Last Friday, Bryan traded in his usual paperboy cap for a yarmulke, his Nederland soccer jersey for a button-down shirt, and sat with my family for a Passover seder. Underneath the table he kept his hand on my knee and respectfully listened to every word, whether he understood it or not. He engaged in conversation with my eccentric relatives and brought out the dishes for dessert.
Saturday, we woke up late and relived the events of the evening prior. The crazy aunt who wouldn’t stop talking, the couple who didn’t take off their shoes, and the fact that this was the first year I can remember where a relative didn’t chase me around the table with an egg. Maybe Bryan had given them hope that I wasn’t a lesbian or a woman destined for a life with cats after all.
On Sunday, he picked me up from my parent’s house, loaded the car with all my crap, and took me to meet his family for the first time.
And this is where we had our first fight.
I say first, but that’s not entirely correct. Our first argument happened weeks ago, but it was more of a squabble. Obviously I won’t get into the details of it here but I bring it up because I realize I was giving the impression in my last few posts that our courtship has consisted of sweet nothings and beautiful proclamations of love. There has been a lot of that, yes, but I’m choosing to hold on to those lovely, tender moments because I know they can fade with the passing of time.
Bryan and I are still fresh and far from perfect. The excitement and butterflies are omnipresent. But what we haven’t quite figured out are all the nuances of our relationship. We’re still awkward when it comes to fighting, which made the first one challenging for us both. A wordsmith by trade but a pacifist by nature (except when my stubborn side comes out), I tend to mix up words and meanings and make really ineffective arguments in the heat of the moment. I totally suck at fighting. And while Bryan isn’t much better at it than I am, I can tell he’s still testing the water and would rather just drop it after a few go-rounds if we haven’t already reached an agreement.
We sat in silence for much of the trip but the few words that were exchanged were heated. Once we arrived at his parent’s house, I reached for the Easter lily in the backseat I had chosen for his mom. My heart stopped. All of a sudden, I felt the shortness of breath and I became anxious and sad and upset that we had to have this argument now as I was on my way to meet his relatives for the first time.
Bryan came around the car, reached for the lily and kissed me on the forehead. “It’s okay, Mooi. We’ll figure it out later.” He smiled. I relaxed. And I went in to meet the family.
I know we’ll figure it out. But the first fight always sucks.
And despite the dark cloud that sat above our car on our way to New Jersey, I think his family liked me. It helps when you bribe the little ones with toys. What? Like you wouldn’t have done the same thing.
Do you remember your first fight? Was it over something stupid? How did you resolve things? Wishing you all a very happy weekend, my sweet ones!