After Jacob’s text that finally broke the silence on Father’s Day, I waited all of 32 seconds before responding (I didn’t want to seem desperate, after all). “Oh nothing! Why? :)” He told me that his family was going slacklining and then having dinner together and that I was welcome to come. My answer was, “Yes! What time?” After he gave me the details, he gave me a warning, “Both of my brothers are going to have their girlfriends there… I hope that’s not awkward.”
So, let me get this straight: After one date, I am going to hang out with his parents, his brothers, and their girlfriends? No, that’s not awkward at all…
To make matters worse, it dawned on me that I had absolutely no idea what slacklining was. I grabbed my computer with now sweaty hands and “high-speed” Internet suddenly seemed like a stretch. When the familiar, colorful banner finally popped up, I googled “slick linning” as fast as I could. Google knew I meant to type “slacklining” and I clicked on the first link.
“Slacklining is a practice in balance that typically uses 1 inch nylon webbing tensioned between two anchor points.”
… And now I am going to try to balance on a ONE INCH line in front of my new love interest AND his family? Lovely.
I knew I had to back out. Just when I was about to text him that I needed to do my laundry or shave my legs or organize all of my receipts from the past 3 years, my phone buzzed.
“I am so excited to see you.”
That was it. I had to go. I took a deep breath, put on an adorable dress and some leggings (which were necessary for the slacklining I was so looking forward to), and drove to his house.
As it turned out, the slacklining I had been dreading required Jacob to grab my hand as I was getting up on the line. He kept hold of it as I would walk across, saving me from any embarrassing falls. I began to wonder if he hadn’t planned this activity knowing what a klutz I was so that he could be the one to help me. Maybe slacklining wasn’t so bad after all…
And that wasn’t the only thing I had judged too quickly.
Much to my surprise, I had an amazing time with his family, laughing and eating and just enjoying their company. We talked about Oklahoma, college, and my dislike for animals, specifically dogs (there’s that irony again). All of the awkwardness I had feared never showed up. His family was so warm and inviting, it felt natural and comfortable just to be myself around them. I knew that night, although it was a long-shot, that this was exactly the type of family I wanted to be a part of.
(The 8 of us at Jordan & Celeste’s wedding in Oklahoma a few years later.)