Our drive up to meet his parents and some of his siblings is rough. Right before we got in our separate cars he had been super impatient. He had been impatient all weekend. Owen was stressed that his friends weren’t doing anything fun. He wanted everyone to get moving. Instead of helping people along and being kind and generous with his behaviors, he would charge ahead, leaving other people to carry all of the things. Frustration without helpful actions. I was tired of it. I hadn’t said anything all weekend, but now that we were alone, I snapped.
His whole demeanor changed. I automatically knew that I had cut deep. I apologized for snapping but the damage was done. He said he was fine and got in his car.
Twenty minutes in to the drive, he calls me.
“I’m not okay”- O
“I know”- LD
“You are 100 percent right. If I’m going to be impatient, I could also be helpful. You’re right. However, you could have told me this when we were hanging out with Big Sexy and HLM or with BFF and BFF’s Wife. Literally, any other time than right before I take someone home to meet my family for the first time. I’ve been looking forward to this. And now I have to figure out how to get over this so my parents don’t notice that something is wrong. Gah, Le Distraire. Any other time.”- O
He’s right. I could have continued to be patient. Shit. He is crushed because apparently he’s nervous. He’s denied it this whole time. But I know he is. Especially now. Mister Chill Fun Party Guy is actually Stressed Out Planner Control Guy.
“I’m truly sorry Owen. I know what this means to you. I wasn’t planning my timing. I made a mistake and let it just come out. I was frustrated and exhausted from this weekend and I messed up. I’m not perfect. I can’t always plan everything. And I’m sorry”-O
We go back and forth a few more times with him reiterating how important this day was. Like I don’t know that. Like I haven’t been a saint of a girlfriend with a smile and open arms for all of his crazy. I’M FUCKING EXHAUSTED. And also sad. Is there anything worse than hurting someone you care about? We talk like this until he’s good and fine. I’ve apologized 5 different ways and he feels good. Me? I’m crying. I’m so tired. Is this what a relationship is? I’ve forgotten how much work they can be. Does he not want me to meet his family now? I would hate that.
“I’m so sorry Owen. We’re about to hit the split in the highway where I could go left to my sister’s…I have been so excited to meet your family. And I was super happy and excited to show you off to my family. I wouldn’t want this moment to feel obligatory to you. If you want, I can go to my sisters?”- LD
“Le Distraire. No. Stop. I don’t ever want you to ask something like that ever again. I am so proud of you and happy that you’re the person I’m taking home. It’s ridiculous that you think so little of us and how committed I am to you that you would question that. I’m bringing you home and that’s it. I said what I needed to say and heard what I needed to hear and I’m okay now. Are you okay?”
I whiff out a little huff. I’m okay. We hang up. I attempt to de puff my red cried out face.
We get there, and I’m immediately greeted by 2 of his 4 brothers. They hug and look thrilled to see him. Immediately, I love seeing him relax. I walk in to a kitchen full of his family. His mom hands me a blended margarita in a “dog lover’s” glass. It’s loud and goofy and diverse and relaxed and obnoxious and everything I thought it would be.
I jump from person to person, especially the ones that married into the family. It’s always good to win those ones over. His mom is quick to ask me lots of questions and stick close. Owen pours himself too much whiskey in his drinks. They all drink a little too much. You can see where he gets it. His stepdad observes me from afar. He doesn’t ask me much. His fully biological brother turns out to be my favorite. He’s sweet and you can tell that his and Owen have a special bond. Owen sits outside with some of his family and they ask if my family is religious. He tells them about our mission trips in the Philippines when I was younger. I get nervous that they’re asking him about this. And hoping that he is gracious and kind about it and doesn’t secretly berate it with him. Later, I joke that he was “talking shit about me outside earlier”. He responds with “oh no no. Only good things” and smiles. It makes me feel better. That night its just his parents, his sweet brother, and me left. We eat leftovers and watch a movie.
We climb in to the same bed that night (I still can’t with this. I don’t care if its a religious thing or not, it still feels very weird to do this at someone’s parents house). I can tell he’s relaxed and feels better. I do too. It’s nice to see how much his family loves each other. We wake up next to each other and he’s just staring at me. We don’t talk. Just holding each other close and kissing and touching and its all very quiet and intimate and pressed together. I’m thinking about how overwhelmed I feel with learning so much about him. About how different our backgrounds are. About how we handle stress and old friendships and deep family connections. And I’m fascinated and scared by how close I still feel to him. I know he’s in love with me. I know I’m in love with him. I’ve been saving myself for a long time. I thought about letting that go with the last guy I dated. But I waited. That morning, we were close. He held me tight and told me how stunning I am. Smart. Wonderful. Beautiful. That he was crazy about me. But he wanted it to be perfect. I did too. I knew that. I also knew it felt like the loveliest feeling to desire someone and also to be in love with them. He holds me back, staring at me with his big brown eyes. He gapes his mouth a few times like he’s going to speak. He doesn’t. I ask him what’s wrong? Is he mad at me? He laughs and whispers he’s the furthest thing from mad. But he’ll tell me later.
Okay, darling. But I already know.
I love you too.