My dad arranged to pick us up at 11:00 PM on Tuesday night when we landed and as we were waiting for our bags, I got really, really nervous. Even though Brady’s parents are kind of closed off and cold, I would say they are still fairly normal. My parents are not normal and our families couldn’t be more different.
On the way to meet my dad, I put out a disclaimer and let Brady know I was not responsible for any of their actions. Brady laughed and told me it was fine. Poor guy had no idea what he was in for.
My dad was waiting for us right outside the terminal. When I saw him standing there I realized he and Brady’s dad kind of remind me of each other with the tall athletic build, graying hair, and preppy attire. Maybe they aren’t so different?
“Hi pumpkin bear!” my dad greeted me with a big hug. Pumpkin bear, seriously?
“This is Brady,” I said, pulling away. I wasn’t as worried about my dad as I was my mom.
They shook hands and talked about how it was nice to meet each other. We headed out to my dad’s Honda Accord and loaded our luggage in. I let Brady have the front seat and he and my dad proceeded to have a conversation about cars the entire ride to my house. My dad was raving about his Accord and said, “I tried to get Reese to get a Honda, but she snuck off and got that BMW instead. I guess nothing was stopping her from getting what she wanted.”
My dad looked at me in the rearview mirror and I glared at him for trying to make me look bad. Brady probably thinks I make irresponsible financial decisions and won’t marry me.
When we pulled up in our driveway, I realized that our house just isn’t as grand and beautiful as Brady’s parents’. And you can see all the neighbors’ houses. Ugh.
My mom was waiting by the door wearing a bathrobe with a glass of red wine in her hand.
“Oh my gosh, hi Brady!” my mom exclaimed, ignoring me. Before Brady could even put his stuff down she threw her arms around him and kissed his cheek, spilling her wine a little bit in the process. Oh my God. My mom was drunk on wine.
“I’m Jacqueline and that’s Scott,” my mom said pulling away.
“Mom, they’ve met,” I said.
“Brady, you’re so handsome!” My mom still had a tight hold of Brady’s arms like she was afraid he would run away. My mom is petite, she’s probably an inch or two shorter than me, but she was stopping him from walking like a linebacker.
“Um, thank you.” Brady’s neck was turning red. “It’s nice to meet you.”
My mom was still holding him hostage in the doorway and my dad said, “Jackie, let the boy go. They just spent hours on the plane and they’re tired.”
My mom pulled away and turned to me. “Hey babe! Fab coat. Do you guys want a glass of wine?”
“No, we’re fine,” I said. I needed to get Brady away from Drunk Mom ASAP. Plus my dad was right, we really were tired.
My dad helped us drag our luggage up to my old room which I was happy to see my mom had cleaned and removed her things from so it just looked like a normal high school girl’s room (i.e. disgustingly pink). It was so weird seeing Brady in my bedroom.
We got ready for bed quickly and my mom shouted goodnight from the hallway and told us she would make breakfast in the morning. I got undressed and put my hair in a bun and climbed into bed. I can’t remember falling asleep. I can’t even remember Brady getting in bed with me. As soon as my head hit the pillow I was out.
I woke up on Wednesday morning really early and got excited for Brady’s birthday.
“Heyyyyy birthday boy!” I squealed snuggling up next to him.
Brady rolled over and put his arm around me, but I think he was still sleeping. I climbed on top of him and pulled my shirt off.
“Brady, wake up,” I said sternly. “Let’s have sex before my parents get up.”
That got his attention. “Okay.”
So we did and then started getting ready. I really, really hoped my mom was out shopping or something, but she met us at the foot of the stairs.
“There you guys are! It’s about time you got out of bed. Breakfast is ready,” my mom said excitedly. She was definitely dressed like a Texas mom: boyfriend jeans and a cropped sweater, logo Tory Burch flats (she would), hoop earrings and a topknot that matched mine. She looked kind of cute actually.
Don’t be fooled – my family never has meals together. But my mom insisted we all sit down and have breakfast at the breakfast nook. Probably so she could compete with Brady’s mom. Yes, I’ve told my mom all about Brady’s mom.
I should also mention that my mom isn’t a very good cook. The eggs had a gray tint to them, the pancakes were soggy and it didn’t help that she used that gross precooked bacon that you make in the microwave.
We all sat around the table that we never use and my mom stacked our plates high with “breakfast.”
“So Brady,” she started immediately. “How are you?”
“I’m doing very well, thank you,” Brady said and then he took a bite of those questionable eggs. He didn’t immediately die or make a face so I figured they must be okay.
“Is this your first time in Texas?” my mom asked.
“No. My grandfather actually lived in Lubbock for the majority of his adult life. I visited him frequently before he died.”
Wait. I didn’t know that, did I? Brady doesn’t talk much about his grandfather. In fact, the only thing I knew was that he got that tattoo to honor him. I had no idea he lived in Texas.
“And the rest of your family lives…where?” my mom continued on.
“Mostly Massachusetts. My older brother lives in San Francisco, my grandparents live in Florida, I have family in DC, Philadelphia, Maine…”
“Wow! So all over the place!”
“Reese said your parents don’t like her,” my mom blurted out.
“That isn’t true. They have nothing but good things to say about her,” Brady said.
“Really? She said your mom thinks-”
“Mom!” I exclaimed, staring at her wide eyed. I’d definitely told her about Brady’s mom calling me controlling, but only to see if she has gotten that feedback too. We are really similar. I didn’t expect her to ask him about it.
“Oh.” She looked at me and realized her mistake. “So what’s your brother doing out in California?”
“He’s an aerospace engineer so he designs airplanes. He recently got married.”
“Yeah to the girl with the pink dreads!” I said excitedly. I’d told my mom all about Dom and how rude she was to all of us.
“Oh wow! Your parents must be so proud of you two!” my mom gushed.
“I hope so,” Brady said.
“We wanted another child,” my mom said, nudging my dad. “And Lord knows we tried, but I guess it just wasn’t meant to be.”
“Reese was enough on her own though,” my dad grinned. “No way we could’ve had another one of these running around.”
“I can imagine…” Brady started.
“Reese was a good kid,” my mom said, giving my dad a look. “She has always been so ambitious and driven. Do you know what she wanted to be when she was growing up?”
I turned and shook my head furiously at my mother. God, is it so hard for her to keep her mouth shut? Brady didn’t need to know my lame childhood ambitions.
My mom looked at me and nodded then looked back at Brady. “An artist.” She looked so delighted with herself.
Brady smiled at me warmly like that’s the most adorable thing he’s ever heard.
“She’s so talented. Her paintings have been published in calendars and there’s an original piece hanging in the library at her old high school. Remind me to show you some before you leave!”
“Thanks Mom!” I said sarcastically.
“So Brady,” my mom said, resting her chin in her hands dreamily. “What else?”
“Um, what do you mean?”
“What do you like to do for fun?”
I literally had to stop myself from shouting, “Me!” Mature.
Brady started telling my mom how he likes to run and play golf and my mom interrupted him to tell him that my dad also likes to play golf. Then she tried to figure out a time they could go while we were there. My mom noticed that Brady had finished his eggs and pancakes (no one else had touched theirs) and she exclaimed, “Oh you liked breakfast! Do you want more?”
And then she proceeded to slop the remainder of the eggs and two pancakes on his plate before he could even answer.
“Mom!” I groaned loudly. I gave Brady a sympathetic look.
“What do you guys have planned for tonight? I’m sure you’ll want to get crunk for Brady’s birthday?” my mom asked. Yes, she said “crunk” like it’s 2005.
“We are going downtown. So I need to borrow your car,” I answered.
“You can borrow my car, doll,” my dad said.
I gave him a disgusted look for making such a heinous suggestion. “Uh, no. We can’t be seen in your Honda downtown. No offense.”
I’d booked a swanky hotel downtown and planned on taking Brady to dinner then going out to get drunk with some of my friends and then going back to the hotel to have birthday sex.
Other than that, I didn’t really have anything planned so we just hung out at my parents house for most of the day. I was really impressed with how well Brady was handling my mom and dad. In fact, he and my dad were hitting it off quite nicely. At one point, my mom and I were discussing what I should do with my hair next (bob? highlights? dreads?!) for hours while my dad and Brady hung out in his office talking about who knows what. I was so engrossed in the discussion I was having with my mom that I completely forgot about my boyf. Oops.
Eventually I hijacked my mom’s car and we headed to the hotel to get ready for dinner. I chose this place my parents always used to take me for my birthday because a. it’s one of my faves and b. it has an amazing bar and is right in the middle of a bunch of the clubs I frequent.
I got dressed in shorts, a crop top and a blazer and we went to dinner. Brady tried to pay our (kind of outrageously expensive) bill, but I told him to quit being ridiculous and let me pay. After we had dinner, we moved over to the bar to wait for my friends.
Just putting it out there: my Houston friends are so much different that my Chicago friends. I know we party a ton in Chicago, but I feel like for the most part we all have our shit together. Brittany got her masters at USC, but doesn’t work and parties five to six nights out of the week. Natalie just got engaged to a professional football player and quit her job in marketing to plan her dream wedding (and she hasn’t asked me to be a bridesmaid so I’m over her). Our other friend Meghan is still working on her bachelors, but is such a trainwreck that she’s never going to finish.
So obviously I didn’t have any shortage of friends to come out and help me and Brady celebrate his birthday. Plus Kendra was coming with her younger cousin, Jasmine, and Jasmine’s boyfriend.
Just when I was giving Brady a disclaimer about my insane friends, Brittany and Meghan came bounding in.
“Reese!” Meghan screamed at the top of her lungs. Before I could even stand up from the bar stool to greet her she ambushed me with a hug. “I fucking miss you!”
Brittany gave me a hug then pulled away and said, “Who’s this?”
“This is my boyfriend, Brady!” I said excitedly.
She flipped her long black hair over her shoulder before sticking her boobs out and her hand in his. “I’m Brittany.”
Brady shook her hand politely and said, “It’s very nice to meet you.”
We pushed two tables together to accommodate our group and Brittany insisted on taking care of the first round of shots: Brady’s choice. He looked at me before deciding on tequila. I’ve obviously rubbed off on him.
While we waited for the rest of our friends, we ordered beers and Brittany started asking Brady questions. First she asked him about where he went to school and his job then bragged about how she has a masters and went to USC.
I turned my attention toward Meghan and started talking to her for a little while. She told me about how she took a semester off from school because “life has gotten so crazy.” And that she’s been dating (hooking up with) this guy and he asked her to move in with him and since she’s living with her parents she’s leaning toward taking him up on that offer. One thing about Meghan is that she desperately needs a man at all times. Like she can’t function if she doesn’t have a boyfriend. It’s really sad actually.
I didn’t tune into Brady and Brittany’s conversation again until I heard her ask him if he thinks his parents will ever apologize.
“I don’t know. I’m not counting on it,” Brady answered.
“Apologize for what?” I couldn’t help asking.
Brady turned to me. “Just the way they treated me and Hunter when we were growing up.”
“How did they treat you?” I asked.
He gave me a weird look and didn’t say anything for like a whole minute. He opened his mouth to say something, but Meghan screamed that Kendra and Natalie had arrived.
Sure enough Natalie was walking in with this huge guy who looked kind of looked like the Rock, but ugly. Kendra, Jasmine and Jasmine’s boyfriend came in behind them. I introduced everyone and we decided to make our way down to the club.
I grabbed Brady’s hand and pulled him along with me. “What was that all about?” I asked.
“What?” He looked confused.
“How did your parents treat you?”
“You know how they treated me. We’ve talked about this before.”
But we haven’t. All he really told me was that they weren’t affectionate or whatever, but nothing really that specific. I decided not to press the subject and just have fun for Brady’s birthday.
Brittany got us in VIP with bottle service and I demanded Patrón, Grey Goose and pineapple juice. We all drank and danced to Beyonce (because Beyonce). I obviously danced with Brady the majority of the time, but once when we weren’t dancing together I saw Brittany twerking in front of him. Not really twerking on him, but really close in front of him like she wanted him to see. Gross.
I ignored it figuring she didn’t realize he was behind her. Meghan asked me to go to the bathroom with her and when we got into the stall she had a meltdown.
She was sobbing into the toilet and the only words I could make out were “he” and “ashamed” so I’m not really sure what message she was trying to get across. Then she started barfing and the bathroom attendant called security to threaten to kick her out. Of fucking course. And y’all thought I was bad.
When we got back to our section, I immediately found Kendra and asked her if she’d seen Brady. She looked around for a moment before pointing to a corner near the bar where Brady and Brittany were talking.
“What the fuck?” I asked, drunkly. What were they possibly talking about?
“Don’t cause a scene on Brady’s birthday,” Kendra warned.
“I’m not,” I assured her before marching over there. I stuck my hand in between them and grabbed Brady.
“Hey baby,” I cooed, kissing him. He wrapped his arms around my waist and squeezed me tight.
“I love you,” he whispered.
That’s more like it.
We partied for a few more hours without incident until people started trickling out. Natalie and Jasmine and their men went home first so the rest of us walked down to my favorite Houston late night bar. I sat in a little corner with Brady and made sure he was enjoying his birthday.
“I am. I can’t lie though, I can’t wait to get back to the hotel with you,” he said.
And he didn’t even know what I had in store! Eventually, we all decided to call it a night and head home. Once we got outside, Brittany linked her arm through Brady’s and walked down the sidewalk ahead of us. Uh, okay? I let it happen for a few minutes while I talked to Kendra about my plans for later. Then I sped up behind Brady and Brittany.
“Do you see yourself marrying her?” I heard Brittany ask.
She must have heard me coming because she turned around and said, “Hey sexy!” And then she put her arms around me and kissed me on the cheek. “I had so much fun tonight, I wish you were in town more often!”
She obviously meant she wishes Brady was in town more often, but I wasn’t going to point that out.
“Same,” I said.
Brittany pulled away, but held onto my hand. “Do you guys just want to stay with me so you don’t have to drive all the way back to your parents house?”
Brady looked at me expectantly like he wanted to know my answer too. Uh, no.
“We actually got a hotel, but thanks for the offer!” I said.
We said our goodbyes and she hugged me and Brady before leaving. Like how do you tell your friend not to flirt with your boyfriend? Is that not common sense?
So I rushed us back to our hotel room because I bought this really cute lingerie set and I wanted to seduce Brady for his birthday. I quickly changed in the bathroom and came back out to Brady on the bed. He kind of laughed but pulled me on top of him.
We slept in on Christmas morning and I ordered a huge breakfast feast from room service. After we were stuffed with waffles, bacon, eggs, fresh fruit and mimosas, we decided to exchange gifts.
I insisted on going first because I was so excited about my gift. I can’t remember who, but someone commented that Brady seems like someone who appreciates experiences over material things and I couldn’t agree more. So I booked us a vacation to Mexico!
It isn’t until March and I was a little afraid of making such a big commitment, but I knew he would love it so I just did it. It’s for four days in Merida which I think is in the Yucatan Peninsula (?). I wanted somewhere that has some history and attractions, but also has places for us to drink at night so after talking to someone on TripAdvisor I decided on Merida.
Brady obviously loved it, but was worried about being able to get days off from work. Ugh. I made sure to book it Thursday through Sunday so we would only have to take two days off. I feel like asking for two vacation days three months in advance isn’t outrageous.
Brady gave me my gift next. I don’t know what I was expecting, but I for sure was not expecting a pair of sexy ass Tom Ford pumps that fit me and my wardrobe perfectly. I can’t believe he picked them out.
He was all like, “Do you like them?”
And I was too busy running around trying to break them in and figuring out how I could wear them while in Houston to respond. Brady also threw some book in there that was written in like the 1800s or something and he said it reminds him of me. I’m not sure how a book from the 1800s could remind him of me, but whatever.
I was Instagramming my new shoes when Brady said, “Oh yeah, my parents sent you something too.”
He was holding up a fairly small gift wrapped box. I felt terrible because I didn’t get his parents anything except the card I threw in with the gift Brady sent them. I had no idea we were on the gift exchanging level.
“Oh. Thanks,” I said, awkwardly taking the gift from him.
Y’all will never guess what Brady’s parents gave me.
It was a bible. A maroon leather bible with my name monogrammed in gold on the bottom corner.
“What is that?” Brady asked.
I held it up. “A bible?” I’m not sure why they thought I needed a new bible, but I guess I appreciate it. Plus they personalized it so that was nice. It’s kind of odd though, right?
Anyway, after we checked out of the hotel we headed back to my parents. On the ride there I considered bringing up the Brittany situation, but ultimately decided against it. It’s not like he really did anything wrong plus we were all drunk.
When we got back to my parents we exchanged gifts with them. They got me a Kate Spade bag and wallet (my mom) and Nike Roshes with a gift card (my dad). I got them an iPad and an e-reader. They got Brady a t-shirt from my dad’s alma mater (in a size XL so I’m not sure what giant they thought I was bringing home).
After we exchanged gifts, my grandparents stopped by. They weren’t too embarrassing except for the fact that my grandmother talked Brady’s ear off. I think it’s a rule that grandparents have to be constantly talking. She had Brady trapped in the kitchen for like an hour.
After my grandparents left, my dad and Brady went to play a round of golf on the golf course in our subdivision. My mom and I stayed home and drank wine/set up the new iPad/looked for dinner recipes on Pinterest. When the boys got home my mom and I started making drinks and dinner. By the time we were done with the meal, we were both completely drunk and forcing my dad and Brady to take shots. My mom was that mom who allowed me to drink underage at home because she’d rather me do it at home where I was safe than elsewhere where I could be taken advantage of. Those were her words.
So we all had dinner drunk (so no one knew how bad the meal really was) and then played Monopoly. At around midnight we all retreated to bed, but Brady and I stayed up until like three am talking. He said that he really enjoyed the visit and thought my parents were very welcoming. I told him how embarrassing they are (especially my mom) and he was all like, “You have nothing to be embarrassed about. They obviously love you and are very proud of you.”
That made me feel better.
Our flight left Houston at 9:30 AM on Friday morning so we had to wake up early to get ready. My dad planned on taking us, but at the last minute my mom decided she wanted to go see us off as well. Naturally it took her forever to get ready and Brady kept looking at his watch and saying, “We should probably get going.”
She practically cried when they dropped us off. During our final hug, she said, “Babe, please hang on to him. I love him for you.”
Which I’ve never heard her say, but I guess that means she approves. Not that I was worried about it. She seemed to like my ex the few times they met, but she never said anything like that.
I planned on sleeping on the way back to Chicago, but Brady sat up in his seat with a weird look on his face. I couldn’t read it so I asked if he was okay.
“Yeah. It’s just weird,” he said. “Hunter didn’t call me for my birthday or Christmas and that isn’t like him.”
“Do you think he’s okay?” I asked cautiously.
“I hope so. No one’s talked to him. I’m getting concerned.”
I tried to assure him that everything is fine, but I don’t even believe that myself. Why wouldn’t Hunter call his own brother for his birthday? I’m convinced that something bad happened to him and the proper authorities need to be notified.
When we got back to Chicago, Brady took me home then went straight to work. I spent the majority of Friday looking at cute bathing suits and coverups for Mexico.
I hope everyone had a great Christmas! I am exhausted!