Meet the Parents OR the Death Ride from Hopewell, New Jersey

COLLEEN: Danny and I have been together for almost six years, but this was the first time that his four parents were together with my two parents (no other guests present) – a situation rife with potential tensions.

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Bocce and bellinis.

Before meeting with the complete set of six, Danny and I had a warm-up brunch with his father and step-mother (to check out a rehearsal dinner site in Hopewell, NJ.) On the drive home, Danny’s father and step-mother followed me in their car and Danny rode shotgun with me in my sister’s car. The anticipation of this plan had my stomach in knots. I spent my college and post-college years in New York City and I’ve had little opportunity to develop my driving skills. It causes me tremendous anxiety, especially when there are onlookers judging my performance. I met Danny’s attempts at conversation with silence, gripping the wheel tighter and tighter until my knuckles turned white. The only time I spoke was one horrifying moment when a few raindrops hit the windshield, obstructing my vision. Moment by moment, my field of vision became ever more blurry and the thought of turning on the windshield wipers was too much for me. I finally enlisted Danny’s help with the wipers, just in the nick of time.

Once at my parents’ house, we went straight into bellinis, and then when the weather cleared, the whole tribe migrated outside for a game of bocce. We’re not Italian, but bocce transcends all cultures. I must say that Danny’s father exhibited striking talent.