It was the August long weekend. I had met my wife the previous June, so we had been together for a couple of months. We drove up in her car since I did not know the way (and believe me, it is no easy task to find this place). This allowed me to keep a close eye on what I had believed would be my saving grace that weekend: my cell phone. You see, my wife explained to me that I could not, under any circumstances go out wandering in the bush by myself. I shrugged it off and said that I'd have my cell phone with me and if I got lost I could just call for help. For the last thirty minutes of the drive, my cell phone said two words to me, over and over, "No Signal". It was around this time I started to hear the banjos from Deliverance in my head.
We rolled down the dirt road (that was a far more of an uncomfortable slope than I was used to) and approached the building. I can call it a building because the place is bigger than the house my parents raised three kids in. I would later learn it stands as a testament to how far one man will go to convince his wife to live in the middle of nowhere for their retirement. (Aside: they are never moving up there full time.) It was beautiful. It was scenic. It was picturesque. Of course, I have to take my wife's word for all that - I was still staring at my cell phone and realizing that there was a definite chance my future FIL could kill me and dispose of the body and no one would ever know.
You have to understand something about SciFi Dad. I grew up in the city. I mean, the real city. My parents' house isn't really located in a suburb, just a residential area of a city. And we were across the border from a very big city - one that was the murder capital for a while. Going there was my idea of adventure, not running into the woods and hoping nothing ate me. Crazy people shoot at you for a reason; animals just eat you because you're fleshy and slow moving.
Once I came to terms with the fact that I was completely dependent on my wife for the weekend, and that without her I would surely die (because we both knew if I wasn't with her my inlaws would have left me out in the bush to be eaten by the fishers) we went inside.
A few events stand out from that first weekend. I'll never forget that my wife, in an effort to force us to bond, left her father and I to make up the futons for us to sleep on while she went to get ready for bed. This allowed the following to happen:
FIL: "So should I make up one bed or two?"
Me: "Uh, two, sir."
"Because I know you don't have two bedrooms at your apartment."
Silence. Awkward, painful, silence.
"So two beds then."
If my memory serves me correctly, I did not allow my wife to use the bathroom by herself the rest of the weekend.
The next wonderfully fun anecdote from that weekend came the next morning. I awoke to learn that my snoring had kept.everyone.awake. So now on top of being the asshole who was sharing a bed with their daughter, I was also the guy who kept everyone up all night. Nice. I slept the last two nights on the screened in porch on an air mattress. From the vantage point of the present, the only solace I have in looking back at that story is that now my MIL sleeps on the same air mattress in our office whenever they stay at our place.
And to put a
- city boy in the woods
- unflappable thoughts of Deliverance
- "One bed or two?"
- sleeping on the porch
- warm air + septic problems
What about you? How did the first time you met your future spouse's parents go? (Go ahead and say it: "Not as bad as yours." I know most (all?) of you will.)