austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

Then we were strangers again, together alone

The centerpiece for Tuesday and one of the things to be accomplished by my visiting was the meeting of bunny_hugger's parents.

I was a bit nervous about this, although I don't think unduly so. For one I generally have a hard time believing anyone will actively dislike me; for another, she'd briefed me about her parents over the past year and they seem to correspond to my own startlingly well. I knew I'd have to be somewhat sociable, and generally pleasant, but given that bunny_hugger and I are both rather introverts I'd figured they'd be likely to see the level of socialization I find comfortable as being right around normal. Also I know that I'm different in some ways from her ex-husband in that I don't have some habits that they found annoying, so I also had that advantage going in. I'd also brought along a pair of dress slacks and shirt, the kind I use for work as long as I'm not doing anything useful, so that I could dress up without looking ridiculously formal.

We aimed at going to a nearby Italian restaurant which was also a fairly good choice as her father liked the place but they hadn't gone to it recently because her mother disliked something that happened their previous last visit. I'd been asked if I preferred that Italian or a Mexican restaurant, and while the Mexican restaurant offered a wonderful aesthetic symmetry since it was at a Mexican restaurant that bunny_hugger met my parents, the place appealing to her father was a nice tie-breaking factor. (Also it was a purely local place, whereas the Mexican place is a chain, a small one but still not the been-here-since-1922 sort of restaurant.)

We didn't have a reservation, for the simple reason the restaurant doesn't take reservations, or at least wasn't taking them for Tuesday, even though bunny_hugger's father worried about getting a seat and urged her to reserve something. We trusted that if they didn't want to take reservations it was probably for good reason and we surely wouldn't have much of a wait. So, we ended up sitting on the inside from the vestibule waiting a bit because they were apparently more busy than was anticipated when the no-reservations policy was set. It gave her mother the chance to look around the neighborhood for a yarn store which may or may not have been a comic book shop in the past, though, and we only actually went through a couple rounds of that video Keno game while waiting to eat.

Dinner happily went without any embarrassing incidents. While they were eager to know things like what my background was and how I met bunny_hugger these aren't things I mind talking about either. I did have the lurking fear during the dinner that I wasn't starting enough conversation points, but I did my best to keep talking about whatever was going on. The one thing that left me confused was her mother describing an incident on The Colbert Report which sounded like it was screamingly funny, but since I hadn't seen it (and bunny_hugger hadn't either) her mother's urgent explanation of the bit seemed odd. I'm not used to parents trying eagerly to explain things they saw on TV, is all there is to it.

After dinner we had a little delay in the restaurant's vestibule because they had gumball-type dispensing machines (I don't think it was actually gumballs, but something near enough) and bunny_hugger does like buying things from them when she can. The delay in this case was to find quarters which could be used to buy something. I should, logically speaking, have had them and yet I didn't, and she couldn't find any. Her father came to the rescue, and her mother wondered what had got us all delayed coming out of the restaurant.

Arriving back home I gave what I had picked up at Meijer's for her parents: a plant. I want to say a chrysanthemum, but I also remember it was purple, and I'm not positive that chrysanthemums come in purple. (I have a very primitive understanding of plants.) But I was assured that this was her mother's favorite color, which is another good moment. I'm told that my reviews came in favorably, getting considered as being a good conversationalist and a good listener. I'm at my best listening.

Trivia: 27 hours, 51 minutes passed between Eagle undocking from Columbia and its redocking after the first moon landing. Source: Apollo By The Numbers: A Statistical Reference, Richard W Orloff. NASA SP-2000-4029.

Currently Reading: Defining NASA: The Historical Debate Over The Agency's Mission, W D Kay.


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