I spent this past weekend in my girlfriend’s hometown in beautiful Pennsylvania. Her sister’s wedding was on Saturday, and it was decided that it would be the perfect opportunity for me to meet every single person in her extended family. Considering she’s one of five children, and both her parents have over seven siblings (I couldn’t keep track of the exact number), there were a lot of people to impress.
Luckily, I crush these types of events, and while the bride was obviously the guest of honor, I’d like to think I was a runner-up. However, even Michael Jordan had off days, so not every interaction was a 10/10. Here are the ratings.
Moms love me. That’s just a fact. My only source of nerves with meeting her was whether to go with a handshake or hug. I think hugs are more of a Midwest thing than what I’m used to, so I turned to my group chat to get a quick poll. My friends responded immediately and helpfully with “Slap her on the ass,” “Open mouth kiss her grandma,” and “Make sure you have a raging boner to let her know who’s boss.”
After much review, I decided to turn my phone on ‘Do Not Disturb,’ and went with a hug. I complimented her on her earrings and helped her carry her luggage up to the room.
Score: 10/10. Moms love me.
Little brother #1
Granted, my girlfriend’s 15-year-old little brother was not my top priority to impress, but I like to be thorough. We got off to a little bit of a rocky start when he asked me if I listened to a rapper I had never hear of, but soon overcame it by exchanging snowboarding stories. I also snuck him a few beers after the reception (under the strict condition that if he were caught by his parents, I would deny all involvement), so by the end of the weekend, we were pretty much best friends.
Score: 9/10 for not knowing who 21 Savage is.
Predictably, I didn’t have too much in common with her 17-year-old sister. I asked her generic questions about her eventing competitions (fancy horse jumping) and listened to her and my girlfriend discuss some of the local small-town gossip. I did get some extra points for calling her recent ex-boyfriend a “slapdick,” which was a term she hadn’t heard of and enjoyed.
Score: 7/10 for shitting on some teenage shithead named Travis.
Had her grandfather been 20 years younger, I genuinely think we would have been boys. My girlfriend wouldn’t have seen me again all weekend, as me and Elmer would have been smokin’ stogies and crushing bourbons on the patio the entire trip.
Unfortunately, because her grandfather is 94, we shared zero legible discussion. He couldn’t hear me no matter how loud and slow I talked, and I couldn’t understand a thing he said through his drawl. He did, however, shoot me a wink when I busted up laughing when he caught the garter, so I think that’s a good sign.
Score: 5/10 because I appreciated his pervy, old-man humor.
Aunt Alice flew in from Seattle, and I don’t believe she stopped talking until she was back at home three days later. I got locked into a 20-minute discussion about with her about how weed is legal, and unfortunately picked the wrong point of view. When she first brought up how “it was crazy that marijuana is legal nowadays, what with all the side effects,” I felt like it was safe bet to agree and talk about how it could make people more distracted in daily life. While I (clearly) don’t give a shit about people smoking weed, I think taking a stance against all vices is a pretty solid position when meeting my girlfriend’s small-town-raised family.
However, I immediately realized my mistake when she went on a rant about how it should have always been legal, and how much it can help people with anxiety and other disorders. It was too late to change my opinion, so I just had to sit there and take it like I was the only 25-year-old in California that hasn’t smoked weed. I definitely would have appreciated a blunt at the end of that interaction.
Score: 4/10 for not being about that loud.
Little brother #2
While my girlfriend’s second brother is also younger than us, it’s not by much, so he sort of assumed the older brother’s role. Our interaction was stunted by a pretty heated “Patriots versus Steelers” debate we had at the cocktail hour. It was further stunted by the fact that I may have drunkenly commandeered the hotel room he thought he was sleeping in to hook up with my girlfriend. Did I mention there was an open bar the reception? My bad.
Score: 3/10 because he slept on the floor while I slept with his sister.
Cousin Joshua was a very devout man who believed that he could heal people by placing his hands on them and praying away illness. Given that I am Jewish, a sinner, and not a fan of random people grabbing me, this interaction went poorly. He prayed, I laughed (out of nervousness), he prayed harder, I laughed harder (out of drunkenness), and finally he declared me cured and angrily walked away.
Given that in the 72 hours since I’ve been “healed of my sinful nature,” I’ve drank, gambled, cursed, and had premarital relations, I don’t think my medicine took.
Score: 0/10 and I’m going to hell. .
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