Thursday, January 10, 2013

drum roll please

Well folks, It's the moment we've all been waiting for.  The newlyweds are home from their honeymoon and now we will find out what we've wondered for so many months...

As one of the oldest in my family, I have always looked after my little siblings.  Back in the day, when I took the younger ones to the swimming pool I wouldn't rest for a moment.  I would constantly count the faces sticking up out of the water: "One, two, three, four, five (pause) one, two, three, four, five (pause) one, two, three, four, five...".  You get the picture.  No one was going to drowned on my watch.  Then there was that time I threatened to beat up a girl for shoving Hannah.  (Can you believe I did that!)  Not my finest moment --but she never touched her again.   And of course, I made Grant come with me to the ladies room till he was 10.  Things like that.  I took care of them.

As everyone got older this role I found myself in begin to look different.  The littles no longer needed me to keep them away from strangers, but rather protect them from the ones that wanted to be more than just friends.

"Ok, ok."  I'd nod to myself when a new boy entered the picture.  "Let's see what you're made of."  I wasn't going to sit by while a coward tried to woo my sister.  A creep wouldn't do.  A lazybones wouldn't fly.  No.  The boy was going to have to be quality material or he couldn't have her.  It was still my watch.

I'd poke and prod.  Let's see what he's really like under all that polo and cologne.  I'd be cordial when introduced to the guy, but not initiate any conversation whatsoever.  Then would come the expressionless stare when we were in a large group of people (i.e. with my immediate family).  Making sure to catch his eye every once in a while.  If he made it through that, I'd attempt to destroy the confidence he had had to muster up to even consider dating a Boshart.  I'd say things like:  "Is that the best vehicle you could find to take her on a date in?"  or "What happened to your hair?"  or  answer "hmm...I don't think so" to every request he would make.   

Most were gone by this point.  If they weren't.  I'd continue with the insults and begin making fun of him in public any chance I got.  (there were usually lots of chances.)  If I was having a hard day because somehow said dude managed to pull everything together, I'd just bring up past failure like: "Remember that time you lost the bocce balls when we were camping?  There was nothing to do the rest of the trip.  Remember?  My kids were soooooo bored." 

Sisters:  You're welcome.

I never hated the guys, most of them I kind of liked.  But that was beside the point.  The point was:  I needed to know how bad they wanted her.  If they were going to put of with having to see and hear from me at every family gathering, then maybe just maybe they were committed to the relationship.  And that's what I wanted to see.  Another bonus is that we were able to see how these guys handled pressure.  Were they humble?  Were they hotheads?  The girls took note.  (You're welcome.) 

As it began to take a more serious turn I'd ask questions such as: "What expectations do you have for a wife?" "What qualities do you see in her that make her marriage material?" "How do you plan on supporting her?"  "Do you want her to work?"  "Do you like hunting?"  "Describe how you envision a typical Saturday morning when married."  "Do you do laundry?"  "Dishes?"  "Do you expect your shirts to be ironed?"  "How many hours a week do you watch football?...."   Some people would call me nosey.  I call it covering your bases.

It's not an easy role to play. I'm not really that kind of person.  Gentleness and forebearance come more naturaly to me.  Emily, however, had enough jobs as the oldest, so the responsibility fell on me. 

Here we have Chrissy and Joe, fresh off the plane, ready to start doing life.  His endurance has proven he wants her.  Now we get to find out what he thinks of the rest of us!

Soon the questions will be answered:

Did he ever really like Dad's fudge?
Will he spend part of his Christmas with the in-laws?
Will that trip up to see Becca and the boys ever happen?
Does he enjoy sitting around the table listening to our chatter?
Will he take a rotation in the kitchen?
Does he really like playing Settlers?
Are he and Austie really buddies?
Will he continue to let us borrow his truck when we move?  Will he offer to help?

The suspence is killing me!

He's got the girl --and I have to say, he's earned her.  Now we get to see if he just wanted Chrissy or if he will embrace the rest of the crazy that is his new extended family.

And Joe, my job is done.  We can be friends now.

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