The Mother from Northern England

I met Dave’s mom, Mags (or Margaret), on Friday evening. I was really excited about it until just a few hours before, then I started to get nervous. As it turns out, the pre-mom-meeting jitters were completely unwarranted, because we hit it off immediately. She is a total riot. We went to the Mexican restaurant in Duvall, because she was still a bit jet-lagged from the trip and wanted to get to bed early. It’s one of those Mexican chain restaurants where the food isn’t particularly great, but it’s simple enough and pretty reliable. Afterwards, we walked across the street to the new sports bar for a drink. (Apparently Duvall is growing into a regular little metropolis; you heard it here first. Next thing you know, all the alpacas will be wearing Louis Vuitton). The sports bar is actually kind of an odd place. It’s owned by the Chinese restaurant next door and they share a kitchen. So if you order food in the sports bar, it’s from the Chinese place’s menu. And the chairs and carpet are the same as the Chinese place. So basically, the only thing that makes it a “sports bar” is the fact that it has a pool table, a dartboard, a jukebox and a couple of big TV sets where they show sports-type events. But it’s smoke-free and the drinks are good, so no complaints. Anyway, we had a great time and called it a night around 11:00 (which was something like 7 a.m. for Mags with the jet lag; she mentioned that it felt like she should be ready for her morning coffee).

Saturday, I had a lazy day at home while Dave and his mom shopped and ran various errands on the eastside. We met up that evening to go to dinner at the Waterfront Restaurant at Pier 70, which is definitely my favorite restaurant in Seattle, and possibly the world. It’s one of those super-posh restaurants that’s too expensive to go often, but it’s perfect for special occasions (i.e., a mom visiting from 5,000 miles away; owing your girlfriend a favor for helping with home improvement projects, etc.). Pretty much everything on the menu is pure mouth bliss. That’s the only way I know to describe it. Anyway, we had a great time again, and after dinner we came back to my apartment so I could show Mags the view from my building’s rooftop deck. We took a few pictures up there (which I’ll post as soon as Dave emails them to me). The strange part of the evening was that I started to feel like I was talking to Mags so much that I was neglecting Dave. I spent a lot of time with him on both Friday and Saturday nights, but I felt like I hadn’t really seen him.

For the next couple of days, Mags is going to stay with Cheryl, who is Dave’s ex-mother-in-law. I guess that might seem strange to some people, but they became friends when Dave and his ex were together, and they’ve stayed in touch in spite of their children’s divorce. Which makes sense to me, they have a friendship that is completely separate from Dave and his ex-wife. Anyway, last night, they decided that the three of them (Mags, Dave and Cheryl) would meet up and have dinner, and then Mags would go home with Cheryl afterward. It’s a bit more social than Dave dropping his mom off at Cheryl’s house, I suppose. Then Cheryl’s other daughter (Dave’s ex-sister-in-law) and her 2 year-old baby decided to come along, plus the daughter’s soon-to-be-ex-husband, who I’d already met once before. (Yes, this is a very complicated family.) Dave seemed very anxious about the whole dinner idea, and I offered to go along for moral support. And selfishly, because I am incredibly curious to learn about the ex’s family. Dave seemed happy that I wanted to go, and I was glad that I could be his designated driver, because he certainly seemed to need a couple of drinks before we left the house. When we were in the car, I reassured him that when you go to a restaurant with a 2 year-old, she’s pretty much going to be the focus of everyone’s attention, so that’s going to dissipate most awkward situations. And I was right. It didn’t feel weird to be there at all, surprisingly enough. The ex-sister-in-law was perfectly pleasant to talk to, and I squeezed Dave’s hand under the table when he seemed tense. I’m sure the evening was a bit rougher on him, but I had a good time. The baby is totally adorable, she sucked down chow mein noodles “Lady and the Tramp”-style. So cute.

The good part about the ex’s family is that they are not night owls. Dinner was at 5:00, and we were out of there by 7. And since Mags left with Cheryl afterward, that meant that I got a few hours of “me and Dave” time, which was great. I’ve had a blast chatting with Mags all weekend, don’t get me wrong. But I was starting to miss Dave, despite the fact that I had seen him three days in a row. Go figure.

Forty-eight hours until my family shows up for Thanksgiving. Whee!