Dear Ms. Patsy Soon-to-be-Frey-Davis,
Having been married to the other Davis boy for the past 4 years, and being as such somewhat learned in the Davis Family Way of Life, I am writing to you to offer some tips to make your transition that much smoother. Granted, I have no doubts that you will fit right in. But it never hurts to be prepared.
1) Dad is a great cook. The stories I hear say, “be glad Dad cooks, because the last time Mom cooked….” I’ll leave you to fill in the blanks. (However, there are rumors going around about some delicious chicken that Mom made, but that is a tale for another time). But sometimes, Dad needs a little encouragement. So compliment him on his cooking at least 80 percent of the time. The other 20, be sure to agree with his assessment of the meal…so that you can be sure to dutifully sacrifice your palate for the sake of the family.
2) Mom is a great baker. Especially cookies. You, having the privileged status of “daughter-in-law” will be able to get cookies from her whenever you want. You may even be able to get two cakes for your birthday (though I haven’t tried this one yet). Occasionally, you’ll have to bake cookies for her, but it’s a small price to pay to keep the mother-in-law happy. PS – She likes her chocolate chip cookies on the crispy side.
3) Ice cream. Learn how to pack it in. Honestly, the way I wormed my way into the hearts and minds of the Davis family was not because of my kindness or charming personality or anything like that. It’s because on Sunday afternoons after church, I would make the grocery/ice cream run. Very simple. I think that you and Matt may have already one-upped me by learning how to make ice cream cakes, so I have no doubt that you will excel in this department.
4) Sports. The family is a bit divided here – not in terms of team loyalty, but in terms of actual interest. Occasionally, Ben and Dad will drift off into their own little sports world, leaving everyone else behind. Sometimes, the family will gather to watch a game together (but Mom will usually read a magazine or something). Learn enough about the sport in question (basketball, football, or baseball), and enough about the team in question (Celtics, Patriots, or Red Sox) to mislead Mom when it comes to the rules. It’s even fun to make up rules to tell her…but you have to balance it with telling her enough real rules to cover your bluff.
5) If you haven’t figured it out by now, politics and religion are acceptable topics at the dinner table. But honestly, Mom, Dad, Ben, and I sometimes overdo it with church talk, with conversations about the job or about saving the church and the like. Feel free to tell us to shut up. We have a bad habit of talking shop on our day off.
6) Cupcakes are welcome any time. Not that you have to buy our love…
Please know that I am available at any time – day or night – to answer any questions you may have about your new place among us. Welcome to the family! I’m so glad to be gaining such a wonderful sister.
P.S. Sometimes Dad’s jokes really are funny. It’s OK to laugh…even though it does encourage him.