Sunday, 18 September 2011
They Passed the Weirdo Test!
You don't just marry an individual - You marry their whole family. My Parents-In-Law live a couple of thousand miles from us in the North of Australia and both are 'grey nomads'. You never quite know where they are at any given time. I'd only met them briefly before I married their daughter but they promised that after they returned from spending two years in the Falkland Islands they'd come visit and 'get to know me'.
And so it was that earlier this year, I unexpectedly got a phone call to say they were only 20 minutes from my front door. Thing is, there was only me at home. Tracey was out teaching and the kids were at school - no one around to help break the ice. This could be awkward. I decided to make it more so...
In that 20 minutes I raced to the pantry and grabbed the aluminium foil. I then crafted a nice 'anti-alien' tin foil hat with a pointed antenna affair at the top, and placed it on my head. They duly appeared at the door and I opened it wearing my new accessory. They stared as I ushered them in but neither said anything.
"I'll put the kettle on - Tea or Coffee?'
They sat at the kitchen table struggling to find words.
"It's great to see you both after all this time!" I said sitting down opposite them.
They stared in silence.
"I was getting worried that we might not see you again before the aliens return in 2012 and fulfil Mayan Prophecy. As you can see we're prepared though. I insist Tracey and the kids have one of these each too." I said pointing to the tin foil hat.
Mouths gaping, they both nodded. I was really impressed by how tolerant and polite they were.
"Only 200 dollars each on e-bay and they work as none of us has been abducted by aliens in ages" I enthused..
My Mother-In-Law spoke first as my Father-In-Law was now squirming around uncomfortably in his chair.
"Oh..." She said, "So..you...err...all have one?"
"Absolutely. The kids are off to school in theirs and Tracey is teaching in hers this morning. You never know when they might strike, best to be on guard. I could order you a couple if you like? I'd like to think you both survive what's up ahead. More so as I've barely gotten to know you." My face never wavered from 'sincerity'.
It was at this point my Sister-In-Law (Whom I know really well) walked through the front door and spotted me at the kitchen table - "Oh for Christ's sake Rory get that bloody thing off your head and stop terrorising them."
I burst out laughing - you could see them visibly uncoil.
We have a terrific relationship - they are genuinely and sincerely lovely people. I often wonder though just what was going through their minds for those few minutes?
Anyway, Brenna announced that she has her first ever boyfriend this week. I told her we'd like to meet him - There's plenty of tin foil in the pantry.