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!