Tonight the girlfriend met my entire family.
Beth had already been introduced to my mother a few months ago. We were back in Peoria at a friend’s wedding and my mom happened to be in town. My father had driven to Alabama that weekend as my sister had bought him football tickets for his alma matter. My sister lives in NYC and hadn’t been to Chicago or Peoria lately.
Today, my sister flew in to do some work with a Chicago company. My mom happened to be in Chicago too for work. Since my father had yet to meet Beth he drove up from Peoria. The family made dinner plans for the five of us. We settled on a popular seafood and steakhouse in the suburbs.
We arrived and everyone hugged and the remaining introduction were made.
Beth was the first one to get up from the table halfway through an appetizer. As she was making her way to the restroom the family immediately went into judgement mode and collectively decided that they loved her. I knew they would. She’s the best woman I’ve ever dated, and everybody that meets her falls to pieces about her.
I’m fortunate to have a father and mother that are willing to drive three hours out of their way to hang out with my girlfriend. Many families aren’t like that and it’s easy to forget how special and rare that sort of behavior is.
I’ve also met Beth’s family and they’re very fun. She’s one of five (Catholic, naturally) and they all live in the western suburbs of Chicago. Though we’ve been together only five months, I’ve met all eighteen of her immediate family members and she’s met all three of mine. None of it feels forced or rushed.
This post doesn’t have much to say. I’m clogged up with strip steak and king crab leg meat. There’s a sleeping cat on my left arm as a type, and a dog between my legs. I will pass out shortly and wake up tired. But as I start to drift as I write this sentence, I’m content.
I guess I just feel normal. The middle.
A nice dinner with the family. No emotional highs or lows. Just a great time. As it should be, and how it can be.
It’s special to me to have occasional “normal” experiences that flow effortlessly. They’re not as common as I’d like them to be, and it’s important that I acknowledge when they’re happening.
Instead of reaching for a clever resolution or a fart joke, I’m just going to say goodnight.
God, now I really want to tell a fart joke. No, I promised myself!