Return of the Future Sister-in-law

Last night, Allison’s sister Jane returned from Europe, having spent the past seven and a half months in England (and Greater Europe). I remember being quite jealous at the time that she was going — she was doing what I’ve wanted to do for a few years.

It’s something I’m not going to be able to do in not too distant a time — once I’m married, I can’t go off for a year on my own. It’s making me really realise how much I liked being on my own while I was at university. Not having to answer to anyone (except professors, and later, my employers) was pretty handy.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love Allison — I wouldn’t give her up for all the tea in China. Hmm… bad analogy — I hate tea (except green tea, I love green tea — especially after a really nice batch of sushi, with tekka, maki, and maybe California … I’m not big on BC rolls yet — the salmon skin kinda turns me off from them). Oh, I’ve got a good analogy — I’d just as soon dump all my material possessions (i.e. the home theatre, the CDs, and my computers). Those of you who know me (i.e. if you’re reading this, you should know me, otherwise I don’t know what you received this) realise what that means, I hope.

Okay, now that I’ve gone all gushy, time to get back on topic … whatever it was.

Oh yeah … Jane returning home. So, Allison and I are standing in the airport, staring at the TV monitor trying to figure out which of the hundreds of people exiting the customs area is in fact her sister. Allison was asking me, who had only met her sister at most THREE times before, if it was her. (Of course, this was because I had a better view of the monitor.)

The surprising part was that I did recognise her when she came out. Her white jacket was a bit grungier, her hair was different, and her eyes had the gleam of someone who had seen the world but not slept enough to look quite alert — but it was Jane, only now it was Jane, World Conqueror.

I felt kinda weird. This was (at most) the fourth time I had seen my future sister-in-law. The last time had been in April of 1998. Since then, Allison and I had grown much closer, moved in with each other, travelled to Calgary, California, New York, and Toronto, gotten engaged, and started to plan a wedding. Jane’s (and Allison’s) parents know me quite well (to the point where they talk to me on the phone — not to be just polite, but they are genuinely interested … or at least they seem to be), and her brother Randy and I have conversations (albeit brief ones — Randy doesn’t really stop moving around for too long).

Poor Jane — she had a near-total stranger lunge up and hug her as she arrived home.

I made an effort to talk to her, but at the same time, I preferred that Allison do most of the talking … I figured that a voice Jane was familiar with would be more comforting. I feel like I know Jane fairly well, but that’s mostly because of Allison and her parents. In reality, I barely know her.

I’m still finding it strange realising that there’s another family that I’m becoming a part of, where they acknowledge me as more than some guy Allison hangs around with. Oh well, I guess these are things I’m just going to have to get used to as life goes on. And what a life it’s turning out to be…

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