Thursday, July 5, 2012

How to Know When Your Daughter's Boyfriend is Officially Part of the Family

Bobby and Meelyn haven't been a couple for long, but they seem rather permanent, which just goes to illustrate that when you know, you know. My husband and I are great believers in knowing, since we got married six weeks after we met. Bobby's parents got engaged after their third date. My parents showed a certain measure of restraint by waiting for something like eight weeks after they met before they tied the knot, but that's only because all the Saturdays at the church in Mt. Summit were already reserved. And considering that we've all been married, respectively, twenty-one, twenty-five and almost-fifty years, I think we have a good track record for being People Who Just Knew.

So when Bobby isn't working, he's usually here. He does the kinds of things other family members do, such as sitting on the couch eating Pringle's potato chips, drinking a Coke and commenting loudly on the stupidity of whatever movie we're watching on Netflix. Or he's engaged in a debate about who, exactly, is going to get in the car and drive to the nearest Redbox to rent a different movie after we all give up on Netflix. Or he's making poop jokes while we're eating dinner, which has possibly done more to endear him to my husband than anything else I could think of. Or he's yelling, "SHUT UP!!! GEEZ!!!!" at the dogs, who deserve it.

But the other day, something happened that confirmed Bobby's place in our family, which has suddenly not just added another person, but also added a lot more heart, although you may wonder if I've lost my mind when I explain the circumstance that marked him forever as One of Us.

It was an almighty hot day and my husband was at work and Meelyn, Bobby, Aisling and I were hanging around the house, drooping limply over the furniture. I was so bored, I thought I was going to implode, and since I'd already done three loads of laundry and cleaned up the kitchen TWICE, I felt like I deserved a little break. So I grabbed my keys and said, "Who wants to go to Starbucks? I'm buying."

The resulting stampede nearly knocked me out the front door and down the porch steps, and after we finally sorted ourselves out and shooed the dogs back inside (they're not allowed to drink coffee, even though all three of them like it and will totally slurp it right out of your mug if you don't keep a close eye on it) and got the people inside the hot van, Aisling and Bobby had started one of those pointless arguments that sounded like this:

Aisling: No, it didn't.

Bobby: Yes, it did.

Aisling: No, it DID NOT.

Bobby: Yes, it DID TOO.

Aisling [witheringly]: Nuh-uh

Bobby [unperturbed, toying with her]: Yes-huh

Aisling [yelling]: NO IT DIDN'T!!!

Bobby: [raising his voice, mocking] YES IT DID!!!!


[brief moment of silence]

Bobby [very, very quietly]: youuu got in trouuuuble....

Aisling [goaded beyond endurance] SO DID YOU, YOU STUPID BUTT!!!!

See what I mean? You can get to know people and you can really like them and all, but you will never really get them and they will never really get you, but they're very nice all the same. Then there are those people who can come to your house and fall in love with your daughter and eat your potato chips and know exactly how to torment her younger sister, giving her the opportunity to have the older brother she never had, and you can  think, "Here are my kids. My three kids," and share that thought with your husband, who will say, "I know just what you mean."

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