Some families, maybe, would response to the news of a change in relationship status of a close family member with a calm, friendly, "Nice to meet you!" recognizing that the relationship choices of a fellow free-willed adult are all their own and don't really have anything to do with you. My family prefers to respond to such matters with great amounts of dramatic speech. After nearly 6 years of peace and quiet, some other guy has braved the infamous 75-question application, and I'm left with the responsibility of accepting the fact that my baby sister now has a boyfriend--a boyfriend who attended all the family Christmas gatherings, no less! I've learned that this acceptance process comes in stages:
What? How could this happen? Okay, I mean, she's gorgeous and she's the nicest person in the whole entire world--but she lived on this side of the world for 11 years and not one guy noticed that (or if they did, they never said anything about it) and now she's back in the USA for 4 months and this happens? Americans...
But she was going to live with me and be my live-in nanny and take care of my kids when I wanted to go on a date and stay up late with me and watch all of my favorite tv shows with me because there's no one in the whole world besides her who likes every single tv show that I like. Who will weep over the Downton Abbey finale (or its future counterparts) with me now that she'll never be my live-in sister. And now I'll never get to design her wedding dress because I had to sell my sewing machine. Boyfriends are the worst invention of all time.
Who is this guy? Facebook stalking time!!! Interviewing relatives who have met him in real life time!!!
Hmmm...I see he's a runner. Could Angel beat him in a race? They'll have to race someday, and I'll make Angel train harder than he ever has before for that race. Darn 8 year age difference...
Back in my day, we didn't share a Facebook profile picture until AFTER engagement. And Angel didn't come to any family holiday parties till AFTER we were married. (Please, don't let anyone remember or point out to her that we got engaged after 3 months...when I was 18. Please!) It's a good strategy to only compare the points that are most admirable and honorable from your own relationship. Completely ignore any aspects that are a little more shady or scandalous in your own past.
How can we turn this to our advantage? Lovestruck guys are known to spend a little more money on their lady than random old friends and family members. Let's tell him if he wants to be accepted he needs to send us a package containing Nerds, SweetTarts, Pull-n-Peel Twizzlers, Gushers, and Tressa Xtremers Blue Semi-Permanent Color (found at Sally's Beauty Supply) if he wants us to like him. Make it a big box, and we'll be quite won over. It's just hard to root for someone who has never sent you packages of candy and bright blue haircolor, you know? (This is what the haircolor looks like--blue. Remember. If you want to throw in a purple, too, I won't complain).
Pretty much a necessary step of processing anything, right, my fellow veteran bloggers?
Make sure he knows that Mom and Dad HATE being called Brian and Cindy by 'kids'. Mr. and Mrs. Never call him first. You spend your entire marriage calling your husband to find out where he is or to tell him that he left his wallet at home or to pick up cream cheese on the way back, and you don't call for fun anymore because that uses up the pre-paid credit on your cellphones...so enjoy the time when he calls you. Make sure he knows what it's like to live in a developing nation and love it. He'll only truly understand you if he understands Malaysia. And not the stupid tourist handbook Malaysia, the real Malaysia, where strangers stop you to tell you you'd look prettier with long hair instead of short hair and the babies who call you "Aunty 'Na" and jokes about #trulypineapple and horrible durian and the family who stays up way too late and the friends who refuse to leave your house because they think they are family too.
And just think, we only have to do this at least 5 more times...