From the Non-Specific North West
I have a terrible habit of building things up in my head. If I'm a little concerned about something, I find myself thinking about for much longer than needs be and become a little stuck on very insignificant details.
It was MrIkea's mother's birthday on the weekend. The big 50. Considering his family is spread out along the east side of Australia, this was an occasion where they'd all be together and able to scrutinize the new 'lady friend'.
In my head, it was an initiation task, a challenge I would have to pass in order to be accepted.
I spent a week dreading the coming weekend, even had dreams in which the extended-Ikea-family voiced their dislike for me and MrIkea suddenly had little concern for my wellbeing. I was panicking about which pyjamas to pack, where to find shoes that would go with that dress, and whether that headband was too wild to wear with that outfit.
After this, I realised how ridiculous I was being.
I gave myself a solid talking to, remembered I'm not the sort of person that cares much for what people think of me, and decided to embrace the occasion.
After this, it was fine.
I love huggable families. The ones that you can embrace upon meeting and it's not weird at all. I'm bad at handshakes, and cheek kisses confuse me too much. Let's just hug it out. I may have surprised some family members with my hugging, I don't know if it's a 'too much, too soon' kind of feeling. Most seemed ok with it. Either way, they didn't recoil in horror or tell me to sod off, so I think it was alright.
Families are interesting. The one you come from is always what you compare things to, but there are rarely differences between them. There's the fun aunty who you just want to tell your secrets too and make inappropriate jokes with. The loud uncle who'll talk your ear off and wants to know everything about your studies, your interests and 'how you met his nephew'. The funny grandfather who borderline flirts with you. The ever so lovely grandma that you just want to make cups of tea with and smile at for extended periods of time.
Seeing large families interact with each other, when they've been around together for decades can give pretty strong insight into why people are like they are and how they fit in with their nearest and dearest. Apples not falling far from trees and so on.
It's nice to find a family that don't make you feel like you're being interrogated, or under performance review. Just nice, caring folk that would do anything for each other and you can slot right into their little fold without too much fuss. I do need to work on having a better answer for 'Visual Communication hey? So what does that mean?' After studying for almost a year, you'd think I'd have had it down by now.
Oh, and any mother can be won over with a handmade card and illustration.
If I'd known this earlier on, we could have been sorted from the beginning.