Posted by: Kristy | July 20, 2009

Let our braverism astound you


Michael Scott: “Does anyone know what the number one cause of death is in this country?”

Dwight Shrute: “Shotgun weddings.”

Jim Halpert: “That’s not what that is.”
(“The Office” Season 5, Weight Loss)


I’m keeping you. Seriously. Get used to the idea.  That is all.

Those are the thoughts running through my head last night during dinner at my grandparents’ house. As I’m stammering and trying to think of a witty comeback and blushing like crazy. And The Boy is sitting next to me with his eyes scrunched up all cute, not even bothering to hide the fact that the reason he’s sitting there shaking is due to laughter.

Not looking mortified and trying to crawl under the table. No, laughing. Five seconds after being accused of potentially knocking me up. Which wouldn’t be so much funny as it would be insulting unless you know us. And our opinions. And our relationship. If you do, then it’s just funny.

Back up. Some background for y’all. Let’s talk about family for a minute.

Woven throughout sitcoms, movies, stories told at a girls’ night out while nursing a second round of Appletinis and other facets of life are the well-worn tales of the embarrassing things family members do in front of significant others that make a girl want to claim she’s adopted. There are horror stories of meeting the parents for the first time, and warnings to wait until a relationship hits a significant plateau before bringing a date to the annual extended family picnic.

Whether it be grandma’s gummy, toothless smacking kisses or Uncle Walter’s innappropriate and ill-timed innuendoes, we all spend time in transit preparing our beloved for the onslaught of cringe-inducing genes running rampant at such gatherings.

My cousin, Scott, and I say that the final test for a potential mate is the Iron Man Challenge that is the Meeker Family Christmas Eve shindig. Navigating that bad boy party should be followed by a direct trip down the aisle, not passing “Go” nor collecting $200, for anyone who survives is nothing short of an absolute keeper. For the recipe, cram 25 people in three rooms (well, two-and-a-half since it gets kind of tight in the kitchen), range the ages from still in utero to 80-something, add a dash of alcohol, mix in conflicting political opinions from very opinionated and stubborn people, remove a few verbal filters and you have the relationship gauntlet. It’s glorious and hilarious and I wouldn’t trade them for anything.

However, I will be flying solo at that party until there is something shiny and platinum on my hand in order to protect any poor, unsuspecting male who thinks he can handle me for the rest of life. Heh. Poor, poor guy.

However, the gut-splitting scene relayed earlier happened in July. With my father’s side of the family. Starring a man who I call “Uncle Gary” but who is as far from blood related as Denzel Washington. Uncle Gary has known me since I was born, is a career military man, never married, is from Tennessee, has a thick-as-molasses accent and has many, many missing verbal filters.

Gary arrived in Ohio last night and The Boy and I gamely joined him, my grandparents and my parents for a laugh-a-minute evening. Which really turned in to Gary Gets to Give Kristin a Hard Time All Night. For as long as I’ve known him (that would be 25 years) his favorite question is “Who’s this? K-uh-ristin? How you doin’? You heav a boyfriend yit?”

Now that, yes, I do, and I kind of like him so don’t scare him off, Gary’s favorite question is, “How long’ve you two been together?* When are you gonna get married?** Y’all really need to just get married. Geetcha a house. Yeah, that’s what you need to do.”

Oy. I thought we had made it nearly to dessert fairly unscathed until we began discussing the name my brother and sister-in-law chose for my gestating nephew, launching a discussion on what names we all like, what we will never saddle our children with, etc. I’m making a solid argument for naming my first girl Kathleen so she can be called Katie as a little girl, Kat or Kate or Kathleen as an adult when my mom jumps in with her always hopeful comment, “So when you have the twins what is the other one’s name going to be?” ***

Before I can utter a peep, Gary pipes up, “Twins?! You havin’ twins? What, we gonna have a shotgun wedding? When, this fall yit?”

Oh, for the love of all that is good and holy. ****

I have a feeling the Great Christmas Extravaganza is going to seem tame in comparison this year.

* The first time or the second time? The long story or the short story? 

**  Let’s shoot for living in the same city first, how about that?

*** My mother has this deep, ridiculous desire for twin grandchildren and is convinced if she mentions it enough to me or my sister-in-law one of us will come through for her. I hope she handles disappointment well.

**** Aaaand, I’m hitting the gym extra hard this week in case I LOOK like I’m in need of a shotgun wedding around the belly area. Ugh. There’s a shot to a girl’s self esteem. :-p


  1. this is all that is fantastic and awesome. great writing too!

  2. so funny! i think i need to meet this uncle gary character. he sounds like a hoot. i miss you! we need to hang out… it sounds like i need some updates. 🙂 i don’t think i can do anything this month unless you want to help me move, but as soon as august rolls around i’m free again…

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