Friday, May 05, 2006

Meet The Parents.

Well, my parents left back for England this morning. Their visit was, well…interesting.

Let’s just say it took a bit of getting used to having them around again. I hadn’t seen either of them in person for two years.

It was weird, in a way, not bad weird, but just weird. As George Costanza said, ‘worlds collided’. It just took forever to get used to getting up in the morning and seeing my Mum and Dad sitting on my couch, here, in South Carolina.

I suppose the other bit that took a bit of getting used to is the role-reversal. For 21 years it was me living in my parents house. This was the first time my parents came to stay in my house.

I mean, when did I become a grown up.

I’ve got to say though, that the trip exceeded my wildest expectations. You see, without wanting to get into the politics of it, when Sunny and I first got together, she and my Mum weren’t exactly what you’d call fond of each other.

As you may or may not know by now, Sunny is quite a bit older than me (I won’t mention figures or she’ll kill me), so my Mum wasn’t exactly what you’d call happy about it. She also wasn’t thrilled that I was moving 3500 miles away, across the Atlantic to do it.

After I actually moved, a truce was called, and they started speaking to each other.

I was worried how they’d get on once they where actually in the same room. I mean, both my Mum and Sunny are too classy to start screaming at each other, but I was worried we’d have two tension filled weeks while they where stiffly polite and civil to each other.

In fact, they got along like best friends. I couldn’t have wished for better.

When I think about it, the only regrets I have about my parents trip over here is that we didn’t do more. Sunny had to work every night except the weekends, and considering I don’t have an American Drivers License, we where pretty much stuck in the house for most of the time.

We did go out to eat a good few times, Sonny’s Barbecue for baby-backs, Roadhouse for a 20oz Porterhouse T-bone Steak…we ate a lot.

Then, of course, we took them to Wal-Mart, which for a British person is a bit of an experience. It took my a while to get used to walking into a store that has groceries, housewares and pump-action, 12 gauge shotguns.

When I think about it, the trip was probably a whole lot more fun for my Dad than it was for my Mum.

You see, my Dad loves fishing and even though up until now he’s only ever had his hands on an air-rifle, he likes to shoot. So for Dad, any time, day or night, there was something for him to do. We’d either go outside, set up a few targets and have an hour balsting them with my .22 (My mother-in-law also lent us her 12 gauge so my Dad could have a go…that was fun), or we’d go fishing.

I think it was just about heaven for Dad. In England, fishing is fairly expensive (about 25GBP per day), and that’s only when Dad actually has the time to go. Over here, we have Charles’ fishing pond less than 50 feet from my back door. He was up early most mornings for an hours fishing.

The best was when we went night fishing. Thanks to all the rain and storms we had last year, the dam at the end of the pond ran over, and we lost quite a lot of fish. It went from you catching an average of 6-8 fish per hour to one or two, if you’re lucky. The first time we went down there, I caught two, and no one else caught a thing.

However, we went down there, when it got dark we built a fire on the bank, and as soon as it got properly dark the catfish started biting. In the first two hours, I’d got 6 and dad had got 8, all big catfish.

Then, we kept two of them, brought them back to the house, then cleaned and ate them. I have to say that that was my first experience of fresh catfish. I’d tried store-bought catfish nuggets and didn’t like them. Fresh, it’s just about the best fish I’ve ever tasted.

It was only today when they left that I really realized how much we’d missed. I mean, there’s not a whole lot we could do about it, our hands where tied, but I wish we could have taken them to NC to see Whitewater Falls, or down to Charlotte or over to Gatlinburg in Tennessee.

The other thing is that 2 weeks is simply not enough time when visiting America. From England, it’s one hell of a trip, and you need at least 3 weeks to make it worth it. Put it this way, we dropped them at the airport at about 9am this morning, and they’ll land in England at 8am tomorrow morning (English time).

I’ve got to say, I had a hell of a time visiting with my parents, and I have to admit, I didn’t realize just how much I missed them since they came over to visit.

Anyway, normal blogging service resumes today. Stay tuned.


MC Etcher said...

Very cool! I'm glad your folks had a chance to visit, and that they had a good time!

Vicarious Living said...

We took visitors to Ikea - it was one of the first places I was taken to upon arrival in California.