Today, I did the one thing that most guys dread when they get into a relationship.
I met the parents.
This was something Erin and I had discussed several times over the last week or so. It sounds like a huge deal, I’m sure. It means I’m getting serious — why would I meet her parents otherwise, right?
Things aren’t quite that serious. In fact, the primary reason I’m meeting her parents isn’t because I need to start calling them "Mom and Dad", but because they’re an important part of Erin’s life. She sees them almost every weekend, and talks to them almost every day. It’s the same as introducing Erin to Scott when he was in town.
So, with that in mind, we took off from Calgary late this morning for Nanton, a small town about 45 minutes south of the city. It’s an easy drive — Highway 2 runs right through the middle of town, and Erin and I rarely stop talking.
Erin was trying to psyche me out. Although this was important to her, she was trying to have as much fun with it as possible. But despite trying as hard as she could, Erin was more nervous about me meeting her parents than I was. (Of course, it helps to have gone through this before, but on a bigger scale.)
Erin’s parents met us at the door. I presented Erin’s mom with a bouquet of flowers in thanks for hosting us for the day. (My mother drilled into me the need to make sure that I don’t show up empty-handed.) Erin’s dad was quick with a handshake. Within minutes, I had a "slush" in hand — basically, a home-made bellini. (If you don’t know what a bellini is, just think of it as an alcoholic Slurpee.)
Now this is when you’d expect 20 Questions. In fact, we ended up starting down a path quite humourous. It’s called "Make Fun of Erin".
I know what you’re thinking — this is risky business. This is the sort of thing that gets me in big trouble with the significant other. For the record, I didn’t start this — Erin’s dad did. Erin and her father have an odd relationship of constantly badgering each other. I just jumped on the bandwagon when I had the opportunity to get a couple of jabs in. I caught a few "oooooh, you’ll get yours" glares from Erin, but haven’t (as of yet) received anything in return.
Erin’s an only child, so is close to her parents. But make no mistakes, Erin is not the spoiled brat one might expect. Erin’s upbringing was controlled (which led Erin’s mother at one point to declare "there’s only one thing we didn’t let you do", which of course took on the wrong connotation and nearly left me in convulsions). Erin doesn’t get away with much, especially with her father on her case. (I just tagged along for the ride.)
We had loosely planned to visit for a while and then go look at all the antique stores in Nanton. But soon we were into the Las Vegas photo albums, and Erin’s dad hauled out their rather impressive collection of Canadian Mint coins. Before we knew it, it was dinner time.
Beef tenderloin, cabbage salad (from which the mushrooms were withheld because someone had told Erin’s parents that mushrooms and I don’t get along), cheese bread, baked potatoes, and beans. Far more than I’d ever expected, and all delicious. We talked almost the entire dinner.
And did I mention the bundt cake? Erin’s mom made a cake based on her aunt’s recipe. It comes with a white chocolate glaze that just about sent my blood sugar count through the ceiling. And worth every vibrated tooth.
But before long, it was just past 20:00, and we had to head back to the city. It’s a 45 minute drive to Erin’s, and it’s another 20-30 minutes to my house. I need to make sure I hit the gym tomorrow to try and work some of the dinner off.
We’ll be back. I’ve been invited for Thanksgiving. The question is who’ll be the bigger turkey: me, or the bird.