Things you find out when visiting your significant other’s parents.
Backstory: I’m a full-time student in a long-distance relationship. If I want to visit the fella, I need to scrape up gas and grocery money to drive to yon neighboring country, but any other accommodations besides his parent’s house are out of the question. Because, you see, he lives with them. He could afford his own place, but his family all actually like each other, so he stays and is able to put a lot more towards his student loans. His family is great, and while his mom likes to gnaw on her sons’ girlfriends a bit, she honestly isn’t so bad. I’ve seen much worse.
His mom has put a lot of effort into the family photo albums. The photos are all numbered, and she’s put in little captions designed to spur the “tour guide” of the album to tell stories or dredge up memories relating to the photos on that page. For example, we turned the page and saw a pic of a boy scout parade (ok, Beaver Scouts for the tiny Canuckians) and he groaned “oh, I remember this, I hated that parade, hated hated hated… let’s move on” then he quickly turned the page to more pictures of the parade, with the handwritten caption “he still gets mad when he thinks about this.”
Here’s what I learned from a perusal of just a small fraction of the photo albums they have, on the last visit:
He smurfed a kid once. I knew he was weird (I’m weird, and we’re like two peas in a pod, thus he is weird), and I knew he loves the Smurfs, but I didn’t know how deep his obsession ran. One day, when he was little (but I got the feeling big enough that it wasn’t accidental toddler vandalism), he and a friend were left alone while coloring with markers. When the kid’s parents came, out they trotted… he had colored in nearly every inch of his friend’s face in solid blue. He’d gotten a few retaliatory marks, but the other kid was really, really smurfed.
Shortly thereafter was photo day. I didn’t get to see the photo, but I’m told that when you looked at the rows of kids in the class photo, you could clearly make out one blue face. Now I’m a lot more cautious around him when he’s gazing longingly at the food coloring.
He went through a goose phase in high school. I knew that teenage boys go through growth spurts, but jeez. He’s a stocky guy. Thick, solid, average height. But looking through the photos, all through high school he looks like someone grabbed him by the chin and centrifuged him. I stared at those photos for a long time, because the change was just so dramatic. I still can’t quite wrap my head around it. Before that, the only photo I’d seen of him in his high school years was this prom pic, which I always thought was adorable, but now looking back on it I can see he’s kind of half-goose there. This is what he looks like now (and that’s me with him). He’s 24. While we’re at it, what the hell happened to his hair? Anyway. Another interesting contrast is that the friend in the prom pic with him looks very much the same. Almost makes you feel sorry for the poor fellas, having to be stretched out and squished back again in such a short period of time, but then you remember bras and periods and can’t sympathize too much.
He was a boy ahead of his time. You know those things (“food”) of peanut butter in the form of a processed cheese slice? That you just peel open the plastic and slap down a peanut butter pancake? When he was very little, just tall enough to reach over the top of the kitchen counter, he and his little brother were hungry and decided they wanted a peanut butter sandwich. So he gots all of the ingredients together… but he’d always been too short to see his mom’s hands when she made the peanut butter sandwiches. He thought he had it all figured out, except for one step… how did she get the peanut butter flat before putting it on the bread? He guesstimated that she spread it out on the counter first… but he can’t reach the counter. Hmmm, where to find a flat surface that they can reach… TV!
I’ve decided that I don’t want boy children.
Between your writing skills, your obvious sense of humor, your patience with his family and the fact that you look Really Cute ™ in the photo (not flirting here, just sayin’) I hope your boyfried realizes that he is One Lucky Guy ™…