For those of you that keep up with my blogs and writing. This is a sample chapter of a new book that hopefully will be coming out soon. It's the sequel to my first book " If I'm Waiting on God What Am I Doing in a Christian Chat room?" Warning..this chapter is not for the faint of heart. Read at your own risk...then enjoy and remember..I don't make this stuff up!
I remember when I first brought Ron home to meet my folks in Georgia. He had already talked to them on the phone. When we were first dating he even wrote my Italian father a letter asking for permission to date me. It was pretty cute. I mean who does that these days? Ask permission of the parents to date their daughter. It impressed the heck out of my dad. I remember telling my parents about my feelings for Ron in great detail when we first got together and my dad said "Kerri, I can tell this guy is different." I never got some huge explanation from Dad on why he thought that. But in all my years of dating guys and bringing them home my dad never once said anything overly positive. He was smart enough not to say anything negative either because my mother took care of all the nagging in that department and that only made me date them longer. The more my mother hated the guy, the closer I got to running off to Vegas and marrying him.
But over the course of a couple months I would call them and update them on my adventures in datingland. I had been on a dating hiatus before Ron so I think they were excited about the prospect of me actually making it down the aisle before they died. My mom always joked" I'm going to be so old at your wedding. They are going to have to roll me down the aisle in my wheelchair!" The older I got the lower her standards got as well. It really got a point when I was 29 and single that my mom told me" English was optional!" Poor Barb! Her one dream of having a wedding for her daughter was not materializing fast enough. But Ron showed her new hope.
So it came time to have Ron go down to Georgia to meet "The Parents!"
Anyway, my mom said on the phone to me, "I've invited a few friends over from church to meet Ron."
"How many?" I asked.
"Three, four, five, 50," she said. "I don't know Kerri, just bring him home! There will be pie!"
I was happy she was so excited to meet him. When I first called her and told her I had a serious boyfriend, all she wanted to know was, "Is he a doctor, lawyer or pastor?"
When I told her he was a comic, I think she stopped breathing. "But hey, he's Korean-Irish!" I told her. "Our kids can go to any college they want! And they'll be really good at math!"
My mother, being the politically-correct southerner that she is, regained her composure and said, "Well, I do have some Oriental rugs he might like to see. And tell him I spent a year in Vietnam, honey!"
Yeah well, to this day I'm not sure what either of those things had to do with Ron being Korean, but I've at least trained her not to say "Oriental" unless she's talking about a type of rug.
The day finally arrived. We pulled up to my southern home in Greensboro Ga. It's a replica of sorts of my mom's dream home from Gone with the Wind; everyone calls it Tara Two. I saw about 50 or so of my mom's closest friends standing outside our house, all wearing nametags and all waiting to meet my suitor. In true southern tradition, there were many types of pies and desserts, so Ron seemed happy, not scared. I had been down this road with ex boyfriends meeting my family but never to this grand degree. This was like some war veterans home reunion with all the people standing around waving us in!
We made our way through all the introductions. Everyone from the town barber to mom's pastor was there. It was more than awkward because we weren't engaged so all people could think to say was, "Congratulations on your, um, dating! Have you set a date for your next, uh, date?"
We just laughed and smiled and made the rounds. Ron went straight for the homemade southern pecan pie and strawberry shortcake. I was thinking of how to get through the evening without killing my mother. Then we decided to capitalize on the opportunity, as I had some of our comedy CDs in the car. We starting selling our CDs at the party and even got some of my mom's girlfriends to help. Ginger who knows everyone went around saying all the money would help the "Starving comedians fund" and secretly telling them Ron was saving to buy me a wedding ring! Whatever works! God love Ginger! We ended up making over $100, so all in all, it was a successful night and we were stuffed to the hilt. What more could you ask for ..money and desserts?
The next day I went to tell Ron that my mom and I were going into town to do a bit of shopping. I knocked on Ron's bedroom door. He barely opened it and had this weird look on his face. All he said was, "Great. Go ahead I'll stay here! Bye!" and he ran back inside. I knocked on the door again, but he seemed to be busy in the bathroom so I just went downstairs and out with my mom for an hour or so. I thought this might give my dad and Ron a chance to spend some quality bonding time together. Ron might even get up the nerve to ask for my hand in marriage. After all we had survived the party. We might as well get onto planning the wedding. I wasn't getting any younger and neither was my mother!
When mom and I got home from a fun day of shopping, I went up to Ron's room. He was reading a book. I said, "How did things go while I was gone?"
In this totally manic voice, he said, "Fine. Fine. Everything's fine. Why do you ask?"
"Well because you look a little pale and my dad didn't say much about your time together, that's why!" I said.
"It's better we not talk about it," he said. "What happens at Tara Two stays at Tara Two!" He turned away and kept reading.
I went downstairs and found my dad in the recliner chair watching some John Wayne flick. I said, "Hey Dad, is everything ok? Did you and Ron spend some time together getting to know each other today?"
"Well, honey, we did do just that. He's a good kid but not too handy with the plunger if you know what I mean!"
"No, I have no idea what you mean."
He said quietly, "It's better we don't talk about such things, dear!" My family always had a strict code about discussing such things that happened in the bathroom...we didn't! As far as I'm concerned none of my family members even goes to the bathroom!
Turns out Ron had been upstairs in the guest bathroom using the facilities, and he had an issue with the toilet not flushing. And as luck would have it, he'd been binging on southern food for the past two days.
When he hit the flusher lever, the water came rushing upwards and outwards overflowing onto the bathroom floor! It was a total Meet the Parents moment of sheer terror for poor Ron. So he did what any good man would do; he backed away and prayed vigorously. "Please Lord make it go away. Make it go away." All of a sudden he heard a knock at the bathroom door and my dad's voice saying, "Ron? Ron? Son, is everything alright in there?"
"Yes Sir," Ron replied.
My dad said, "Just checking because there seems to be some sort of leak coming from your bathroom onto the laundry room floor downstairs. Just wanted to see if you have everything under control in there."
"Oh, it's under control alright, sir."
Ron then proceeded to pray harder for the rapture to come at that very instant. As he was praying, more and more "water" (use your imagination, or don't) was overflowing onto the floor and rug that he knew my mother cherished.
Ron had no choice but to open the door. My dad saw the shocking site. He immediately went into action, grabbing every towel, even the good ones that he knew would never be used again in that house and throwing them down on the floor. It still wasn't enough. My dad sprinted for the plunger. Ron insisted he give it a try first to save my father from dealing with such a disgraceful predicament, but Ron was like the little engine that couldn't. He tried and tried but to no avail.
As the situation got worse, my dad stepped in, and with a few well-placed plunges, was able to rectify the situation. They worked furiously as a team to clean up the crime scene and dispose of the evidence before the girls got home. They didn't exchange any pleasantries or make eye contact, so I'm told.
After it was over, they gave each other an awkward manly punch on the arm and parted ways. All my dad could manage to mutter on his way was, "We don't have to talk about this ever again, son. Don't worry."
Well, some might call that crisis bonding. Ron calls it God's payback for all the stupid things he's done in his life. We're both convinced there are no comedy clubs in Heaven; God and the angels just gather round and watch us all the time. It's like their heavenly version of Candid Camera.
I didn't hear all the details of what went on that day until after we had returned to California. I should have suspected something when mom's stolen Ritz-Carlton towels suddenly disappeared from our guest bathroom back home in Georgia.
I'm not sure I've mentioned this before but my mom is a total kleptomaniac when it comes to hotel stuff. She not only steals the shampoo, she displays it all in a basket in our guest bathroom; but only the fancy ones. !
So it was an eventful first parental visit for poor Ron, but he survived nicely. He particularly liked all the buffets of good old southern cuisine where "ambrosia and mac and cheese are considered vegetables." He got to see my family's roots and how we live, breathe and eat. Mostly eat. Well, there was some outlet shopping in there too, but really, it was all about the food.
I found out later that even after all the mania from the bathroom incident, Ron got up the courage to tell my Dad he was going to propose to me and ask his permission. He told him he'd do his best to provide a good life for me and honor me for the rest of our lives . My dad was overjoyed because those two were kindred spirits from the start. God really knew who was meant to join our family. It is true that you don't just marry the person you marry the family and in our case we both were getting a great deal. We were going to be one big happy Korean Irish Italian Southern family! God help us!
Labels: Kerri and Ron, Meet the Parents, Proposing, Relationships