Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Muted Orchestra and My Not So Dreaded In-Laws

About a decade ago, I was in Sydney with my then boyfriend, that one with the Canadian flag tattoo, the inverted nipples, and the really funny jokes. We sat on the beach at day and did telemarketing at night. For some reason or another, we decided to move back to London. We arrived on a Monday, and on Friday, I fell head over hells in love with the largest tallest, back-hairiest English man on that little island. Farewell, jolly Canadian.

I never actually saw them, but I am sure there was a massive orchestra following us around for at least a year.

I don't hear that orchestra as much now because their sounds have been largely muted by piles of bills and shouts of children. However, they always play a little louder when my in-laws are around. One of the things I love most about The Man is his family.

His father is a garrulous, old retired gamekeeper (ala the antagonist in Danny Champion of the World) who gave my kids the giant ear genes of which I'm so fond. His mother, unfortunately, passed away years before I came along. His step mother is an absolutely amazing retired palliative care nurse, and if I had to choose a personality to have other than my own sparkling personality, I'd choose hers.  And, oh, the cadre of brothers and steps brothers... I've long entertained the idea that it would be swell to live in a country torn by civil war where I get to sequentially be widowed and marry my merry loins through the lot of them.

Luckily, these too deep affections for the brothers have never been a problem because I have always followed the advice that my then best friend, the best thing to come out of France since stinky cheese, gave me before I spent my first Christmas with their family: "Minger," she said, (imagine this statement in a darling French accent coming out of a beautiful Audrey Hepburn face) "Minger, do not get drunk and hit on his brothers." I have managed to follow that great advice for a decade.

Now, I can hear the orchestra a little more clearly because one of The Man's brothers is in town. Whenever his family is around, his accent gets a little stronger, and he seems comfortable and engaged in a way that he never is around Americans. I too often forget that I ripped The Man from his island, and that everything that seems weird to me here must seem doubly weird to him. I wish that I could see them all more often, but mostly, I wish that I could see him see them more often because it's really heart warming to see him so animated.            

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