It's the stuff that movies are made of: a couple's two sets of parents meet each other for the first time. Ben Stiller's practically built a career on awkward family relationships. But WH and I could give the Fockers a run for their money.
WH and I had been together for several years when we finally got the 'rents together for dinner. We met at a neutral location, La Tomate (one of our favorites), for dinner. Everything went just fine until we got to dessert. Sure, it was a little more formal than usual, as these things are when people don't know each other well. But our after-dinner treats really brought out the best in us all. WH and Dear Old Dad are fans of port, which is perfect with dessert. There's a particular port called Cockburn's. You can get your mind out of the gutter (at least momentarily), it's pronounced coe-burn. But who cares really? It looks like cock-burn and that's how we say it 'round these parts, because why wouldn't you? When given the opportunity to act like a sophomoric 12-year-old boy, you really must do so.
WH said to my DOD, after we had placed our dessert and digestive orders, "I really like Cockburn." My eyebrow raised, but I thought nothing of it until he continued, "I had it the other night and thought of you." It was then that I got what I like to refer to as "church giggles," you know that laugh you know you really shouldn't indulge in, but can't control yourself? My father, who was sitting in the middle of the table, looked at me and started laughing too. WH went on, innocently, "The first time I had it, you gave it to me." By then, my father and I were crying, we were laughing so hard, my mother was fuming and WH's parents were looking at us with a mixture of stunned confusion. Fortunately for all of us, the waiter arrived shortly after that with our desserts and mouths were stuffed so nobody could say anything -- and what could be said after that, anyway?
The good news is that despite the slightly off-color double entendre, our parents really enjoyed (and continue to enjoy) each others' company. So much so, in fact, that we are lucky enough to spend all major holidays and occasions together. So . . . as you look forward (perhaps with apprehension) to family gatherings during the holiday season, just remember about the time my father gave my husband Cockburn's.