I usually speak of my in-laws as a huge southern mob and that’s not very fair.
My MIL, FIL, and BIL (Bubba, who’s a doctor lest you get all prejudice with his nickname) are awesome. I am comfortable and included in many outings and conversations where Tom is not involved. Sadly, FIL and I share the bond of recently deceased parental units.
Yes, I did freak out that I was expected to slumber under taxidermy the first time he brought me home. And me, FIL, and Bubba walk a fine line knowing one dip in the political/animal rights pool will be catastrophic. And yes, sometimes it feels like Tom is related to all of Cobb, GA while I barely hold on to relations with my sole uncle.
Except that, they are starting to feel like family too.
After his grandmother’s service, everyone was invited back to the house for lunch. I drove with MIL, while Tom got it in his head he absolutely had to meet a co-worker driving back to FL to give him pecans.
(Have I ever mentioned my FIL is a pecan farmer? Well, he is. It is pretty awesome and means Tom relishes harvesting season when he can get a stash and hand them out exclaiming, “eat my daddy’s nuts!”. You know how I always say I’m a 12-year-old boy maturity-wise? We are well-matched.)
So Tom never made it to lunch. This made for two great bonding experiences-the second being after lunch when I mentioned he got it in his head it had to happen NOW and FIL chuckled and responded, “Can’t imagine where he gets that from…”
The first happened at lunch itself.
I ate with a rotating cast of in-laws and shared my favorite Grandma story ad-naseum since I had so few to begin with.
I ended up at the table at one point with a cousin who knows me pretty well, DM, his brother (who has embraced the dark (aka Yankee) side), and their father, my uncle-in-law.
DM: Where’s Tom?
Me: blah, blah, blah. Pecans.
DM’s Father: What did you say?
DM’s father: And you’re from where?
DM’s father: You’d better not let them hear you say that! It’s Pa-cauns up there!
Me: oh, you guys have done taught me well.
DM: NO! We done LEARNT you well. With a T!
Indeed. I may not fit to a you-know-what, but it certainly is not quite the round-peg-square-hole I make it out to be.