To me, (to most people I think..) meeting the parents is a big deal. If I actually like someone enough, if I actually foresee a guy being in my life longer than a few dates, then maybe at some point I will bring him to my parent’s house and subject him to my family.
I think giving your significant other a heads-up of things to avoid before the grand introduction is the right thing to do. (I.E. wearing that OSU Beavers t-shirt is a bad call, and under NO circumstances ask my dad about his TV.) And I would like to assume this philosophy is a common ideal – the whole wait until you are sure someone is decent and going to be around for a while before you dive into “the family introduction”, and give them a short prep-course before the big event.
But, if I were to assume that I would be wrong.
This weekend I was completely blindsided by an impromptu Meet the Parents. And by impromptu I mean, my current gent and I were (unbeknownst to me) 15 minutes away from from his parents house and he suggested we stop in to “pick something up.”
Meet the parents?? This was a bold strategy considering we have only been dating a few weeks, and as I glanced at my reflection in the mirror and then looked down at my outfit, my nervous panic of the potentially “big step” in a relationship was dwarfed by the panic over my appearance. This was not an appropriate first-impression-look I had going on.
I am a person who takes first impressions very seriously. Ideally, when meeting the parents I like to have ample time to prepare; actually wash and style my hair, put on some make-up (not too much of course), and pick out a respectable outfit (maybe a nice cardigan…). Basically I like to make sure parents don’t look at me in horror and wonder if their son needs an eye exam, which I am sure is the exact feeling my new guy’s parents had after one look at me.
This sneak-attack meet the parents came the morning after a night of serious partying, and I had been lured out of the house with a promised day at the river – a fun day on the water with friends, drinks and getting tan. Figuring I would just be getting in the water as soon as we got there, I skipped my usual make-up routine, haphazardly threw my booze-soaked nasty hair up on top of my head, threw on a pair of the shortest shorts I owned (assuming they would be discarded on the river bank about three minutes after arrival) and a sequined tube-top (I’ll blame that choice on the remains of alcohol in my system); this is what I looked like when my gent of about three weeks decided to introduce me to his parents.
I was breaking out in a cold sweat with every passing second as we neared their house. I frantically searched through my bag for anything to help redeem this outfit (to no avail), and even “jokingly” asked, ‘You really want me to meet your family looking like this??” His casual, “Why not?,” reply was actually making me wonder if he did need an eye exam.
Thankfully, the meet the parents (which I might add, turned into a two hour Meet the Parents lunch) ended up going surprisingly well – my appearance and wardrobe taken into account. But as we left, and I commented on how his parents were probably going to ask he never again bring a street walker to the house, it struck me that maybe to him—or thinking more in depth, guys in general—meeting the parents is not that big of a deal. Maybe, to guys, it really was just “stopping in” and didn’t mean more than that.
But, I am not sure that is how it should be. Meeting the parents for the majority of us opens the Pandora’s box of questions like, “How serious are things with you and _________? “or, “Where did you two meet?” And even worse, the inevitable, “What ever happened to __________?,” a few weeks after he stops returning your calls. So, for all you guys out there (or girls), who just don’t think meeting the parents is a big deal: It is.
Please be courteous and give your respective significant other enough of a heads up to shower… and not wear something with sequins.
[Photo courtesy of dearsugar.com]