I haven’t ventured this deep into a steady’s territory since January 2007 when I met my now ex-husband Eddie’s parents on a visit from Mumbai. I fared alright at the time but that was five years ago. I know it’s rote and passe to write in such pedestrian terms but I was, quite literally, a different person then. Or maybe I was exactly the same but I had no grasp of what that shape that ought to take.
I have evolved now – for better or worse. I have come a long, long way in a yet to be completed quest to accept my fractures and quirks, though somehow the incremental certainty has made me less rigid and more relaxed. I’m learning to accept that I might not be everyone’s cup of tea and that “everyone” might include traditional sources of unconditional love, but so what? I deserve to sleep at night however unconventional.
And so I take this new and fragile self-awareness to the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan this holiday weekend in an effort to get acquainted with my partner’s family. We’ll journey by Amtrak, fulfilling a long-felt desire to travel by train in the process. He makes things happen for me that way.
I’ve been present for phone call exchanges between my mate and his people and it’s a heartbreakingly loving experience, from parents to siblings. He is a good man and it follows that he’s a fabulous hybrid of nature and nurture. Time was when I would feel oppressively strained and skittish: entering into a situation in which I felt so out of my element, the product of the most unhealthy of environments.
I mean no harm. I’m just a little feral sometimes. A well-meaning superior at the office told me that I’m likable but “need time to grow on people.”
But whatever. I have spent too many years psyching myself out of enjoying the moment. I make him laugh. I can make them laugh too right?