Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Lesson Learned

This post was written in response to a prompt from The Red Dress Club: Write a post that either starts or ends with the words "Lesson learned." Word limit: 400 words.

It was my first time meeting his family…and I mean all his family. We sat with his brother and girlfriend, grandmother, parents, and even two aunts. And then there was me.

I entered with some discomfort and uneasiness. The world of dating was new again. Meeting the family, sat on my mind, unfamiliar and odd. I had been invited to take part in a birthday celebration. I sat and I listened. I did my best to pay attention to stories, adventures, jokes about people I didn’t know…and I began to ease in. They kept me included and I smiled and laughed.

This family was different than others I had called my own. Professors and bankers speaking of politics, annual parties and taxes entwined with affection. Yet, they spoke with love and belonging, and my nervousness lessoned and I gently relaxed. He would look at me with his eyes of adoration and check on my level of calm. My grin encouraged him and it appeared all was on track for success, just as he planned.

So he slipped me a kiss and excused himself and off to the restroom he went.

Suddenly the stories shifted, and the attention was drawn to me. A few simple questions, and their head shakes and acknowledgement continued in the positive direction we had started.

And then, his aunt who sat beside me leaned in and asked, “Do you have children?”

“Yes, I have 4.”


And the fuse was lit. The news moved around that table, and the reaction was much the same.

4? You have 4 children?

The feeling in my stomach rose and entered my face in red. I could not believe he hadn’t told them.

As he entered back into the conversation he could tell something had rolled into the atmosphere.
As he listened to the next question fired towards me….and I told their ages of 10, 13, 14, and 17 he realized what had happened and nervously chuckled in response.

He squirmed in his seat, unsure which storm he needed to answer to first.

He thought about his preparation for this moment, and I sat and wondered about it too.

Me…I knew he should have never left me alone. And he wouldn’t through many more family visits.

Because that day, my sweet man had a
lesson learned.

Author’s Note: I did marry this man. And this is one of the favorite stories to share when we all get together now. Now…I can laugh.


  1. I had a mental image of one of my favorite movies - "Yours, Mine, Ours" (the original with Lucille Ball, not the bastardized remake) - when the two main characters confess how many kids they have (10 and 8).

    That's a big lesson - DON'T leave the person you love alone with your family! LOL

  2. Ha! A lesson learned, indeed. Poor guy must have felt awful, and good! He should have. ;) Even if you CAN laugh now, how not fun that must have been for you then! Well written, great sharing!

  3. Oh I can only imagine how uncomfortable that was for both you and then him....so fun to look back and laugh at it now!

  4. Haha, "four?"...I could just picture the looks on their faces. I can't believe he didn't tell them beforehand...glad he learned his lesson ;)

  5. Oh I'm so glad that you wrote that author's note! Phew!

    I loved this line -unsure which storm he needed to answer to first- I could feel the tension all the way around.

    And now? I can her the laughter as you retell the story today!

  6. oh man! i could feel the tension! :)

  7. I love that you took the prompt for someone elses' lesson learned! United front I assume from now own.

  8. The ending made me laugh out loud when it was he who learned the lesson! Great storytelling.

  9. Yeah, he probably should have told them before-hand, huh? I kinda love this story. :)

  10. Yeah, he probably should have told them that before-hand, huh? I kinda love this story. :)

  11. How uncomfortable for you! Men...sometimes I wonder what they're thinking. And that may be the problem. They're usually not. Great lesson, and great take on the prompt!!!

  12. Men (ok, at least many of the men I've encountered) just don't have the concept of preparing people for situations.

    Good for you for handling it well. I can imagine you heard crickets chirping in awkwardness for a brief moment!

  13. I love that you two ended up together. I wasn't sure at first how it was going to turn out. I'm glad he learned THAT lesson.


I would love to have some feedback. Let me know what you love...and let me know what you don't.