Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thanksgiving with the other parents

[I apologize in advance: I had written a lengthy, detailed post, and was just cleaning things up before posting when Internet Explorer crashed, and Blogger's autosave functionality apparently does nothing whatsoever.  Things I write are rarely as heartfelt the second time I write them.  Plus, this time around I'm much more anxious to get back to questing in Northrend instead of writing...]

This year, I spent Thanksgiving with Jason's family.  I had a really good time, and it was far less awkward than I was expecting.  I didn't really have any idea what to expect, actually.  He's Taiwanese, so I wasn't even sure if the food was going to be standard fare or something more unusual.  (It was turkey and stuffing and pumpkin pie, for the curious.)  I resolved to just figure things out as I went along, instead of trying to plan things out like I always do.

In attendance besides Jason and myself were just his parents and older brother.  Moments after I arrived, his dad started drilling me.  This I did expect, if for no other reason than the TV and movie stereotype of the protective father.  He asked me questions in a rapid-fire fashion for a good hour or so, and I got so used to it that I didn't even get around to asking questions myself: I don't know much more about Jason's family after spending a holiday with them than what I absorbed passively.  One of the first questions he asked was one of the most offsetting, and that was where Jason and I met.  Regardless of whether or not it makes sense, telling someone's father that I met him on the internet makes me feel a little sleazier than I'd like, regardless of my noblest of intentions.  But, there was no time to dwell on any one question since he had what seemed like a lengthy prepared list of things to ask me.  I've been told that that's how he gets to know everyone, but it fit my expectations regardless.  He was a little surprised when he found out how much older I am than his son, but it didn't seem to bother him.

By the end of the evening, Jason's family seemed pretty comfortable around me.  (His brother: "I know we just met, but don't mind me while I take off my clothes in the same room as you.")  Actually, the most offsetting question of the day came from his mother.  After the meal, she asked me if I was going to be sleeping there.  I wasn't prepared for that.  I wouldn't expect to sleep with someone at their parents' home ever, or at least not until after I've known everyone for several years, let alone on the day I'm first meeting those parents.  But maybe that's just my ultraconservative family speaking.  In the evening, they left to go visit a friend, leaving Jason and me there alone.  What did they think we'd be doing in that time?  Do they know their son well enough to know that it would be World of Warcraft?

Were it not for how at-ease I am when I'm around Jason, I'd have been paralyzed trying to analyze and obsess over everything in such a complicated social situation.  I wasn't really sure how much affection it would be appropriate to display: too little and I look like a jerk, too much and I look overly possessive.  In the end, what seemed natural was an inch past the fine line between friend and boyfriend: basically, occasionally having my arm around him.  I guess I'm classy like that.  But anyway, I guess it was all a success.  I'm glad that I got to meet the family.  Someday he'll have to meet mine—it's just more of a challenge since mine are two $500-700 tickets away instead of a trip down the freeway.


Currently listening: Coldplay—The Scientist

7 comments:

Günter said...

Dude, that you wrote this much after losing your first post is heroic.

When are you Lincolnating? Do you know?

Amber said...

Glad it went well for you! Have to say I'm glad those meet the parents days are over for me, as they used to make me rather nauseous. uggh...

Louise said...

Glad to hear you had a good Thanksgiving and things weren't too strange. As for the non-stop questions - that is very much a culture thing (I got that all the time from my friend's parents!)

Travis said...

I'm back in Lincoln from December 22-28, though of course the 22nd and 28th I'll be mostly just going to/from the airport.

Günter said...

We should try to hang out again, if you want to and think you'll have free time. Do you still have our phone number?

Andy M said...

I'll agree. Hearing your perspective was enthralling. Though I am concerned about where you are buying your plane tickets - or when... Also, have you considered flying into Omaha?

Travis said...

Andy—Yeah, I'm flying into Omaha to save about a hundred bucks.

Günter—I don't think I have your phone number handy, but I'm sure I can get it through the face-books.