“…and please, dear God, don’t let them serve me first” exclaimed Peter. Ann and Peter had been on the road for nearly three hours, on their way out to visit Ann’s parents in Minnesota. It was a frosty day, and nearly everything was covered in a layer of white snow.
“What? Why? Pete they’re going to love you,” said Ann.
“Well I hope they love me but what happens if I do something weird?”
“You’re not going to do anything THAT weird,” Ann rolled her eyes, “just do what we normally do back at home.” Ann was driving the car with her gaze on the empty road before her. It had been a quiet drive for the most part. There had been no traffic—in fact, had they not been in the heart of a city, one would have thought the roads to be completely abandoned.
“I can’t do what we do normally back home because normally back home I wear boxers to dinner,” Peter said, as he tried to contain a giggle behind his anxiousness.
“Ok, come on,” Ann chided, “you’re not a baby you know how to act appropriately at a table for dinner.”
“But what if your parents decide to say Grace?”
“They’re not going to decide to say Grace, they haven’t practiced any fo—“
“But what if they do this time!” Pete interrupted, “What if this time they decide they want to and I’d already started eating? I’d look like a savage idiot.”
“What do you care what you look like? Aren’t you always talking about how you’re the best businessman at meetings because you don’t care what people think about you?”
“Well, yeah, I mean, yes, you know, but it’s different,” Peter stuttered. He took a deep breath, then continued more fluently, “I care more about our relationship than some business meeting.” Ann looked at him with a playful sarcasm.
“Aw. Aren’t you sweet. But that’s all this is. My parents just want to see what you’re bringing to the table. And the bedroom.” A devilish grin crossed Ann’s face.
“The bedroom?” Peter’s eyes bulged, “what have they set up cameras? That’s a little creepy.”
“No you fuckin’ idiot!” Ann slapped Peter’s thigh jokingly, “like how you look. I know and you know that looks aren’t a huge deal or anything, but my parents care about the success of more than just their daughter. They also care about the family as a whole. If you were some feeble, cowardly guy, they’d want to give input.”
“Ok that’s fair, but I still don’t want to be served first.”
“Fine.” Ann paused, “you’re such a baby.” She reached over and pinched Peter’s cheek, then said in a babying voice “who’s my little baby? Hm? Petey’s my little baby.” Peter pried her fingers off his cheek and tossed her hand back at the steering wheel. He turned to pout at the window while Ann laughed. After that, they sat in silence for a little while.
“How much farther is it?” asked Peter.
“We’re actually just around the corner,” said Ann, “now I don’t want you making a bad first impression. So stand up straight, open the door for me, and carry the bags in.”
“Fine.” Peter slumped his shoulders. They turned a corner and drove up to see a couple standing out on the sidewalk.
“Look! There they are!” Ann pointed. She looked over at Peter with a glare, “Pete sit up. This is going to be a good time. Ok? Try to enjoy yourself. They gave us the guest room down the hall and everything so that we can enjoy ourselves. They realize we’ve been dating for a while.” Pete sat up and put a smile on his face.
“Yeah but they’ll love you no matter what,” he muttered to himself. The car came to a stop, and Pete smiled to Ann’s parents through the window, then hopped out of the car to get Ann’s door.
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