Ever since I left my erstwhile home in Wimbledon and moved to Acton, I haven’t experienced any semblance of a typical “family” life. Well, I guess Kelly and I do make dinner together from time to time and sit around watching TV and chatting, which is essentially what my family back home does on any given evening, but when you live with friends, no matter how close they may be, the house will never feel quite like “home.” Of course, this could be a good thing or a bad thing; I doubt very seriously that my mother would launch into a spontaneous attempt to perform a handstand in the living room or challenge me to a caffeine consumption contest – both of which occur in my house and provide no end of entertainment. Well, at least for ten minutes or so.
Now, all of a sudden, I’ve got family coming out of my ears! Last night was the big night – the night I met the Fam. I hadn’t met Kevin’s parents yet, and since I’ll be spending Christmas with him and his family, I wanted to meet them at least once before we found ourselves seated across from each other at Christmas dinner. So last night I got on a train after work and headed to East London for the very first time on my way to Plaistow. I was surprised how nervous I was. I didn’t think I would be, but my stomach was knotted up all day yesterday at the thought of meeting them. It didn’t particularly help that Kevin told me his dad was very politically-minded beforehand; I was imagining him grilling me about American foreign policy and my voting record. Kevin met me at the train station and walked me to his parents’ house, which is on a very cute street that, in this city with absolutely no holiday spirit, had the most decorations I’ve seen yet – both houses that stuck lights outside.
I think overall things went pretty well. His parents are both very nice and sweet, and I didn’t feel half as nervous once I got there as I thought I would be. There was the usual feeling of inadequacy that I get whenever I speak to most British strangers (hearing my accent in conversation with others’ makes me feel automatically dumber in comparison), but they were both friendly and made me feel welcome. Kevin’s mom made a delicious roast dinner, complete with stuffing, roast potatoes and heaps of vegetables – I’ve no doubt I will be well-fed on Christmas day.
It was nice to spend time in a real home again since I haven’t had that for a while, but tomorrow will bring even more family fun because that’s when my sister and her boyfriend are coming over for their long-awaited visit! They’ll be arriving early tomorrow morning and staying until Thursday. I am so excited about it and I have been for the past few months. I’ve taken off two days next week to take them around to see stuff, and then next Wednesday night we’re going to have a pre-Christmas dinner and exchange gifts. I’m really looking forward to that night because Kevin will be over along with Kelly’s boyfriend and we’ll have a nice big group – all couples, how nauseatingly cute! Now that I’ve bought my requisite annoying singing Christmas decoration (an adorable dog that sings Christmas tunes in a Southern accent – priceless!) and a poinsettia to go along with our tree and all the other decorations, I’m all set for my very first British Christmas.
Tags: Christmas, England, family, London, Travel