So the first time I met L.’s family, I think they asked me three questions between all of them. (Not an exaggeration, by the way. I think it was: where are you from, what do you do, how did you meet L.) They are conservative, reticent people, but good and nice people all around. The lack of third degree was fine by me, anyway, since meeting my significant other’s parents, siblings, etc really brings out the social anxiety in me. (As if it’s ever far beneath the surface, ahem.) Also, L. and I did the meet the family thing crazy fast: we had not been dating very long when he was planning to go to Boise for a long-scheduled visit, and on a very last minute impulse, I came along. He sprung it on his mom via text (it’s debatable whether she even knew I existed at that point) but they were all gracious enough to not make a big deal out of it.
Anyway, when we visited last weekend, everyone (including me) had loosened up a little. I talked more, they talked more, one of L.’s nieces actually came and gave me a hug before leaving (which was really sweet, thank you, M.) Things went as smoothly as you can get a “seeing potential in-laws for the third time” to be. But this Friday, for July 4, we headed up to Soda Springs to hang out with a bevy of cousins and aunts and uncles, and one grandfather, for the day. And heaven help me, I needed all the introvert social skills I could muster to get through that day, as these people? Not reticent at all.
We got up at 4AM to be in Soda Springs around 8, and then headed to the (very small-town USA) parade, which was kind of awesome. It had farming floats, and multiple teams of cheerleaders/dancers/drill squad-ers, and trucks throwing candy, and more trucks throwing candy, and kids running to pick up candy, and a lot of flags. I wore red, white, and blue (it was subtle, but still, it counts), learned that you more you cheer for floats, the more candy they throw you, and that not all cheerleaders/dancers/drill squad-ers can dance and walk at the same time and will back up the parade. Good knowledge to have, obviously. I also learned how useful those years of researching Mormons really were in that the Mormon-speak didn’t faze me, even if I did have to bite my tongue a couple times. All that aside, L’s relatives are really lovely people and welcomed me with open arms. The drive home, however, occurred in blessed silence and it was the best ever.