Christine here. We have entered a new era in our household: that of the daughter’s serious boyfriend as a houseguest. Over New Year’s, my daughter went to visit her college boyfriend’s family for a long weekend, and now his visit to our house is the expected reciprocation.
I have the usual difficulties with house guests of any kind: they make me fight my natural tendency toward supreme disorganization, so I always start off somewhat resentful. He looked obliquely at my piles of wool and braids stacked high in the dining room; I also saw him notice the collection of scissors, hemostats, needles, and clothespins on the coffee table as he searched for a place to set down his coffee cup. But, he’s a nice boy/man, and very sweet with my daughter, so he has that going for him.
One of the selling points for this boyfriend is that he is a science fiction geek like the rest of us in this family. He is able to compete on the same level as the rest of us for Original Series Star Trek trivia. (Name of Spock’s fiancée when he “killed” Captain Kirk? T’Pring.) My daughter has coerced him into agreeing to watch the entire compendium of Star Trek: Voyager episodes. He has the habit of speaking to cats in a Yoda voice, which I found amusing when I first heard it. But, we have 6 cats, so that’s a lot of Yoda.
My daughter and he came into the kitchen this morning while I was doing dishes and, after standing there expectantly for a minute, she began to make him breakfast. Her usual pose while in the kitchen is complete ignorance of all things culinary, but there she was making coffee and toast and pouring juice and setting out dishes and napkins. I am beginning to see some benefits of her having a boyfriend.
I know, with a 17-year old son in the family, that I should be used to a big young guy moving around the house. But my son usually skulks in his room and slips out only for kitchen forays before returning silently to his bat cave. This boyfriend actually engages with me verbally, wishing me good morning and asking me questions. It almost made me drop the dishes to have a young man speak to me… and before noon on a Saturday, no less. If I want my son to talk to me, I have to yell at him to yank out ear buds and… once I start yelling, I tend to continue yelling, so things never go well. Thus, it’s weird to have a pleasant and conversational young man in the house.
My mother has often told me that one of the most amusing aspects of parenting was meeting the young men my sister and I brought home. She has told me quite clearly that she wouldn’t have picked either of her son-in-laws personally, but they both seem to have hung in there with me and my sister so she thinks they’re All Right. This young man visiting my daughter is the first one who has been formally introduced to us as an important guy… it’s obviously unknown whether he will stay or go in her affections. We’ll have to see. But, at least he’s fiber-mess tolerant, which is a plus in my book.