Sunday, November 16, 2008
My Big Fat Greek Weekend
Ah St. Louis in the fall. It's freaking freezing there. Mr. Wonderful warned me that this was why he moved to warmer climate. But I thought with my big coat and my cute new Calvin Klein boots, I'd be fine. Nope. Southern Californian blood is thin and I froze my butt off. But we had a great time. As you can see, we made it over to the arch. And all the leaves were finishing up their autumn color change, so all the driving was quite picturesque.
I ended up meeting the entire family and Mr. W's childhood best friend all on the first night, and they were wonderful. His nieces were precious; his sister and brother-in-law couldn't have been nicer; and his dad, aunt and uncle, and yaya made me feel like I was already part of the family. When we walked into the house, Yaya—who doesn't speak a whole lot of English—immediately started telling me how happy she was to meet me and kissing me on the cheek. I wanted to cry. She was absolutely adorable. It took everything in me not to fall into a hysterical mess today when we had to leave her. She made me miss my own Grandmas, and she was such a big part of Mr. W's life that I feel eternally grateful for her. I wanted to bring her home with us. Instead, I brought home a checkered apron and a crocheted shawl that she made and insisted I take with me.
In addition to experiencing the culture and cold weather along the Old Miss, I got to see firsthand how the Greek community lives. It was fascinating and extremely entertaining. We went to a special dinner party at the church Mr. W attended as a kid, and everyone seemed to know everyone. There was Greek food, lots of talking in half English/half Greek, and quite a bit of Greek dancing—which looks a lot like people marching arm-in-arm in a spiraling circle.
I didn't talk about politics or anything else on the taboo list, and I even did a shot of ouzo with Mr. W's uncle and brother-in-law. I may have an esophageal ulcer now, but it was all worth it.
I think it's safe to say I passed the test. And I hope I can go back to visit his sweet family and charming city (although I think I might need to try some different restaurants... ) The next stop may be Tampa to visit Mr. W's mom and stepdad. I'll be looking for advice. Perhaps some new pastel attire will be in order...