From here on, darlings, the story’s not so pretty. (Though recent comments might indicate it stopped being pretty a while ago).

What I skipped in all the aw-ness was the meet the parents bit.

After Em, I had sworn off introducing meaningless boys to my parents. It was, I figured, just not worth the effort. Because no matter what you tell them, parents always panic because they think you’re going to marry the boy in question. Parental-ness goes into overdrive and they begin asking you questions about his family and job prospects. When your answers are the honest ones (“I dont know and couldn’t care less”), they try not to let on, but secretly they’re going crazy with worry that you’re going to marry someone “unsuitable”. So, it’s easiest to save them and yourself the headache by only bothering to bring up those boys that are not of the casual variety. Because that’s another thing parents don’t understand – “casual”.

I can’t remember when V actually met my mother. But I do remember when it became impossible to hide his existence from her.

I had these enormous hickeys (courtesy of V) on my neck. And I had been taking the utmost care to hide them from my mom, through the usual favourites – strategically placed hair, foundation, turtelenecks and the odd scarf.

Just when I least expected, a couple of days after the fact when the hickeys had almost faded, I was stumbling out off bed and to the kitchen for some water, when my mother suddenly shouted: “what’s that on your neck”. I was caught off guard and so predictably unable to lie, because to lie I need oodles of practice, but I tired anyway. “Mosquito bites,” I ventured. “No! I know what they are! They’re those kiss things!” she exclaimed. Which would have been funny (I’m rather proud of my mom for being able to tell a hickey from an insect bite) if she hadn’t been so horrified.

So I had to sit down and tell mom all about V. And then I figured I might as well introduce them. It must have gone okay because I can’t remember it.

My dad had been away on work all this while. Don’t tell him as soon as he comes back, had been my mom’s sage counsel.

Except the moment he arrived and we were all in the same room, she blurts out… “Look at The Bride’s ring from her new boyfriend.” Poor me.

And poor Dad. I then had to break to him that I intended to marry this person. His fearsome daughter who had declared war on marriage. My dad’s always dealt poorly with the existence of men in our lives. Now he blurted out: “But what are his goals and aspirations?”

To which I humbly offered: “He works in a bank.” Which frankly was almost the extent of my knowledge.

Later, V was introduced to Dad, who later offered: “He seems like a nice chap.” I guess given my track record, that was a surprise.

And that was that.

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