

This was a fun read, Mr. Curmudgeon.