As Andy noted in a comment on my blog, I did meet his aunt, uncle, and cousins before I met his immediate family. He insisted that this should have prepared me for his parents. I disagree. MOST STRONGLY. We are at something of an impasse. Bring out the Iocane powder!
In an effort to avoid the Iocane, I will tell the story. We’ll call it “Ballot Measure A.” Readers can approve or reject. Vote “Yes” to approve and agree with Andy: you believe meeting Andy’s extended family was a clear indicator of future parental reaction to the white girl. Or vote “No” and reject Andy’s delusion that the uneventful-to-the-point-where-I-have-nearly-forgotten-it dinner in any way readied me for meeting his parents.
We will now pause for a public service announcement.
VOTE NO ON “A”. FALSE ADVERTISING IS NOT A VICTIMLESS CRIME.
We now return to our previously scheduled blog.
I first met the extended family at a Long Beach Brewery/Restaurant. Engineer Cousin and her Quite White husband arrived first, followed by Andy’s Aunt (Yee-Mah), Uncle (Yee-Jerng), and their #1 Son, Freddy. Yee-Mah sat next to me, told how happy she was to meet me, how happy she was that Andy met me, and how smart and wonderful Andy was. Engineer Cousin and Quite White expressed similar sentiments. They said the family had pretty much adopted Andy when he moved to LA, inviting him to all holiday gatherings. They also said he’d never brought a girl before.
Quite White laughed and said, “Yeah, he only brings beer!”
I asked, “Why beer?”
“Cuz…we like beer?”
“No, no, why don’t you have him bring a meal?” I frowned at Andy, who waved his hands at me out of Quite White’s view and shook his head vehemently. I didn’t understand. So I ignored him, determined that my love not hide his light under a bushel. “He’s a phenomenal cook. Haven’t you had his spicy Thai tofu? Or his goat cheese ravioli? Or his fillet mignon with gorgonzola?”
As one, the entire family turned to Andy and said, “No.”
Andy stared at the table and muttered, “You just wrecked it for me, honey. Beer was so easy.”
Good-natured ribbing followed. Well, mostly good-natured. Apparently Quite White had done all cooking for big events up to that point – and there were a lot of them. Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Years, Easter, Memorial Day, 4th of July, ski trips, birthdays, etc. He was more than a little put out to find that Andy had held out on him. Quite White’s good nature only returned after he extracted a promise of Andy’s fillet mignon when we all met up again in a few weeks for a game night.
Halfway through dinner, Chronically Late Cousin and her fiancé, Bubba, arrived. They expressed delight over meeting me, and perhaps more authentic delight over learning Andy would be cooking at game night.
Our meal ended with a battle for the check. Apparently Engineer Cousin and Quite White usually win, but Quite White was a little slow this time. Deliberately. He might have even pointedly nudged the check at Andy.
Andy took the hint and grabbed the check. Yee-Mah ripped it out of his hand. She passed it to Yee-Jerng. Yee-Jerng raced for our server, who was behind the bar. Chronically Late Cousin had strategically left the table for the restroom a minute earlier, though. She ambushed her father two feet in front of the bar. Yee-Jerng feinted left. His daughter bought it. A sweet spin move later (I found out later that Yee-Jerng still played soccer), and Yee-Jerng presented the check and cash to the bemused server. I applauded. Bubba patted his dejected fiancée and told her to stay on her toes next time. Chronically Late (who was also a Fashion Plate) pointed to her three-inch heels and indignantly said, “I was!”
On the way home, Andy told me Yee-Mah had pulled him aside. “Autumn is so pretty!” she gushed. “And so nice. I like her very much.”
So there you have it. I might not have received the much-vaunted Chinese red envelope of approval (and cash), from Auntie, but I dare any of you to vote “Yes” on Ballot Measure A now.