So, in less than two weeks, I will have had Thanksgiving dinner with WG's family and friends. I will have done more than have a couple of e-mail conversations with his mom. I may even have met one or both of the exes. Whoa.
In preparation, my mom bought me new clothes, because, and I quote, "We can't have you looking like trailer trash when you go to the Corral," yes, that's right, people have taken up my use of "the Corral" as the nickname for the great state of Oklahoma. Oh, yeah, and my mom worries that I'll look like trailer trash. Not really, but the only control she can have over another mother judging me is to make sure I have nice clothes. And, quite frankly, with my budding World of Warcraft addiction possibly leading me towards a computer purchase, I'm not going to turn down someone else spending her money on my clothes. So, after a successful trip to TJ Maxx, I am armed with two new sweaters, new jeans, a lovely olive green top, a $20 t-shirt (which goes against just about all of my shopping values) and cold weather gear ('cause weather.com predicts temperatures in the, uhm, 50s, while it'll be in the 60s back in Cali, so, clearly a scarf and earmuffs are required). So, with an outfit that will transition from airplane to dinner table if absolutely necessary, a decent outfit requiring boots and my little kitten heel pumps if we have the chance to freshen up, I'm as ready as I can be.
I have two weeks to ponder, two weeks to wonder and two weeks to, of course, not get everything done that I want. I was able to let something, go, though, and that's my burning desire to bring homemade treats for the dinner table. I've never gone to a Thanksgiving meal and not brought food, so this is an entirely foreign concept to me. In fact, it's rare that I've been anywhere other than at my own home, frantically helping my mom prepare the bulk of the meal.
I said to WG last week, after I made my ridiculously reliable and delicious cake brownies (no recipe online, but if you've got one of those red and white plaid Betters Homes and Gardens cookbooks, it's in there, in the cookie section), "I know what I'm making to bring to Oklahoma."
"You don't have to bring anything."
"Yes, I do. And I'm bringing these brownies."
"No, you don't."
"Well, I'm bringing brownies. I can't not bring something."
"Yes, you can."
...this was not our first ever edition of "I'm more stubborn than you."
And I'm going to win this one, in a way, because my mama didn't raise me to show up empty handed.
Still, I imagined myself, jet lagged and exhausted, showing up at the family friend's house for dinner, meeting people I've never even heard of, and then handing over a slightly travel-worn container of brownies. And what container? Because I can't expect to get it back. Oh, the endless worries of meeting strangers who will have opinions of you as their loved one's girlfriend of over a year.
I decided I liked the image of me, neatly dressed in my sweater, silk skirt and pumps, handing over a pound of Peet's Coffee Beans (Holiday Blend, of course) much better. And at least the beans were brewed in Berkeley. So, I bought the coffee. And a tin of Ghiradelli chocolates for his mom. But no other gifts, no other treats from Northern California. I can't predict who all we'll meet, and it's not like I'm coming from a foreign country, "I bring you the chocolate of my people."
So, I'm trying to approach this like WG would, since these are his people that we're visiting, and just relax and be myself.
But I'm still coming armed with the goodies of my people, or my state, or...I mean I'm not trailer trash, and I'll show up with a hostess gift.