So the fiancé met my parents yesterday. I’d like to think it went well, considering the warmth with which he hugged my father before he left, but it didn’t start that nicely.
I’ve never really thought much of my parents, and don’t get along with them at all. Mom was basically away a lot; she was (still is, actually) a struggling actor, which, by the way, I would happily give an eye and an arm to be. The thing is, she was really good and deserved more chances than she got, and I always sympathized with her on that front. The trouble is, she is always play-acting, and will mostly choose from among the following parts: aggrieved wife, crestfallen mother, distraught sister and the likes. Tragedy queen, basically. She just can’t be happy.
I also had a brooding old man for a father; one with a chip on his shoulder, ALL the time. He had a violent temper, and I used to get whacked once in a while, but mom suffered in silence for the most part, which brings us right back to tragedy queen part.
They don’t understand why I wanted a divorce (no reason at all, aside from the fact that I had to pretend I was someone else just so we would stay married), or why I want to live with a man before I marry him (which I understand, because Indian society, conditioning, blah blah blah), or why I don’t talk to my sister (the woman who went around my back asking every single friend I had if I was having an affair). And I don’t want to bother explaining.
So between my mother’s financial and emotional insecurities and my father’s temper, the children grew up parenting each other. Well, mostly.
It’s not as though they are bad people. They’re just bad parents, and while I’ve come this close to hating them, I don’t. Not yet. I know that my mother upholds all the traditional Indian values, as my father upholds his ethics. They’re good people stuck with selfish children who don’t listen to them and will do as they please. Children whose ideologies are modern and western by their standards.
But I digress. This is not what this post is about. The fiancé met them both yesterday.
Mom asking the fiancé (believe it or not) – What do you enjoy doing more – marrying women or divorcing them? (He’s been married twice before). Dad following her lead by asking him really intrusive personal questions and wanting to read his divorce papers. My little brother suddenly growing up a million years and asking the father to stop being a jerk. The fiancé taking it all in his stride and holding my hand under the table I frowned too much. Mom insisting that the fiancé have nothing to do with his daughter from his second wife. Dad giving her an earful about the responsibilities that come with parenthood. The fiancé saying really sweet things about me; things other people have said before, but never in front of my parents. Dad rolling his eyes. Mom going all awwww and fawning over him as he ate dinner. Us sitting down together and eating as family for the first time. My heart fluttering as I saw the thunderstorm give way to a sunny sky.
I’m getting married. I haven’t decided the when and how, but I know the why. He makes me feel like I have a family.