M.I.C.: Learning How Family Works

2:55 PM

After I visited my family for the summer, I knew that it was only a matter of time before we had an invitation to go somewhere with Clark's family. Or rather, a request.

When we were first married, Clark's family still seemed to make things a "priority". There would always be a reason given and it was almost as if they were telling us what we had to do.

It wasn't easy. I suppose it wasn't easy for them, either. The fact that their 19 year old son was married, had withdrawn from a four year college, and was still figuring out what he wanted to do by taking a full time job at Walgreens and going to community college part time.

So, I honestly can't remember if it was August or September, but one very late night in one of those months we headed to the beach to meet Clark's family. His shift at Walgreens didn't get over until 11pm (so he could go to class during the day, he worked at night). So we did the unthinkable and drove after Clark got off of work.

I should say Clark drove. I slept. I told him if he wanted to leave that late to drive down for a few days at the beach with his family, then he could drive. I was very willing to get up and leave the next day at 5am. He was not.

So, Clark drove us to the beach and we didn't get there until probably three or four in the morning. It was something ridiculous like that. Needless to say, my parents didn't know that we left that late. I didn't tell them (sorry mom, dad). It was stupid, and I knew it. I was just appeasing my husband.

The same morning we arrived, we were stranded to sleep on the couch. All the beds were taken. We didn't know where we were supposed to be sleeping. So we crashed on the couch.

I was not a happy camper. Clark was too tired to care.

Three and a half hours later, Clark's grandmother came out and immediately woke us up exclaiming, "Oh my goodness, when did y'all get here? You drive all night?"

She had a lighter reaction than my parents would have.

Clark's parents do night driving. It's where Clark got it. Leave late, get there late. Or leave late and get there eeeaaarrrlllyyy, if you know what I mean!

The vacation itself went well. I got the schoolwork I needed done, done. Clark got to surf. We got some quality time in with just the two of us. It was great.

It was just adjusting to the way his family did stuff at the beach vs. the way my family did stuff at the beach that was difficult on me. I mean, we'd taken a beach vacation with his family before, but that was before we were married. It was different, as much as everyone wanted to pretend it wasn't.

During this period of our relationship, we had a hard time standing up for ourselves. What I mean by that is sometimes family would get into a mode of trying to tell us what to do and how to do it. Being in the mindset of just getting out of our parents' homes, we tended to just do it... even if it stepped on each other's toes.

From then on out, we didn't do much late driving. We left the beach at a reasonable time to get home at a reasonable time. Just the way I liked it.

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