Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Under Pressure: A Conversation

Please do not remind me, I am well aware of the fact that I am posting twice in one day.  It is just that I feel that my last post was a bit inferior.  Of course, feelings are subjective and it could be that I am under the influence of dreary weather combined with complimentary coffee that my friend refers to as "cat piss," but who knows.  I do not really know what cat urine smells like, so I will take her word for it.  This is why I should always stop at Caribou before work.

One thing that I have noticed in several of my favorite blogs is that people really like to write out past conversations.  I am always amazed at their ability to recall phrases, but maybe I am giving them too much credit.  Perhaps they are mere remembering the gist of things more than actual word placement.  With that in mind, I shall now endeavor to do some of the same.

To give you a background (What?  You were expecting immediate dialog?  Please.  You should know me better than that by now.), my brother has been dating a lovely girl named Heidi for almost three years.  They are both in their late 20's (or on the cusp of 30 if you want to round up).  They have been living together for a year.  It is pretty clear that this is a serious relationship and I believe that my brother intends for it to be permanent.  He just doesn't appear aware of how to do so.

Enter my mother.  Like all good mothers, she wants her children to be happy.  She also has needs of her own; specifically, she wants grandchildren.  My brother, the constant procrastinator, also has a penchant for deliberately trying to annoy my mother.  He doesn't need me to tell him that this is playing with fire, but apparently he likes to take the risk.

Anyway, last weekend, my brother came home for the wedding.  Although the topic came up more than once, I believe it was at the wedding reception that the clearest and most direct inquiry was made.  My brother and I were seated with my parents at a table in my aunt's backyard enjoying some food and beverages, when the spirit of weddings took hold of my mother.

Mom:  So Mikey, do you think you and Heidi will get married?

Mikey:  (Silence)

Mom:  Do you ever talk about marriage?

Mikey:  Yeah...

Mom:  (Changing tactics)  So where do you think you'd get married?

Mikey:  Ummmm... probably Vermont?  [Heidi's home state]  Most of her family lives there.

Me:  (Deciding to help out)  Sweet!  I have always wanted to go there!  Just remember, don't make me stay in a tent.  If I am going to be photographed in wedding photos, I do not want to deal with the mess that ensues when I sleep in a tent.  Right?  (Because it's all about me, isn't it?)

Mikey:  (Laughs.  Coughs.  Hopes that the subject will soon be changed.)

Mom:  But really, don't you worry that she will get sick of waiting for you to take action?

Mikey:  (Silence)

(Clearly this was going nowhere, so I again jumped in.)

Me:  Ummm... wait.  Michael, I was just wondering.  If you were to decide to propose or to come up with a plan, would you even tell us?  Or would you prefer to surprise everyone?

Mikey:  Oh yeah, I would surprise you all. 

Mom:  Hmph. 

Please keep in mind that this is just one example of what we do to Mikey when we have him alone.  My dad usually stays silent for the interrogation, but I know he feels the same as us.  It is definitely an eye opener of what guys must go through when they face their families and have not yet proposed to their long term girlfriends.  Or who are currently highly educated and unemployed.  I can only imagine what would happen if he didn't live four hours away.

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