Story-A-Day May: First Contact

         Allie turned the ring around with her thumb, she wasn’t used to it yet. Touching it still gave her a little jolt, in a good way, a quick flash memory of Jeremy sliding the opened velvet box across the table, the bottle of champagne. Her yes was never in question, but the thought of his nervous expression was endearing.

The nerves were all hers tonight though. They had flown to Halifax to meet Jeremy’s parents. She had talked to them on Skype before, had seen pictures, received their emails of congratulations, they were happy to finally have a daughter-in-law on the horizon. Jeremy was only 30 but they seemed to have figure that he would never properly settle down. Now that she was here, she wondered if Jeremy being with her was proper at all.

She knew that his family was wealthy. Everything that Jeremy did spoke of someone who didn’t worry about money. He didn’t do that few seconds of calculation before putting down his credit card to pay for something. His clothes were expensive, his car had all the extras, he knew about wine, some of her friends had some of those things, but he was the only one who had them all. He wasn’t flashy about it though, so she was never uncomfortable. At least she hadn’t been until she got to his parent’s place.

It wasn’t that they had a separate dining room, lots of people had that. It was that their table sat 30 people and that they had a drawing room for after dinner drinks. It wasn’t that the walls of their living room had beautiful paintings, it was that one of them appeared to be a Picasso. She was so far out of her league that she had no idea how to play this game.

So, she was one of 4 people at a table for 30, eating foods she had never heard of with utensils she had never seen before. She had no idea what to talk about, no idea what rich fancy people said to each other over dinner. She didn’t know anything about expensive cars, or art, and she had never hosted a charity ball. Movies were her only reference point for the conversations of wealthy people, and they didn’t seem to be much help to her at the moment. So she just sat, and ate with her right hand and while twirled her engagement ring around her finger with her left thumb.

She was sure her in-laws-to-be were thinking that Jeremy had made a poor choice, this woman who didn’t know how to dress, who had dropped the napkin she had tried to put on her lap. They were probably thinking that she was some sort of idiot who couldn’t even come up with appropriate dinner conversation. She felt her face redden as she realized how much she didn’t fit in.

“Allie?” Jeremy’s mother was speaking to her. What was she going to ask? Was this the question that would expose Allie as a fraud, as an outsider. Would this be the question that would show Jeremy that he had made a mistake?

She took a deep breath and bravely faced Mrs. Walters-Carr. “Yes?”

“Can you pass the salt, honey? I think I forgot to put some in the potatoes when I cooked them.”