When Families Collide

Yesterday marked the first meeting between my family and my girlfriend’s family. I was nervous, anxious, a little tired from having been nervous and anxious the night before. We met at a restaurant. First, my girlfriend’s family was early and then my family was late. Things seemed bleak. Then everyone was there and it was fine. Our families started talking, people started laughing. My bleak outlook on the night vanished. Later, I got us lost, but we got gelato so it was all good.

It’s always funny how I worry about people not getting along. It started as a child, I think. I was always making friends. Then I’d try to introduce all these friends to each other and they’d generally not get along. It was always a strange sensation. I never really understood why people who I liked, often for similar reasons, rejected each other. It made me paranoid so I stopped inviting friends to hang out for a long time. I’d keep my friends separate. A foolish and lonely thing to do, but it made sense to a child.

The thing is, as a child, friends were made and lost more easily. As adults we seek out those that really mean a lot to us. The relationships have more experience backing them and the pools from which we can pull those friendships are more shallow even as they get broader. But the really strange dichotomy of the situation is that as kids we tried to get away from our parents, but now I love meeting my friends parents. They raised them, they formed who they’ve become up to this point. They should be interesting people in their own right. Yet somehow I don’t always have the same faith in my own family being interesting as much as I do others. Last night showed me that I should have more faith in the folks who raised me. They may be old hat to me, but they’re vibrant and interesting people to everyone else.

Now, I’ve got to get ready for a day of visiting my girlfriends extended family before a bunch of board games.


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