I was hoping to have a bunch of awkward and hilarious anecdotes to share with you about the trip up to The Czarina's. But nothing really happened! Everything went really smoothly. CN likes Mom, Mom likes CN. The end.
CN really enjoyed teaming up with The Czarina to tease me, which caused me to exclaim more than once, "Hey! Whose side are you on, anyway?!" to him. They thought this was hilarious.
I have to say, I think Czarina was on her best behavior. Not once did any of our baggage-laden, touchy-subject issues come up in conversation. She didn't even speak a word about my obvious weight gain!!! And it definitely helped that she had a party to host, because it really wasn't in her schedule to sit down for a heart-to-heart with him, asking about his intentions. She was much MUCH too distracted. WHEW.
Her distraction was so great, in fact, that not even 30 minutes after lecturing Smurf about her abysmal teenage driving skills, she was pulled over by a policeman for running a stop sign. Whoops. To make it even worse, Mom was so oblivious to his flashing lights that she just proceeded to park her car and get out to go do her business as if nothing were wrong. CN and I, who had already parked in our car and were waiting for her nearby, saw her get out of her car and so we began yelling, "What are you doing??!! He's going to pull a gun on you!!!" and then we busted out laughing when we saw her realize what was going on. Then we called Smurf to tell her that Mom just got pulled over for blowing a stop sign. And that she could have been shot for getting out of her vehicle. The Czarina will never live this down.
CN was a paragon of perfection, if I do say so myself. Fat Dog was not around to help Mom with the party, because he was in his best friend's wedding and therefore, out of town. Fungus arrived with a painful back injury, so he was also unable to help out with party preparations. So CN stepped up to the plate and moved furniture, set up tables and carried lots of things around for my mother. I was very proud, and The Czarina was very grateful. He earned lots of points.
Aside from one guest showing up FIVE HOURS EARLY to the party, despite the invitations CLEARLY stating the party started at 6pm*, everything went really well, party-wise. There was plenty of leftover food and alcohol. I got to see many friends of the family. CN made a wonderful impression on everyone, but at the same time, he said he never felt pressured or overwhelmed the entire time he was at The Czarina's. In fact, he said he had a great time and thought everyone was wonderful. I wish I could say the same thing -- not once, but TWICE during the party someone whispered very loudly to me, "So, do you think he's the one???" when CN was barely out of earshot. This made me want to whisper loudly back, "I don't know! Maybe you should ask him, since he's standing right behind you!!"
Argh. I should have spent more time avoiding the loud whisperers, rather than just trying to stay away from my mother.
* This is pretty typical behavior for this guest. Last year, he refused to drive to the party himself, and my poor brother was stuck driving him on the 3 hour trip to my mother's house. Keep in mind that this particular guest is a sweaty, creepy old man who is very nosy, particular and irritating. And he wears shorts with black knee socks, a source of much amusement for the under-40 crowd at the party.