A Hurricane Taught Me To Love His Family


A devastating hurricane helped one woman accept her husband's raucous relatives.

Our families couldn't be more different. I come from a household of introverts and nerds. We're quiet. We don't draw attention to ourselves. We don't play practical jokes. We don't laugh loudly, and we never, ever bellow. My childhood home in Tennessee was dark and hushed.

I remember my childhood dinners as a time to discuss politics, religion or philosophy. We debated, but politely. As a child, my goal was to blend in. I hid from attention. I was an excellent student, but I never bragged about my accomplishments–it just wasn't seemly. How Hurricane Irene Can Help You Find A Boyfriend


His clan on the other hand, seemed like it was from different planet. The first time I attended his family reunion in Florida, shortly after we married, I wanted to crawl into a hole and hide. What a boisterous bunch of people! They talked too much and they laughed too loudly, at each other and at themselves. They put bugs in each others' beers and ate off of one anothers' plates. They shouted and laughed as they dug a hole and barbequed a pig whole. They even poked fun at me! My face turned red. I stammered. I had no idea how to respond. Poll: Is Sex Hotter During A Hurricane?

They hugged and they laughed and they cried and they wrestled–in the house! Chairs and lamps flew and pictures fell off walls as they grunted and grappled and cursed and pinned each other down. And they looked at me as if I were the one from another planet.

In the beginning, I begged out of his family get-togethers. They terrified me. He, on the other hand, relished the opportunity to make my parents blush or laugh, and my parents quickly grew to love him and to eagerly anticipate his visits. "Where's Keith?" they'd ask, disappointed if it was only me coming to visit. He brought life into my family.

But his family. . . his family frightened me. They were so rambunctious. And they hugged and touched so much. I didn't know what to do with them and they didn't know what to do with me.

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