Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Question of the Week

I met my future in-laws at an informal 'dinner out' just two months after Mijnheer van Voorhees and I began dating. It was a little early but they lived quite far away and they had to take what they could get. His 6-year-old brother and I embraced awkwardly (a trend that has never really changed over the last 13 years), his women-folk fretted about how to split the bill (a trend that has never really...etc., etc.) and I stood about in an what-should-I-do manner (a trend...ahem).

In The Quiet Professor, Megan dates The Prat for a year and then is engaged for 6 months before meeting his Unspeakable Mother and, in turn, bringing him home to meet the family. Perhaps she knew, even then, that her sister was not to be trusted around men. Anyway, for someone who lived as close to home as she does (within 100 miles!) I contend that, unless they are unusually awful in some way, this is way too late to be meeting 'his people'.

My question is three-fold:
  • When did you meet the in-laws?
  • Did it go well?
  • What were you wearing and was it calculated to please in any way?


  1. My then future in-laws had a guest staying with them (my mother-in-law's mother-in-law) and they had given her their bedroom - they were sleeping on the pull-out sofa in the living room...that's where I first met them. If that had been me on the sofa bed, I would have killed my son and the story would have had a much sorrier and quicker ending.

  2. Hahaha. I met my mother-in-law (Betty Debbie!) before I ever met my husband. I used to babysit her daughter's crazy kids, and ran into her when I came around to babysit. Our interaction was brief and I didn't think much of her. Fast forward to several months later, and Nathan and I are friends and I went over to his house for dinner and officially met his parents and two of his brothers (even though I met one of them during the aforementioned babysitting). Betty Debbie loved me instantly and told her sisters how awesome I was and how she hoped Nathan would start dating me. He did, and all of her wildest dreams came true. I was scared of Dr. van der Stevejinck for the first few weeks of Nathan's and my courtship. Anytime he'd enter a room, I would say "Sorry," as in, I'm sorry for always being in your house. Then one day he was like, "Rebekah, stop saying sorry. We're happy to have you around." So then I said "Sorry" one last time, and things have been cool since.

  3. Two Brit Hubs means two stories:

    I was shipped off to the UK when I was 15 (yes, my family is/was certifiable . . . and I have the therapy bills to prove it). My cousin, Becky (who was working for the CIA at the time) (yes, really -- could I make this stuff up?) met me and took be to her aunt's mews studio in St. John's Wood. Becky had just broken up with her husband (also a CIA employee) and was living with Dorcle (Germanic nickname for Dora, her real name), who was 76 and epileptic.

    The plan was, as Becky had been recalled to Washington, I would take over the care & feeding of this great-aunt. Yup, they pulled me out of high school for this. Anyway, Becky knew I had cousins on my mother's father's side of the family (Becky was my mother's cousin through the distaff side) so she took me along to Hampstead Heath for tea to meet them.

    And that's when I met my future (by almost 30 years) mother-in-law. (And, of course, Brit Hub 1.0 -- also age 15.)

    With Brit Hub 2.0, it was tragically just a bit too late. His father died in 1982, but his mother, Fiona, is still alive. She has Parkinson's and just after Brit Hub 2.0 and I got to be friends, Fiona fell in her home near Oxford. She recovered, but was never the way she had been before. So although I've met her many times over the past 4 years, she's not really the mother he grew up with. And she has no real idea who I am.

  4. When I met Professor van der Hertenzoon's parents, he and I were strictly business friends. The Christmas break after my father died he invited me to his family home in the Southwest as a diverting adventure because I had never been there before and his parents would be home for a visit from the Middle East where they worked and he thought I would enjoy meeting them.

    I did enjoy meeting and hanging out with his family--I had not a clue that he had developed a romantic interest in me and that every single member of his family, including his parents, knew about it. So I didn't even know to be nervous.

    He did not bring it up with me until we were almost to the airport for my flight home (after a week-long stay) only to promptly (and uncharacteristically) run into the car in front of us at the exit (how un-RDD of him).

    I not only loved, but truly liked, my late mother-in-law--a brilliant, accomplished yet modest and pleasant person to be around. I've adored my father-in-law ever since he told me as his son's fiancee that if parents still arranged marriages he would have picked me *sigh.

  5. "I had not a clue that he had developed a romantic interest in me and that every single member of his family, including his parents, knew about it."--and were they all speaking in Dutch too? Great story and very, very Neels.

  6. You know, looking back on it, I remember they were all smiling at me alot, but I just thought they were a smiley bunch.