I was reminded tonight of the strength of anticipation.
You see, my kids' mom told me a couple of months ago that she had gotten engaged to J. My initial reaction I think was a mix of anger and shock - mostly I think because E and J had only known each other for at most 6 months prior to deciding to marry. 6 months when 4 young kids are involved just seemed hasty.
I had made a point of not asking the kids about J. He lives a few hours away, so they only see him every couple of weeks. They talked about him a little, revealing little bits of info that didn't exactly make me feel very secure that he was going to be permanently involved in their lives.
They told me he talks a lot about farting and has showed them a web site where you can download fart noises. I learned this after questioning my then 6 year old daughter when she used the word fart in conversation with my mother. Now I've nothing against the word fart or farting, but I'm of the opinion that the word is best left to conversations between teenage boys or adults acting like teenage boys (which I do, not infrequently).
The kids also told me J works with tools. Great! The roughly 1/3 of my multi-6 figure salary that I send to them is going to be supporting the guy that's swinging the hammer and smoking pot at the home renovation next door.
I had asked E about meeting J after they got engaged. We had a little trouble scheduling it, and finally tonight we met. They came to my house after I had put the kids to sleep, and we sat on the deck and all drank a beer and talked.
Now I had absolutely dreaded meeting J. I had him pictured wearing greased blue jeans with a black bowling shirt with his name engraved, a slicked back mullet, and a tattoo on his arm of a heart with an arrow through it. I was certain he was the picture in Webster beside the definition of redneck.
But guess what?
J seems like an alright guy. He doesn't swing a hammer - he sells industrial tools to commercial accounts for a multi-billion dollar company. He's roughly the same age as E and me (although he's already all gray - poor dude...), and he graduated from the same university.
He's easy to talk to, not physically intimidating at all (and no mullet, and no name engraved on his shirt...), and said explicitly that he is not an axe murderer or a child molester. He apparently has even gotten the FAA/TSA extensive security screen that's optional for people who fly a ton and passed that, so I guess he probably isn't on any sexual predator lists.
I didn't ask him about the farting infatuation...
I admit I still don't like another guy having such close access to my kids. But I also will admit that I think I'm going to get along with, and maybe even like, this particular guy.
Before they left after sitting around together for an hour and a half, I even managed to tell them I was genuinely happy for them.
And I was happy to get this meeting over with...
And I'm happy that the real reality isn't nearly as bad as the anticipated reality. At least not yet...
Thanks for joining me for My Daily Spin.