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Dear Summer: Meet The Parents

Dear Summer: Meet The Parents

There’s a million reasons to be downright SCARED of meeting your significant other’s parents. In my own experience, I’ve never been one to be LOVED by anyone’s mom or dad. Growing up, I was a little rough around the edges; a wild card type that parents frowned upon. Since then, I’ve become a little more than apprehensive in this situation. Next week, I’ll be introduced to my current boyfriend’s entire family for the first time and I can’t stop obsessing over my past meeting mishaps. What should I wear? Will they like me? Will they stare at me like a monkey in a zoo? Even at 31, I’m fearful of first encounters. Keep in mind that anticipation is KEY when meeting family. For example, will you be visiting a “shoes off”  household? If so, are your toes properly pedicured? What should you say if your boyfriend’s mom calls you by his ex’s name? Do they know you’re vegan? “Problems” like these should be addressed swiftly and seamlessly for your survival. Be cool, breathe, and just remember a few things before meeting the ‘rents:

To begin, NEVER inquire about his ex’s relationship with the parents. Are you ready to hear that she walked on water? I didn’t think so. If your significant other imposes too much info on you, stop him in his tracks. This will save you from feeling inadequate or setting up unrealistic expectations for yourself. Just pretend you’re the first girl he’s brought home.

Put your best face forward. If you’re a makeup junkie like myself, bring it down a notch. If you’re a minimalist, amp it up a bit. Don’t try any new hair styles, cuts, colors, or funky hats. Trendy to YOU might be trashy to them. Put forth a polished version of YOURSELF. If you’re stubborn and think “if they don’t like me for who I AM, then f*ck em”… think again. You want YOUR family to have a good impression on your own newcomer right? So clean it up and keep it moving. It’s once you get to know them that you can flaunt your flair.

When it comes to dressing, basics are your bff. That’s fine if you prefer PVC over a puff sleeved cardigan, just save it for another time. Flats, wedges, or sandals (pedicure please) should be worn vs. stilettos… ONLY because you don’t want to run the risk of stumbling all over the place-especially if there is wine at dinner- which brings me to an especially sensitive subject…

DON’T GET DRUNK!! Alcohol is a great way to loosen up stiff nerves, but before you reach for the bottle, keep this in mind: NO ONE LIKES A LUSH. I made the embarrassing mistake of drinking too much red wine and became brave enough to declare how “hot” my boyfriend’s family was. DON’T DO THIS.

Make sure your other half minds his manners enough to properly introduce you: “Mom, this is my GIRLFRIEND (fiance, wife, baby mama) So-and-So”, as well as keep the conversation going (remember, religion and politics are a NO NO), since there’s nothing worse than uncomfortably sharing silence.

DON’T TAKE DRUGS. There is a pill for everything these days, but calm your nerves au natural. Save your Soma coma for a rainy day.

Mind your OWN manners. Say please and thank you and check your teeth often.

Worst case scenario: You’re called by the ex’s first name. Don’t fret… just breathe and politely state that you would LOVE to have such a COMMON name as hers.

Send a follow up note via SNAIL MAIL: “Dear Mr.and Mrs. So-and-So, thanks so much for inviting me to meet you and your lovely family… the meatloaf was divine.” They’ll be impressed and thankful that their son has found someone so thoughtful-and literate.

Relax and try to enjoy yourself. Remember that “Mr. and Mrs. So-and-So” are human too, ones with their own flaws and insecurities. And in the end, if they don’t like you for who you are, f*ck em! 😉

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