Meet The Parents

August was a fairly busy month. Things happened. Work happened. A few weekends happened. Some nice weather happened.

In the early part of the month I went to see my sister who lives an hour away. It’s actually quite close, but because of the nature of indirect roads, it takes a while and is pretty nasty in parts. But we met up, did the usual niceties, spent some money on a few bits of clothes, saw their new guinea pigs (who refused to eat the treats we’d brought) and then went all the way back again. It was OK. OK but could have been better. Life is like that really. In the minimal time you have, you don’t really have enough good ideas to do anything, unless it’s all super planned in advance. I’ve never been good at spontaneity, mainly because it costs a lot…

But later in the month we had an interesting event, at last. For many years I didn’t know anything about J’s family. He ignored them, and felt like they were not part of his life. Having never got on with his step-mother, and having suffered a tragic loss of his mother at an early age, I could see why. He spoke fondly of his dad, but it was always wistfully, like those days have gone and will never return.

Recently, however, this seemed to have changed. I’m not really sure why, but I think the idea that we’re all getting old is hitting him. He’s now in his 30s – and his dad is mid 60s, but has had his fair share of medical conditions, and is generally not in the greatest of health. We met him last Christmas and that got it out of the system. But it seemed like he had a hankering for seeing him, even though he never told me. We planned to go over to Taunton, as it was somewhere I’d never been… and on the day of the visit he casually dropped in that we might as well go and see him as we were so close. He was right, of course, but again, why not plan it? So we went over…

It was all a bit weird. I didn’t like it as we were suddenly confronted with lots of people, who I don’t know, and all of a sudden being outed in the middle of someone else’s anniversary party. I was not comfortable at all, and spent almost the entire time standing around facing outwards so I could keep an eye on people’s reactions. People were pleasant to your face, but in the distance I wasn’t happy with the reactions I saw. Fortunately, J’s dad was very welcoming and did his best to keep talking to us so we didn’t have to be involved with too many unknown and unusual people (J’s dad even said he didn’t know half of them) … it wasn’t good, but it had to be done. I will never feel comfortable about these things, just like that time when I was outed without my permission because of older adults bad behaviour and interaction with alcohol.

Anyway, it’s done. It’s not like I hadn’t seen them before, so I was fairly relaxed, but going to see them at their house, in the middle of a house party, possibly wasn’t the best idea. But J was happy, and it ticked off something and made him feel less guilty.

As usual all the pleasantries were exchanged, about how we should see each other more, and they/we are always welcome, blah blah. It’s the little social skills that grease the wheels of relationships, but no one truly means it.