My dad is married to my mother-in-law.
Let that sink in a moment.
Picture this: it’s 1989 and I’m seeing a man who can only be described as my dream guy. Compatible life goals, personality, red hair – the complete package. I mean, this could be “the one” except…
His heart was recently broken and he’s kind of gun shy, so on every date and daily phone call we discuss if we are going anywhere romantic. It’s a fragile place, but with promise. Until…
My dad meets his mom. This is on a Sunday. On Monday he wants to ask her out. I don’t recall my exact response but patricide was mentioned. Tuesday he calls her anyway. Wednesday they go to dinner…and don’t surface again until Saturday to announce their engagement.
Dream Guy and I are furious. We (who are 20 and 21 at the time) sit them down to reacquaint them with reason. They are both on the rebound. Where will they live? They don’t even know each other. We tell them that relationships take time to develop. They should date for at least a year. I even throw one of my dad’s favorite cautions at him: you are sacrificing the ultimate on the alter of the immediate.
Nothing works. They do their part in keeping up the role reversal by telling us that they are in love. Duh. Don’t we know that love overcomes all obstacles? When you’re in love, one date is like 20. And the kicker: “You don’t understand because you’re not from our generation!” They seriously said this. With a straight face.
Five weeks later I miss their ceremony because I’m an attendant at my mother’s wedding – to my old high school French teacher. They met at parent-teacher conferences and he moved in two weeks later.
Dream Guy and I have been married for almost 22 years. As far as our circle of friends and acquaintances are concerned, his single father died in a tragic catamaran accident involving Bible running and Somali pirates (We’re not taking any chances on him hooking up with someone who will turn me into my own grandma).
“The Parents” (his mom and my dad) are still together. They’re happy, we’re happy and we always know where to go for the holidays. It has all worked out quite well.
Except for when people discover that I married my step-brother and accuse us of incest…my children are also my niece and nephews…that time in kindergarten when Tommy’s family tree project looked more like a family circle…
And why do people always assume I’m from the Ozarks?