Who dates people, anyways?
It seemed to me that it was the daughter introducing the parents to her boyfriend. I watched as the parents mocked interest in his stories. I watched the parents, with fake smiles plastered awkwardly across their faces, exchange glances with each other. I watched the lovely young girl looking desperately to see a look of approval on her parents' faces.
And I knew that none would be found.
The guy was a dolt. I'm sure he spent hours reassuring his girlfriend that her parents would just absolutely love him because he's just oh-so-good with people. I'm sure she spent the entire journey to the restaurant staring at him thinking that surely her parents can find something, somewhere within this person to approve of.
Halfway through the meal the girl started looking incredibly stressed out. Her boyfriend was going overboard in being friendly with her dad. Both parents were uncomfortable with this. An awkward silence came over the table. And Loverboy decided it would be a wonderful time to pose for pictures in the restaurant. Dad looked miffed. Mom clearly thought this was a stupid idea. Boy beamed as though he had just discovered an extra digit in pi. Girl looked nauseous and smiled meekly for the camera. Loverboy suggested dessert buffet. All parties looked thrilled to be away from the table.
Loverboy sauntered back to the table with a pleased look on his face and a fruit salad. I wondered where the family was. He looked around like a deer in a set of headlights because it was at this moment he knew that his girlfriend and her parents were discussing him beside the bread pudding. Like his whole world collapsed at the thought of her parents tearing him apart like an apple pie that had too much filling in it. Tossing apart the gooey filling, and meekly nibbling on the crust so as not to appear rude.
I heard the conversation that I've had too many times.
Me: So, isn't he nice?
Mom: Yep! Pass the gravy!
Me: He has a job!
Mom: Wonderful, dear. More chicken?
Me: Yeah! So, isn't he handsome!?!
Mom: Not particularly. More wine?
Me: *gulp* Wow, that is a nice wine! Don't you like his clothes?
Mom: Well, if I liked people who dressed as though they lived in dumpsters, his fashion sense would be wonderful!
Me: *chug* And his hair?
Mom: It looks ridiculous. Why is it so short? Is he in the army? You know, your brother has that wonderful friend... What was his name? He is ever so handsome! He has a real job, a real car, and health benefits! Why don't you date him!
Me: *chug-a-lug* But Mom, I'm dating >insert name here< and isn't he wonderful!
Mom: Who? Oh, yes... him... You know, the boy at the John Deere dealership is very handsome. I wonder if they have benefits at John Deere. Oh, but your father's boss just hired the loveliest young thing... Dear, what is that new boy's name again?
Me: Uhm... well, yes, I'm sure he is lovely, but I'm dating >Insert name here You know, the guy who raved over your mashed potatoes? The one with a job? The one with the short hair that you hate, who's not in the army and who doesn't work at the John Deere Dealership?
Mom: Dear, what is that lovely boy's name again? The one your boss just fired? His parents farm, don't they?
Me: He sounds great. Pass the wine.
Dinner tonight made me realize how much I love being single. It's great! None of those "Honey, couldn't you at least date someone who has a similar background, who is familiar with the workings of the twenty-four hour clock, who knows how to work a telephone, and doesn't insist that you pay when he takes you on a date at the discount movie theatre?" conversations.
No brothers saying "Good God. What the hell is wrong with you?!?"
No fathers saying "Well... he's better than the guy who got married to someone else while he was still dating you. I guess."
No friends saying "Well. If you like him!"
Life is grand indeed.