My In-Laws

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

I've come back after spending the Christmas weekend with my new in-laws, and, well, they were fantastic. They're an unpretentious lot, very loud, very "famille," always four kisses on the cheeks, lots of giggling, bad jokes, dirty jokes, funny jokes, silliness, oodles and oodles of food, and genuine affection. We got his dad a magnetic keychain for his petanque balls, and, even though it's tiny and quite cheap, he absolutely LOVED the present! Once they party streamers hit the floor at 3 in the morning, and we all started singing along to Dalida, I knew this was going to be great.

Of course, this didn't happen overnight. When I first started to date Dacnar, I spoke a minimal amount of french. Both Pappy and Mamie were shocked to see their boy with not just an anglophone, but someone who was obviously from a very different culture. Language was a barrier. People were shy, and there was the usual awkwardness.

I remember one shocking event, when I said I thought wild boars (sangliers) were cute, and Pappy whipped out his old cassette of "chasse" (hunting), replete with violent graphic scenes of boars getting their brains blasted out. Arrrr, the horror! Or when we were discussing the Euro (Soccer), and suddenly he yelled "I have one thing to say, in ENGLISH... France, CHAMPION DU MONDE!" Crazy. But hilarious too.

But, in the last year, since I started to play petanque, swear, babble in french, and keep up my drink, things have been going swimmingly. His dad is an avid cycling fan, just like his son, so we have lots to gabble over. His mom is sweetness, and very easy to get along with. His sisters are all very loud and enthusiastic, and genuinely warm. They're an easy family to like.

What really gets me is the curiousity. They are so curious about everything Canadian. This afternoon, I knew I was officially accepted when Daddy Forgeard decided that they would like to take a trip to Canada. This coming from a guy who's only left France once.

I love my own family, even though it's becoming commonplace for me to spend Christmas an ocean away from them. I miss them so. They will always be my family, and the dearest and closest to me. But, having this kind of surrogate family ain't so bad. As far as in laws go, yeah, I'm lucky.