Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Goin' to Carolina

I took a boy home.

There have been many many thoughts and dreams (some nightmares) about eventually bringing someone new back home with me to meet the family. And, I did it. Originally, my plan was to infiltrate slowly. Have the boy meet the family in small groups, slowly, as to not overwhelm him. If you know my family, you know that while they're incredibly warm and welcoming, they can also be very intimidating.

When I went home for Easter, I hated being away from Craig. I know it sounds stupid and silly, but I got comfortable being with him, talking to him all the time, and having that security of him being there. In fact, before then, I saw him at least once a day and usually wouldn't go more than an hour or two without talking to him. I was experiencing some major withdrawal.

I couldn't stop talking about him. Before, I was keeping information about him pretty quiet, because I didn't want to go on and on about something that wasn't going to last, but I couldn't keep it in any longer. I'm sure my family must have gotten tired of hearing about him so much, but it seemed that there was nothing else I could talk about.

Family, to me, has always been a vital part of my life and it was always very important to me that my significant other understand and embrace that as well. So, when Craig told me that he was interested in meeting my family, I was ecstatic. I certainly wouldn't go to that level until we were both ready, but when we realized that we were ready to share our relationship with our families, it all just seemed so natural.

We booked the tickets and planned a long weekend in Carolina for Memorial Day.

When we booked the tickets, I was nervous. Really nervous. Would they like him? Would they approve? And, more importantly, would he like them? What if was too much for him, what if the family was too much to handle? The weekend had the ability to turn out amazing, or devastating.

Not to mention that my mother was planning the party of the decade, inviting both sides of the families. This was not going to be the slow "meet my family" process I had envisioned. This wasn't even going off the deep-end. This was the ocean.

Though, as the weeks went on, I moved from nervous to excited. I couldn't wait to go back home and show off my new addition. I knew they'd like him, but I still wasn't sure how they would be received by him.

We're different, he and I. While we grew up with very similar family values and ideals and we share a lot of the same goals, our lives as children were very different. Financially, we were on opposite ends of the spectrum. He, just minutes from one of the largest cities in the world, and I, a good 30 minute drive to the nearest mall (not even a good one either!) I have cows just over the fence from my backyard that we use often for bonfire parties and he has shapely manicured lawns with fenced-in pools. I was nervous about showing him where I came from. Sure, I have a little "small town" in me, and he can certainly see that. But, my lifestyle certainly has changed now that I'm living in New York. What would he think of the girl that used to go have a Mountain Dew slushie from Sheetz on Friday nights instead of going to bars and clubs? Would he like the food? Would he understand how I could miss that tiny little town?

More importantly, would he feel differently about me when he realizes I grew up with hand-me-down clothes and sharing a bedroom with my sister? Would he think my “roots” were too Southern? Would he find my family dynamics to be less than desirable? I worried, panicked even, for days. I tried to describe to him how I was feeling, explaining my worries, but he assured me that nothing could change the way he feels about me. Still, my mind wouldn’t quiet.

He was a nervous wreck. I can’t blame him, however, because I was unnaturally nervous when I met his mother and father, sister and brother. Even more so when he added in a few cousins, aunts, uncles, and a grandmother! Fortunately for me, it was a slower process. I can’t imagine what he was feeling sitting on a plane knowing that he’d be meeting 40+ of my family members in 2 days.

The flight in was fine, a bit delayed by about 10-15 minutes, but nothing major. My mom and sister were at the airport in NORMAL clothes (I was seriously thinking they would dress up like hillbillies) and no big flashing signs. Such a relief!

While my impression of the weekend as a whole is one of “it was great!”, I’m still not completely sure what he feels about the whole thing. I assured him that my family is much easier to navigate when they’re in smaller groups (meaning, mom side/dad side) and I’ve assured myself that my family knowing him the way I do will take some time.

Since we don’t live near them, this process will be slow-going and in short, quick segments. I only hope that my family could see how amazing he really is.

So my first time bringing a boy home was not as terrifying as my mind made it out to be. After all, my family only wants to see me happy, and once they see that he is the one that is making it happen, they’ll love him as much as I do.

It is my hope that we can go back again soon, this time: no worries.

1 comment:

Anna Bowland said...

I love this picture of you two! Not that it matters...but he passed the Anna test!