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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

I Wooed Them With My Sweet Tooth

One of Mama Kat's writing prompts for this week is to tell about what it was like to meet our in-laws for the first time.  As many of you know, I have a bit of a unique situation when it comes to in-laws/extended family.  I still have Darin's extended family in addition to Charlie's extended family.  

I will never forget the first time I met Darin's mother, grandmother and sister-in-law.  We had only recently started dating, meeting on my 23rd birthday, set up by his cousin and a friend of mine, Dana, who were dating at the time.  I was currently in an off stage of a longtime on-again/off-again relationship and Darin...well, he actually had a longtime girlfriend (though I didn't know that when I agreed to meet him) but he reluctantly agreed to meeting me because he knew that his relationship was on its way down the drain anyway.  

We hit it off big time and both immediately cut all ties with our Mr. and Ms. Wrongs.  

My birthday was April 19th (the night we met) and this was Mother's Day weekend so just a couple of weeks later...

He had not yet gotten around to telling his parents he had a new girlfriend and I knew that.  But Dana, who was dating his cousin, asked me to go to a mother/daughter banquet with her and her boyfriend's (Darin's cousin...did you get that?) mother at their church which just so happened to be Darin's and his parents' church. It's a small southern town so you get the idea.

Darin's mother, his sister-in-law and his grandmother were all at this banquet as well but of course they didn't know me from Eve and I wasn't about to introduce myself to them before Darin had even gotten the chance to tell them I existed. 

We had finished our meal and had gone to the dessert table where I loaded my plate down with a little bit of everything (Oh, what I would give to be able to eat like that and stay that skinny still today!).  As we were walking back to our table, we paused at their table and Dana said, "This is my friend, Diane. She's Darin's new girlfriend!"  

Ohhh....Sh*t.  Girl, no you di'int.   

Well of course that got their attention real fast since none of them even knew he'd broken up with his other girlfriend. They all three turned their heads in unison and began giving me the once over with their astonished faces. 

His grandmother (Momaw) said, "Well, I didn't even know Darin had a new girlfriend!"  

And I, the painfully shy introvert, wanted to die.  I wanted the floor to open up and swallow me and my plate full of cake too. 

I don't recall what Pat, my now mother-in-law (who I love to pieces, by the way) said, if anything, but I remember my sister-in-law, Debbie, who is married to Darin's brother, said, "I see she likes to eat!  That's good!"

And we walked back to our table on that note where I probably had a WTH? conversation with Dana (who I still love to pieces, by the way).  

Fast forward thirteen years to 2007...

Charlie and I had been dating for a few months.  I had met his teenage daughter (the youngest of his three children) but had not yet met any of his other family. 

He decided it was time to rectify that by having a cookout at his house that would include me and the boys, his children (at least the two who lived in the of them did not at the time), his mother and her husband, his dad and his wife, his uncle, his sister and her husband and a cousin, I think.  

And I agreed to it! 

When the time came near though I began to wonder what in the world I could have possibly been thinking to take on all that at once because I was a bit of a nervous wreck inside.  

His mother and I were in the kitchen shortly after everyone began arriving and she was looking for condiments. She asked me if I had any idea if Chuck (they all call him Chuck) had thought to buy any condiments.  I said I was pretty sure he had but did not know where they were.  

And I won't ever forget what she said to me next because we still bring it up frequently.  She said, "You know...Chuck doesn't think about details...He's a big picture guy...He's an entrepreneur... And those entrepreneurs just don't think like the rest of us! All Chuck knows is he's got a grill!"

She was right but I still love him to pieces.  And he did buy the condiments.  

The cookout turned out to be a success.  I think it was the homemade banana split ice cream I made from a recipe that I got from Pat and Debbie...  

I'm not sure if it's entirely true that a way to a man's heart is through his stomach but it certainly does seem to be true of his family!

My mom, Me, and my Mothers-in-law, Pat and Linda

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  1. What a beautiful picture. You are blessed though you lived through such heartache to still have an added family to love in life. I feel so blessed that my daughter-in-love considers us her family even after our son's death. You give me such hope with your heart full of love for Darin's family.

  2. What a neat story! I think it's so great that you're so close with them all.

    I am not a huge fan of my Ex's parents. They mean well, but always seem to say the wrong things to me AND my kids. AND then there was the time their son decided to tell them I was a coke addict AND THEY BELIEVED HIM!

    Now, Tony's Mom... she's a peach. Course I don't speak Portuguese so I can't understand a word she says...

  3. What a beautiful bride you were! I love that picture of you with all the ladies in your life. I'm sure you're special to each one of them!

    (As to your comment on my blog today, the dog's name was "Dick Shepherd" and he lived a long happy life with my mom's big family!)

  4. I am still cracking up over the "I didn't even know he had a new girlfriend" bwhahahhaha!!!!
    And yes, I'd love to be able to be carefree when eating sugary goodness. Seems to me that even if I so much as think about sugar...I get a third cellulite dimple on my rear.

  5. It is nice to read a story about great in-laws. Mine are great too, but our first time was awkward and it took a few years to feel comfortable with them. Though you have experienced quite a difficult trial in your life, I think it is awesome how the Lord has brought you thru it and created such a beautiful story in you.

  6. You are a lucky girl to have double the family and they're all so loving, accepting, and warm.

    This was just wonderful to read. :)

  7. Lovely picture. So glad to hear that you maintain your relationships with ALL of your in-laws.

  8. What neat stories. And what a beautiful picture!

  9. Such a beautiful picture, Diane! You are one lucky lady to have such awesome in-laws. I think that's quite a rarity in most situations.

  10. Beautiful story! And beautiful picture!

  11. Gracious Girl! I'm was reading along, smiling and giggling thinking what cute stories these were and then I got to the picture and NOW I'm crying! What a wonderful blessing!

  12. Love that you can make those awkward moments funny... what a blessing to have people like that in your life!