We drove to Longmont to have dinner with Ed's family around 3:30 PM yesterday. I've rarely had "meeting the parents" laid out in such an explicit fashion; usually it's been more casual. I was a little bit nervous - I am not great at meeting people anyway, really, though I've gotten way better over time.
Present were Ed's mom (Jean), dad (Ed) and two aunts - Jean's sister Maggie and her wife Kathy (or maybe Cathy, I didn't find out). All except Kathy had the quality that immediately upon meeting them, you felt you knew exactly what they were like. This feeling is mostly illusory, and of course makes me wonder whether I give off a strong immediate impression and, if so, what it might be. It might be best not to know.
Dinner was barbecued ribs and chicken, corn on the cob, sliced bread, and salad. It was obviously not CV, but I wasn't too worried about it. Everything was delicious. I confess that I caused a controversy by putting pepper on my corn - apparently this is considered barbaric (or otherwise wrong) in some quarters. None of the Krohnes did it, and Aunt Maggie got in trouble despite refraining when Kathy claimed that she (Maggie) was the one who had introduced her to the practice.
Ed's dad took us (me and Ed) to the basement and gave me a tour of his extensive collection of HAM radio equipment, computers new and old, model rocketry (including custom-designed - by him - circuit boards to put in the rockets for various purposes), and jewelry-making stuff. He also had a regulation dartboard (which I was warned not to destroy by pulling the darts out wrong), and we played some darts, but not a game. Ed's dad is like Ed (just like Ed's sister Katie suggested) but not quite as open and happy-seeming.
Later, I spent some time in the Aunts' giant RV, which was parked alongside the house so that you could step into it from the yard. At first I was alone just chatting with them, but then Ed came in and we four hung out for a long while. With the Aunts I was more relaxed and open than I had been with the parents - perhaps because of their personalities or maybe just because they were not the parents. In any case, they were pretty delightful, especially Maggie. They were pretty surprised to find that Ed and I have only been dating for three weeks (which, I think it is actually only two weeks, but for some reason I said three), since obviously we seem much more relaxed together than that. Even our jokes have a certain edge to them that you wouldn't expect in the nervous beginning part of a normal relationship. (We're just abnormal is all.)
I didn't get to spend much time with Ed's mom, which I regretted. She and Ed did spend some time discussing his school and work plans and other personal stuff in front of me, but obviously I wasn't going to get involved in that.
Overall I think that the day went OK. I don't really know what impression I may have left on Ed's parents - I didn't really engage with either of them in conversation very much - but hopefully, despite the corn-peppering incident, I didn't give them any reason to actively dislike me.
I somehow managed not to drink any caffeine all day, so I was kind of headachy and irritable by the time we left around 9:15. I got home a bit late and, despite being exhausted, found it really hard to get to sleep.