By the time Friday afternoon rolls around, I’m kind of freaking out about meeting The Wedding Date’s kids. What if they don’t like me? What if we have nothing to talk about? What if they think I’m lame or terrible at board games? And, worst of all, what if my relationship with their dad doesn’t work out? There’s nothing to indicate that it won’t, but if it doesn’t, I’m going to have to say goodbye to The Wedding Date and his kids and kids, I’m pretty sure, are way worse than dogs.
Fortunately, I work at a school where blended families are the norm, rather than the exception. So I poll my co-workers and discover that just about every last one of them has been through this before. The general consensus is to be friendly but don’t be their friend. Be an adult.
Be an adult.
I can handle that.
Unfortunately, I’m not so sure what an adult is supposed to wear when they’re meeting their significant other’s kids for the first time. I nailed my outfit when I met The Wedding Date’s friends last month (I guessed that the majority of the women would be wearing boots with skinny jeans and dressed to match) but kids? For a night at the arcade?
I wanted to look nice, and somewhat cute but not hot. (More Claire Dunphy than Gloria Pritchett, if you get my drift, but after eighteen months of “fieldwork” I don’t have too many “soccer mom” outfits in my closet).
After emptying the majority of my drawers onto my bed and discovering, to my great horror, that I really need to stop shopping in the Juniors Department, I decide on my casual jeans, my black patent leather clogs and a black and white polka dot shirt with a camisole underneath. (The last thing I want is for one of The Wedding Date’s kid to catch site of my bra.)
Now I’m running late (what else is new?) so I high tail it up I-95 and miss my exit (again, what else is new?) but I manage to make it to The Wedding Date’s house exactly one minute ahead of schedule.
After the initial introductions, we pile into his car and head to a restaurant called Surf Taco. Being the mature adult that I am, I wait for the kids to unwrap their straws to pull the very same stunt I pulled on their father the night of our first date; once they’re un-armed, I blow my wrapper across the table, striking the eldest in the shoulder.
Everyone laughs and a moment later, I am granted my first high five of the night.
Eventually, we move onto dumb blonde jokes (after politely establishing that I am not, in fact, a “natural blonde.”)
Dumb blonde jokes happen to be my thing and even though The Wedding Date looks vaguely horrified as his children rattle off one after the other, I finally take a deep breath and ask, “How do you drown a blonde?”
“How?” his kids demand.
“Put a scratch and sniff sticker at the bottom of the pool!”
This earns me another high five. In fact, the kids think this is hysterical. I’m not sure that I’m doing such a great job at being an adult, but at least they like me, and that’s a start. I’ll have plenty of time to earn their respect at the arcade…