Photo by Bjorn Karlman
Bjorn (right) and his father are seen in front of a ginormous flag we found during our adventure in the hills.
Now and then some of my faithful readers of yore (thanks to all three of you) who remember that I had a column in the entertainment section when it was still called the Buzz and my last name was still “Salagubang,” will bring up the fact that I never wrote a column about my wedding. I have decided to reprint some of my old columns about my wedding prep in this feature, until such time as I can no longer milk it and must write about the wedding. After that, this feature will turn into a column about lessons I’ve learned in my life and marriage … “in hindsight” (get it? :D)
Going to meet the man
By Jammie Salagubang – Buzz Editor
Big papa came to town.
Also known as “my future father-in-law,” this event induced several deep-breathing bouts and fits of cleaning.
I was terrified, because: 1.) I had never met him; 2.) The interactions we had before consisted of 1.5 phone conversations lasting less than five minutes; 3.) I have this egregious need to have my significant other’s family approve of me; 4.) He’s a very learned man (a former college professor), hence my need to learn and use words like egregious; 5.) Did I mention this was the first time I would be meeting him? 6.) He’s Swedish — not in itself bad, but I am Filipino and the cultural differences are rather distinct, and 7.) I’m meeting my future father-in-law for the first time. His approval (or lack of it) could change my life.
Questions kept racing through my mind. Would he like me? (Hopefully.) Would I like him? (Likely). Would there be long awkward pauses? (Probable.) Would I say something embarrassingly awkward and socially crippling? (Highly probable).
To top it all off, someone with the initials N.Z. had said something that hit me with the 40-ton truck force that only comes with truth: No matter how much your in-laws like you, they will always love their kid more.
I thought about that all the way down to the airport. I thought about it after I finally met this very charming, friendly and dapper man. I thought about it during meals, our off-roading mountain tour in a Honda Accord and while eating our plenteous desserts.
My conclusion: I love the way he loves his son.
He seized every opportunity to say something supportive and kind to him. And not in a walk-all-over-me, brat-spawning style of parenting. He was respected and respectful. He saw the good and encouraged it. It may sound like I’m trying to gain brownie points, but after meeting him I truly thought, “I hope I’m this kind of parent.”
Even if I am loved second-best in that family, I think it will still be good enough.
Jammie Karlman is the entertainment editor for the Chico Enterprise-Record. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @JammieKarlman