Christmas 1998 was approximately five minutes* after I met Geekman and five days before he was due to leave for London with a two-year contract to work for an investment bank.
Having just realised our mutual awesomeness, we understandably wanted to spend every last possible moment in each other's awesome company. So he invited me to come and stay with his family over Christmas.
I arrived on Christmas morning just in time for the Geekman Family Famous Christmas Brunch. This involves 98 million random Swedish relatives hur-de-hurring all over the lawn, champagne, kanelbullar, strawberries and cream, and a frightening array of cheeses and sausage flown in specially (and probably illegally) from overseas, since New Zealand doesn't make 'the right sort'.
After saying how glad she was to meet me ("Who are you, actually?"), Geekman's mother turned thoughtful. "I'm not sure where I'm going to put you," she said, making me wonder if I had just been downgraded (upgraded?) to a decorative display. "The Nilssons are in Karl's room, and the Karlsson's are in Nils' room. And I have Håkan on the couch in the sitting room and Emma and Klara are already sleeping on the floor..."
"Oh, that's okay," I replied cheerfully. "I can sleep with Geekman. That is. Um. In Geekman's room. On a mattress on the floor. Yes."
And I got a Look that can only be explained by either the fact that it was her son we were talking about, or maybe as the effect of 27 years of life in puritanical New Zealand.
She put me on a camp bed in the hallway.
And less than an hour later, that camp bed is where I lay passed out, suffering from an extreme overdose of the champagne provided with brunch. After all, when people are speaking Foreign all around you, and you're a little nervous to start with, what else is there to do but drink?
So that was how the in-laws first met me, the slutty alcoholic daughter-in-law. (I think I've grown on them.)
(Note: This photo is actually cheating, because I didn't have a camera back in 1998, so have no photos from back then. This one was actually from last year's Geekman Family Famous Christmas Brunch which involved fewer Swedish relatives and more rain, so was indoors and less spectacular, though just as tasty.)
* By which I actually mean something like four months. So I exaggerate. But it really was only about five days until he was due to piss off to the other side of the world.
Wednesday, December 20, 2006