One of the funny things about my moving plan is this: I agreed to move to R's ancestral home without having met, or even spoken to, any of his family.
Not-a-one. Not even on the phone.
And I'll be inheriting a brood. There's dad, there's mom, there's stepmom, there are uncles and aunts, a few cousins and there's a 93-year-old matriarch. All within probably a 50-mile radius.
I'm excited about it, for the most part. So far, they've been terribly sweet. This is good for me, because in the past (long past) I had a boyfriend whose mom thought I was stealing away her baby. It was a nightmare. That's not the case here. They all seem to be (judging by R's reports) genuinely delighted he's found a lady he likes enough to bring home, a lady who likes him enough she's agreed to cross the continent. Whenever he talks to his family back home, they always end the call with messages for me. "Tell Ells we said hi and can't wait to meet her!"
But I'm also kind of nervous. What if they don't like me? What if they don't think I'm pretty enough for him? What if they judge me? What if they hate my dog? I realize these are mostly asinine, insecure thoughts (with the exception of the dog concern. It's totally reasonable to think that she might cause problems), but I can't help it. Fears are fears, you can try to reason with them, but sometimes it's hard to make them go away.
So when R announced that one of his uncles was coming through town with his wife (not the uncle who works with my new internet friend, a different uncle, I was both excited and nervous. I started getting ready hours before our date at a local brewpub. I tried on multiple outfits, checking with my girlfriend, Q.
"Is this cute?" I asked, spinning in front of her in a blue cotton summer dress.
"Yeah, it's cute," Q said.
"Is it too much? I think it's too much."
"It's not too much, it's cute."
It was like a first date.
As we walked into the pub, Uncle was sitting at the table. I spotted R's sparkly blue eyes across the room. As we walked up, he was sort of stuck in the corner, so I reached over and shook his hand. As we chose seats, Auntie returned from the bathroom. She gave R a big hug and then turned to me.
"Hi, good to meet you," I said, putting out my hand.
She looked at my hand.
"Honey, if you're moving to South Carolina, you're going to have to get over shaking hands," she said as she folded me into a big hug.
Seems like a good sign to me.