My Family vs. His Family, Take Two


My last post failed to deal with how Collin interacts with my family. A regrettable oversight that will now be rectified!

[Warning: Some people don't like when I  frankly discuss/make jokes about my parents being dead, because it is sad and/or it makes them feel awkward.  Those people should read another blog right now!  Maybe this one.]

Ok, now that the Delicate Daisies are distracted, let’s be real: Collin gets off easy on the whole in-laws front because my parents are dead.  Sure, he had to pass muster with my siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, and Grammy.  But that’s child’s play compared to meeting parents, right? I mean, Ben Stiller didn’t star in a really unfunny movie called “Meet the Cousins,” right? (At least not yet.)

And my parents were, don’t get me wrong, totally awesome, but also kind of bizarre in ways that would make being their son-in-law a challenge.

For example, they taught me the very firm rule to call your elders “Mr. Whatever” or “Ms. Suchandsuch.”  I’m still getting used to calling Collin’s parents by their first names, despite regular casual communication.

Collin likes to joke that he would have called my dad (Brian) and my mom (Marty), “B-Money” and “M-Dawg.”

He says he would have asked for their permission for my hand in marriage by saying, “Yo, B-Money, M-Dawg.  I wanna hit that even when we’re old.  You dig?”

I can imagine how this would have played out.

My mom would have laughed hysterically (along with the klutziness and the eczema, one trait I got from her is being what is politely called a “good audience”) and then probably smacked a copy of Sisterhood is Powerful onto his chest and warned him to read that before he tries proposing (got the feminism from her too).

My dad’s fingers would have started to twitch at “B-Money.”  By “hit that” he’d have a cigarette lit.  While my mom laughed and ranted to Collin about coverture, my dad would puff away while writing notes on the pad he always kept in his shirt pocket behind his pack of cigs.

My mom would have trailed off, noticing my dad’s silent focus.  “Bri, honey, what are you doing?”

“A flat refusal felt too pedestrian, so I’m writing this kid a playlist of ’60s pop songs with the word ‘no’ in the lyrics.  Was it the Human B-E-I-N-Z or B-E-I-N-G-Z?’”

“No ‘G’”

“Hm, a stupid name.  Maybe that will help get my point across to C-Killa over here.”

And I hope, at this point, Collin would have piped in with the only pop culture reference that could redeem him in my father’s eyes.  “Dude! Have you ever seen Killer Klowns From Outer Space?”

My dad would look up from his list-making.  He’d tap the ash his from his cigarette.  There’d be the hint of a smile poking out from under his moustache.  “I have. It’s on my list of terrible movies with great titles, right after The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies.

Collin would pump his fist in the air and say,”Whaaaaat?  Awesome!”

My dad would take a long drag, a good excuse for a thoughtful pause.  And the he’d extinguish the cigarette, extend his hand, and warmly say, “Welcome to the family, Son!”


  1. This is the first time I have strumbled across your blog, but man did it make me chuckle. I could understand how some poeple would find it difficult to read about your parents no longer being with us but I find the honesty refreshing…especially since I often lack a social filter myself. Keep the good blogs coming, I look forward to reading more!

  2. Mitcho – I love this! I sort of want to petition that you write hypothetical interactions with your dead parents as a regular feature because it is so charming and funny. That maybe sounds messed up but I’m waving my DPC membership card and hoping that I don’t sound crass. I am now trying to imagine me playing a round of “why do I know him/her?” while watching teevee with your dad.

    • Little-known fact about my dead parents: My mom was WAY better at “hey, it’s that guy!” than my dad. In that she was THE BEST EVER. She could get pretty much every “Murder, She Wrote” killer guest star by voice alone!

  3. Your parents sound awesome. I teared up a little bit at first. The cats in sinks really helped, thanks.

    • I think cats in sinks are my new solution to all of life’s problems. Although I kind of can’t imagine Collin’s cats cooperating with being put in a sink.

  4. Robin, you’ve got to get this blog, like, linked somewhere or something. I don’t know how that works, but you have to do it.

  5. i love your scenario. I also love that you mentioned The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed Up Zombies because I know that move by heart. And I totally agree with Sarah, your parents sound awesome.

    • I have never actually seen that movie. Is it worth it? After sitting through Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death with my dad and Killer Klowns with Collin, I swore off my dad’s VERY REAL list of terrible movies with awesome titles.

  6. Our cats were in the sink this morning. And I loved this post all around. New family interactions in general require humor-for-perspective, especially so in your family situation.

  7. Catsinsinks! Purrrrfect!!!

    I will most definitely use in the future.

    And p.s. Your parents sound awesome.

  8. Addendum to a previous comment I left on another post of yours:






  9. I can totally picture dad making that list.

    Also, I always felt a little scammed that when we were little we were firmly instructed to call the Fletchers “Mr. and Mrs. Fletcher” but by time John came along it was all “Uncle Bob”.

    • I am so glad you read this because you can appreciate my accuracy.

      And OMG you are right about John getting off easy re: The Fletchers. I am retroactively incensed!

  10. Writing a list of songs with the word ‘no’ a a way to spice up a refusal sounds like a very Dr. Cox from Scrubs kind of thing to do. Awesome.

  11. The movie is so worth it if you like horrible horrible kinda slow moving horror movies ( I recommend just watching Mystery Science Theater make fun of it)

  12. Hey Robin! I came across your blog via thebrokeassbride.com and felt compelled to leave you a comment because I have dead parents too! (Not that I’m happy about it, but it’s just easier to end things with an exclamation point so as not to get the sad head nod from people when I say/write that.) I love your blog (and love it especially now that I know you are an orphan like me). I’ve been with my boyfriend for a long time (10 years) and always wonder how I’d feel on our wedding day without having my mom and dad there with me. Your parents sound rad…mine were pretty rad as well. Anyway, it’s good to know I’m not alone out there in being able to make off color jokes about dead parents. OK, I think I’m done pointing out that we both have dead parents…

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