This Christmas was my first Christmas with FBF, and although we spent the actual day apart (me in CA and him in le Nord), I still got a lesson in French dating.
While trying to find a place to live, I was hébergé (housed, home-stay style) chez FBF’s Maman (mommy). As a thank you, I decided to bring her back some Christmas presents from my trip to California.
My gifts were not the thank you I had intended. La Maman, FBF told me, had bought me Christmas presents as well. I was now going to have to do a gift exchange.
Before now, I had never bought nor received a gift of any kind from the parents of a significant other. My gift was simply a thank you present disguised as a Christmas gift. Her present, on the other hand, was simply a Christmas present.
La Maman, as it turned out, was only the beginning. Soon thereafter, FBF informed me that his sister also wanted to buy me a Christmas present.
A few days later, I found out that FBF’s cousin, whom I’ve met a maximum of four times, also bought me a Christmas present.
Last, but not least, and completely unannounced, FBF’s brother and sister-in-law, whom I’ve never met, also bought me Christmas presents.
Having not yet even made the one-year mark with FBF, this whole gift giving with the famille (family) thing made Christmas seem a little bit more serious than I had anticipated. Then I remembered that the French don’t date, they relationship.
I should have seen this coming, what with kissing a guy once making him your boyfriend, and being introduced to family members after only three weeks of dating, naturally I would be receiving Christmas gifts from family members inconnues (unknown).