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Meet the parents…

On Sunday I bought Babu home to meet my parents! I’ve never really done this before, I’ve only had 2 serious boyfriends before him – the first was when I was 14, so it wasn’t really a big deal at the time, and the second I was friends with befrorehand.  This time was different – like a proper grown up “here he is” sort of thing . . . desi style! scary indeed!

I’d decided it really was overdue for him to meet my dad and re-meet my mum (they met when we met for the first time), this really needed to happen ASAP as I know Babu is keen for our relationship to progress, which I would never feel comfortable with without putting my parents fully in the picture about him.  I don’t know if I mentioned it before but I eventually told them about our relationship after I came back from my cruise in January, that was a bit of a non-event really.  It was relief though because I felt awkward planning any future with him when as far as my parents were concerned we were just friends.

There were a few things I was apprehensive about…

– Would my parents – in particular my dad – struggle understanding his accent? I don’t think it’s that strong, but I’m used to it and probably just Don’t notice it any more.
– Will there be any cultural things that I might be used to but they might see as unusual or uncomfortable?
– Would it feel really awkward? I have no idea how to behave in this sort of situation, would there be awkward silences? I’m not the best conversationalist and my dad is a very quiet man.

And the anxiety built, I barely ate breakfast and I felt on-edge all morning whilst waiting to pick him up from the port.  I collected him late morning, and we took the 25 minute drive back to my house.

My mum opened the door as we pulled into the driveway, so out 2 dogs sat on the threshold wagging their tales excitedly (they’re good, they know not to step over the door!) and we went towards the house.  Now, Babu LOVES dogs, he’s always going on about it when we’re out and about, how he loves them and he wants to get one etc etc.  So, this avid dog lover stands outside my house looking petrified! The worst these two small English springer spaniels could probably do it give you a whack with their over enthusiastic tails!! I eventually coax him in and he is using me as a human shield – my mum was almost wetting herself laughing! With a little more coaxing and a few nervous jumps we got him into the house.

He shook hands with my dad then hugged my Mum.  we stood in the kitchen a while whilst exchanging niceties, and then Babu seemed pretty keen to move off – he wandered into the garden ( I think he wanted to explore) dad showed him the pond, we went back in the kitchen and chatted a little longer.  The first thing that was strange for me was shortly after meeting my dad he moved closer to him and told him he is a “very quiet man – why don’t you talk much?” THIS was HILARIOUS, well, I was laughing inside at least! My dad is a very pensive man, he takes a lot in and talks very little – but no one, apart from my mum (they have been married 28 years) has ever said that to him! I think my dad was perhaps a little taken aback by his directness! Babu seemed keen to move again – my mum asked him if he wanted a seat and he lead the way!  I have read that for Indians it is quite normal to just wander into someone’s house or personal space and I think this was my first experience of it – normally from my experience a guest would wait to be shown around a house. this was fine, just different!

Once sat in the living room more small talk ensued, I was glad that Babu’s experience of shmoozing passengers was coming in useful with my parents, with various topics appearing. Was going well until my mum asked about what he gets up to when he is not working or sleeping. Well . . Babu has taken to praying quite a lot lately – he used to have what I consider to be a good balance of work, social life, sleep & prayer, but now he has ditched the social and some of the sleep for extra prayer – about 3 hours after finishing work at 11.30 every night! he is visibly nackered, and I keep telling him he needs a better balance – but that’s a whole other blog post! So anyway, God came into conversation.

My dad is an Athiest, he isn’t against religion and has an “each to their own” sort of attitude, but I found myself sitting there whilst Babu was trying to tell him what a good idea it would be if he could give just 5 minutes to prayer a day. awkward, he even said that I will be praying soon – also awkward because my view on religion is rather impartial at the moment – I have also discussed this with him – But once again, that’s a whole other post. My dad handled it well thank goodness, but it was definitely a nervous moment for me!

My mum suggested it would be a nice idea for us to walk into town and show Babu the local area.  So we did and it was FREEZING, so not an enjoyable experience for me, and even Babu who proclaims to like the cold was moaning about it! Saw my friend so went and said hi, he was charming with her, then walked back and had lunch…

I Cooked my favourite curry for him, last time it was delicious, if only i had realised the difference changing the cut of lamb and the type of tomatoes used would have! They all said it was nice, but me being the perfectionist I am I was disappointed in my cooking, I barely touched mine! I know he didn’t enjoy it because I could see how he genuinely did enjoy the naan my mum made for us! we live and learn hey!

And then back to the ship, the day went so fast as it always does when we’re together, I could tell he found it difficult going back – this was his first proper time away from the ship in 6 months, even if it only was a few hours.  We drove back in virtual silence, and he didn’t even perk up when I started singing Hindi songs – that usually works due to my bad Hindi and even worse singing voice! when we eventually got the port he took ages to leave my car, we must have hugged and kissed goodbye at least 5 times.  And so, eventually, off he went, both of us feeling so sad, and me worried sick about him – no doubt he will be fine when we speak in a few days but that’s me – I worry.

But, to end on a positive, that’s that hurdle jumped and we’ve landed the other side unscathed, this is surely an indication of good things to come for us!

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14 responses to “Meet the parents…

  • pseudointellectualviewpoint

    That was an interesting picture painted. I did not know that in the West too the approval of parents in relationships was necessary. I may be wrong, in thinking that this is a rarity. You seem like a proper Indian girl 😀
    I am not sure where you heard of Indians being comfortable invading other people’s spaces. I do not think that does happen often. I think it signals how comfortable Babu was with your parents and the whole situation, which bodes well. Of course, you may also have a point because personal space in india is at a premium with even apartment blocks being so close to each other that one inadvertently invades someone else’s space. So this is quite debatable.
    A small request, i love dogs too so maybe you should include pictures of your dogs someday on your blog. Goodluck, like a soap opera i was beginning to miss your blog post. 🙂

    • ria

      You are right, approval is not necessary, or even in particular what I am seeking, however I am an only child and so my parents play a big part in my life and them in mine – more so because I’m 27 and still living at home with them! I have an idea of how mine and Babu’s relationship will be panning out over the coming year, and should we get engaged I would consider it so rude and disrespectful to my parents if I were to commit to marrying a man they had not even met. Ultimately it is my decision, and if I wish to do something I will go ahead and do it, whatever their opinion (they always support me even against their best judgement sometimes!) but that is no reason to cut them off from that part of my life, and even more so by having their involvement it means I also have their support. I guess it’s all about personal values – which coincidentally for me are often similar to those of an Indian family – I think that’s one of they reasons why Babu loves me!

      The space thing I got from a few blog posts I’ve read along the way, but I guess I could also be making a bit of a generalisation – a bit of a by-product of being a farangi with minimal cultural contact – I rely on the wonders of the internet immensely!

      Haha, no such drama here as those soap opera’s, thank goodness, well, for now at least! – keep tuning in 😉

      As for the dogs – Maybe I will set up a gallery at some point of my random photos and include them – Have found some pics to post but where I’m constantly switching computers I don’t have them to upload right now :-s

      • pseudointellectualviewpoint

        Alright Ria, no worries. Whenever you can post the pictures is a good time.
        I can’t help but say that I am beginning to get a bit jealous of Babu now. You made very good points about why you need to have your parents on board. that is really nice. BTW. I think you are referring to yourself in the filipina way when you say farang. in India we say Firangi. 🙂
        The internet is actually a wonderful way to obtain information on just about anything but it has to be weighed carefully because many a time people camouflage opinion as fact. (incidentally this is also an opinion I am trying to portray as fact, but you get the drift)
        I thought you may like these photos as it will give you a glimpse of India until you do arrive here
        http://in.news.yahoo.com/photos/incredible-images-from-india-slideshow/incredible-images-from-india-photo-1336384661.html

        • ria

          Oh, that’s what I thought I wrote, I’m gonna blame a combination of autocorrect and blogging when I should have been working for that typo!

          That gallery doesn’t show very well as I’m browsing on my phone but I’m sure I will enjoy looking at it later!

          • pseudointellectualviewpoint

            Ah a typo then. So you write this at work eh? I am gonna squeal to your boss. :p
            Yeah you should check it in your free time. Have a good evening!

            • ria

              Lol no, not normally, I did that thing where I was blogging in my own time (i get to work pretty early) but then I got a work email and I find it literally impossible not to read a mail at work when the little icon is sat there in the system tray staring at me, next thing it’s half an hour later, I’ve been replying to said email and am back in work time, having forgotten what I was doing in the first place – I’m very committed you see!

              • pseudointellectualviewpoint

                I can empathise with you on that one. with social networking these days, being connected via a smartphone can be a real pain in the arse. Makes you wanna keep checking i guess. If you are still at work, I guess i must stop commenting to let you get on with it!!

                • ria

                  Oh no… Not at work now… Left there hours ago 🙂

                  • ria

                    Oh and I hope you didn’t misunderstand that to mean I’m not doing any work when what I actually meant was my work is constantly infringing on my personal time… Never manage to take my full lunch break 😦

                    • pseudointellectualviewpoint

                      Oh of course I know that! I am sure this is a negligible part of the work day. You seem too sincere a person to be goofing off. I was only teasing you earlier.
                      BTW, you should have a proper lunch break. Work should not infringe on anything that you do, because it is merely a means to an end.

                    • ria

                      Hmm, I know, it is unfortuntaley the cuture of the office, I definately work to live – not live to work – but because it takes mt at least and hour and a half to get to the office every day it means I dont really have a life Monday-Friday anyhow 😦

                    • pseudointellectualviewpoint

                      Well yes I know how that is. I of course dont travel so much but at times i do sit back late. Monday to Friday it becomes difficult to dedicate any time to ones own self. Imagine, 1/3 of the day goes in Occupation the object of which is to fund a better way of living. It gets me sometimes.
                      But i guess ‘meaning of life’ is not the subject matter of this blog lol :p

                    • ria

                      Ah, but no doubt it is a subject that will often be touched upon!

                    • pseudointellectualviewpoint

                      haha yeah, maybe i should pen a blog on that 😀

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