Through the Kitchen Window

A funny thing happened on the way to the column this month. Well, to be precise, it happened last month and carried over. I submitted my January column, albeit late, but it did get sent. Or so I thought. Seemed that between a glitch Ronda had and who-knows-what-gremlins-were-at-work from my end, Ronda never got it, and I never found out about it until it was too late. No matter, brush it up a bit, change a few things around, and presto, a February column. Except . . .

On the message board that I like to hang out on when I have free time (yeah, what’s that!?!??!), we got into a discussion of what things were like when we “met the parents”. Let me set it up for you a bit. Over the Christmas holidays, several of our members got engaged. So in all the congratulations, and comparisons about how the question was “popped”, there also intermingled questions and discussions of how things went when the parents met the intended. Sort of our own mini “Meet the Fawkers”.

Because it’s February, and we all know February means Valentine’s Day (It also means my Christmas decorations finally come down, but that’s another column!!!) I thought it would be neat to recap some of those stories here in this space and ask you, the readers, to perhaps send in some of your own. We’ll post them in our feedback board.

So here, in no particular order, is the “board” version of “Meet the Parents”.

Dawn, better known as CanadianBabe on our board, and her sweetie, Doug, just got married this past fall:

    I met Doug's parents a few weeks after we first started dating. I wasn't sure how they would react to me, being the laid back east coaster that I am. I knew his family were cut from a more different 'cloth' than what I was accustomed to - but surprisingly, his parents welcomed me with open arms, and really seemed to take to my east coast humour!

    Quite often, Doug's dad and I both enjoy a good lobster feast (I'm his only daughter in law that can actually cook lobster the correct way!) Doug’s mom and I both like to shop, and like the same sort of things - so we get along famously!!

    His parents welcomed me into their family as #19 at our wedding! They now have 2 daughter-in-laws, and love every minute of it! I enjoy spending time with them!

    My mom adored Doug. They had an awesome friendship! Doug came to the east coast with me a few times on vacation, and my mom would turn on the east coast charm the minute he walked in the door! When my mom passed away, Doug said it was almost like losing his own mother - he was very upset, and dropped everything to fly out to meet me on the east coast the day she passed away.

    My dad and Doug have a wonderful relationship, and kick back and have a beer whenever they're together! My dad says the day Doug went to his home, and asked him in private, if he could have my dads blessing to marry me, was the day he really took to Doug, and realized he was nothing but a gentleman - and he really enjoys calling him his son-in-law!

Diane, she’s up in the frozen north of Ontario and keeps us grounded with her stories of a practical joke appreciating hubby and precocious daughter:

    My in-laws were very welcoming on the outside during our fist meeting but it was painfully obvious that they were watching my every move and paying close attention to my every word. All that was missing was the bright light pointed at me. I even choked down a cup of tea that day because I didn't dare refuse what they offered or even worse . . . ask for coffee instead. I really hate tea and even now I wonder how I managed to avoid gagging. We got off to a rocky start but over the years (19 in April) we've developed a very loving and caring relationship. They still on occasion offer me tea, but I know by the impish twinkle in their eyes that they remember that day too.

Savannah is taking it the second time around with George, but from the sounds of it, the second time is a charm for her:

    The day I met George’s parents was very hard for me. They are Christian and very religious. They attend church and pray regularly. And that’s wonderful, but me, being Jewish, I wasn’t used to bowing my head to pray at every meal, and giving thanks to Jesus. They also had a hard time with the fact that I had been married to someone else, had two children, and was of a different faith. It made matters worse, that they also weren’t aware realize that I was pregnant with George’s baby. It was awkward and there were a lot of silences. But, since that day five years ago, they have accepted my strange perverted sense of humour, put up with my mood swings, and occasional outbursts. They have welcomed me, and accepted me and my two children into their lives and home. They are extremely generous people, and would give the shirts off of their backs if it was necessary. I am lucky, and I laugh when Roy (my father-in-law) once in a while stands up to the "hen" and gives her what for . . . it’s hysterical to watch and I burst into laughter and pat him on the back. “Well done, my friend!”

    George meeting my parents was a totally different thing, though, but not in a bad way. It was around November of 2001 when they met him at my house. I was laid up, confined to my bed with my first bad bout of MS. I couldn’t move, and George would visit me regularly. On that particular day, my parents had popped over to check on me, they live in Thornhill and I live in Oshawa, so they weren’t able to be there as much as they’d like. George was over that day helping me with my sponge bath, and making sure that I had things to eat before he would go to work. He liked to make sure that I was comfortable. My ex husband hadn’t been attentive like that while we were married, and it impressed my parents to see how thoughtful George was and still is. They liked him right away, and were glad that I had finally found someone that was caring, loving and kind even though I was going through a bad time. I was in a wheelchair for some time and it made no difference to George. He really loved me for me and not what I could or couldn’t do.

Then there’s Katherine, she’s our “rock girl”, a woman of few words:

    I DO remember meeting Ken's parents . . they LOVE me . . Ken's dad is always siding with me . . he even tells Ken not to tease me, because I may get mad . .

    LOL My granny loves Ken . . she stands 5 feet tall . . so seeing her hug Ken (mister 6 foot 4) is hilarious

Everglade, also known as Sonya:

    Chris' folks like me now, I guess. They really started liking me when after a huge storm in Barrie last year, I took the time to call them to make sure they were OK the next day.

    But, in general, parents like me OK. Usually after the fleeting look of disappointment of "Oh. My son ISN'T dating skinny girls yet ..." passes over their faces, they tend to warm up to me.

Jewlz (Julie) and Jay are one of the couples who made it official and became engaged at Christmas:

    Jay's parents like me, and my parents have taken a liking to him. I met his folks some time ago and we see each other regularly, but, because of distance, he's really only met mine twice, but they talk on the phone all the time. Jay's mom calls me regularly, and when he asked them their opinion on marrying me, they were happy and gave us their blessing.

To say that this next couple is a favourite of mine would be unfair . . . but it would be true. Serge brought Myra to my place in Hockley many years ago for a BBQ weekend. I believe they were just recently started dating, but you could see they were destined for something HUGE. Serge & Myra are another of our board’s newly engaged couples, taking advantage of the Christmas festivities to “make it official”:

    I felt that the day I met Serge's family sealed the fate of our future. His family has been an amazing addition to my life. His mother is wonderful. Thanks to his lovely sister, I get three little girls calling me Auntie Myra, which I love. Being an only child, I never thought I would hear that. His dad is truly another great person. This year I spent my Christmas away from my family, but I never felt closer to Serge's family. MY mother and father love Serge, my mom has said she couldn’t have picked him any better if she had a choice. Both sides have met and communicate with ease. It has made me feel very complete in my life.

Note: When I posted the thread on the board asking for “meet the ‘rents” stories, many of the board members are so used to seeing these things, they posted right away. It’s not the first time I’ve done a compilation column. I was talking to Serge and asked him to mention to Myra that I would use her blurb in my column and he replied, “She said ‘oh sure.’ but I don’t know what you guys are talking about.” So he went to check it out on the board. His post, in reply to Myra’s story brought tears to my eyes. He quoted her and then simply replied: “I love you.”

In the spirit of the Saint whose day is celebrated in February, and the love and caring that such a day brings out, I invite you all to send us your “meet the parents” stories.

Here’s my wish that all of your Valentine’s Days together are celebrated as if they were your first. Go out there and do something romantic with your Valentine. That’s what this day is for!!!