My parents are here!
This weekend saw us staying with FP's parents, and when I say 'us' I mean my parents, the cat, FP and me. It was the very first time that my parents had met Mr and Mrs FP and I think everyone involved was rather anxious over how the initial meeting might go. All in all, it didn't go as badly as I had been expecting.
The thing is, with FP's parents not speaking a word of English and my dad not speaking a word of French (apart from 'pour mon petit dejeuner j'ai mangé un croissant et confiture', that is.) it was just kind of expected that there would be a ton of awkward silences and that FP and I would be jumping from French to English in order to translate everything that was being said. Can I just say let us all thank bejeezus for my mum and her French ability. Without her I think there would be a lot of sign langauging. If that's even a word.
So there we were; Mr and Mrs FP, Mr and Mrs Ecossais, FP, me and the cat on a leash (don't laugh!), sitting outside on the terrace and I realised something. There is a universal language, and that language is called 'alcohol'.
I looked around the table, at my mum blabbering away in French with Mrs FP, at FP squeezing the cat into his leash and telling him what a 'good, beautiful boy' he is, and at my dad and Mr FP, talking away, nodding, laughing together as if they were old friends. My dad was speaking in English, Mr FP in French, and somehow, as if they were both brilliantly bilingual, they seemed to be having a conversation. And not just any old conversation, but a really boring, intelligent conversation about - of all things - steam engines! Why do men seem to bond over the most boring topics? They were both fascinated by what the other had to say, nodding and making the 'oohs' and 'aaahs' at all the right pauses, their faces animated, their cheeks slightly pink from the whisky. It was riveting just to watch them communicate with one another. Riveting, people, just riveting.
And did you know that if you sit two people who don't speak the same language in a room alone together, they will both speak in their own languages, crack jokes and both laugh at each other's jokes, despite the fact that they can't possibly understand why they are laughing? Believe me, I tried and tested this theory several times this weekend and the results were, well frankly, terribly amusing.
There were, of course, the odd little awkward moments when all six of us appeared to run out of words, and the metaphorical tumbleweed would bounce by and hit me on the head, forcing me to blurt out any old thing just to stop the deafening silence from driving me insane, but really I couldn't have asked for a better weekend. I mean we've all seen Meet The Faukers. I'm just relieved that no one came across as a Fauker this weekend.
So, the parents have met now and no one can deny that they got on well together. I am exhausted after all the translation and the masses of rich, good French food, but most of all I am elated. After all, it's important that the two sets of parents get on well together because maybe - just maybe - one day these two families will merge into one.
Monday, July 21, 2008
My parents are here!