Meeting your spouse’s family.
It was an odd thing to meet my wife’s family; having only a small one of my own. I was not comfortable, and for many of the same reasons I imagine anyone would be. How would they judge me? What would they think?
Still there were other things I felt. I’m simply not used to being around ‘Adults.’ Even now it makes me uncomfortable, I feel at times like I should be both submissive and yet my natural independence longs for some chance to rebel.
I’ve tried to explain to my wife – when you are alone for so long and you have been relatively successful in life, through both hard work and also a good amount of luck…I have a hard time not judging my wife’s parents in turn. If they judge me, so shall they be judged.
I wonder if I will ever be truly comfortable around adults – there is still that fundamental longing for acceptance, for family. Did my father leave me because he didn’t really care? Why didn’t he take care of himself?
My dad died of heart disease – he was overweight, a heavy smoker and had started his own law firm. He was not yet successful. He died in a post office in San Francisco. Apparently he was standing patiently waiting in line and some time later, while waiting passed out. He never recovered as far as I know.
I never felt that way about my mom. I watched her grow weak and die over the course of my junior year of High School. You can try to stop the Big C, but Cancer is a destroyer. I figure if I live long enough it is what will kill me. I will save writing about her death for a separate post.
I don’t feel like my Father-in-law could replace my dad. I don’t think any man could. My expectations have been set too high. I don’t know what it’s like to have a dad and all that I know about comes from Mass Media – Television, Music and Movies. All extremes – it is rare for there to be a middle ground; tension, conflict drive the narrative and if a father plays the central role…the father drives the narrative – is part of the conflict and the tension.
Perhaps I’m too old – I’ve got too many walls, the calluses that cover this wound are too thick. Still I had hopes that perhaps my father-in-law would become my father, though logically I know that isn’t possible. I can’t really speak to him except through my wife – he speaks only Mandarin and Shanghainese and I’m not even conversationally proficient in either.
Still I thought I would feel more when I met them – instead I did not. I should feel more I suppose, at some point we’ll be taking care of them.