Jul 29, 2009

Meeting of the Moms

So last weekend went incredibly well. My parents flew into town on Friday, and Kellen and I spent the better part of the weekend keeping them entertained...which isn't too hard when your parents are from a town of 1,000 people. Just about anything seems entertaining. And on Sunday, Kellen's parents came up, too, so we had a whole house full of parents. Lucky for us, our parents get along swimmingly...our moms perhaps a little too well. (They're already plotting how to divvy up the grandchildren, I think.)

Last summer when my parents came up to visit, we met out on the coast. Kellen's dad manages some condos out that way, so we spent the weekend at the condos doing touristy things in a small Oregon coast town. Obviously, while my parents were here, they got to meet Kellen's parents for the first time.

Let me tell you something, ladies. If you ever wonder about the longevity of your current relationship or how successful it will be if you decide to start a family, one good test is to introduce your mother to his mother. Not only are your parents a pretty good example of what you and your SO will be like when you get older (for better or worse), your parents also can be pretty good gauges of the values and feel of the family you could potentially become a permanent part of. I wasn't really surprised when our mothers hit it off (I predicted it years before I even met Kellen's mom), but it really drove home something I had suspected all along: we came from similar places and experiences, had similar feelings about family and society, had compatible long-term values, and both had fantastic mothers.

Plus, I think because our mothers both approved of each other, they approved of us even more. Weird, huh?

Most of my other experiences with boyfriends' mothers have not gone so well. One of the moms was the Queen of Suburbia who made the comment, "Keith always likes the artsy girls"—code for "Keith likes the weird chicks"—the first time she met me, and the other was known by others as the Dragon Lady, and she made it clear early on that she did not approve of me. Not that I would have ever introduced either of them to my mother to begin with, but I knew from the beginning that my mother would never get along with their mothers and that, conversely, that other guy and I probably wouldn't jibe for long, either.

I know this isn't always true. I'm sure some of you have some royally screwed up families (or your SO's do) and would be horrified if your parents got along with and approved of his parents. But, I think most of the time it's really important to think about how your families match up, how they get along, because if you are in it for the long haul, it makes life awfully difficult if the two sides don't get along.

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