Congratulations, you’re the first boyfriend to officially make it this far. Sure, there was that one guy who met my mom by accident at a funeral and that other one who kinda ran into my dad at a tailgate, but those weren’t pre-planned situations. I was able to fake some extreme emotion — saddness and black-out-ness, respectively, in these instances — pulling myself and the guy in question away from the parentals before any serious meet-and-greet sh*t went down.
You see, the idea of having anyone meet my mother and father is one of the scariest things I can think of. As I write this I’m literally having a small panic attack, shaky hands and all. So, high fives to me for letting you cross this very real checkpoint in our relationship and a giant pat on the back to you for putting up with my crazy ass.
Just for the record, you shouldn’t be scared. It’s not that my parents are weird, it’s all me. They’re quite the opposite, actually; on the whole Richard and Phyllis are nice, normal, friendly people who will likely welcome you with open arms and homemade chocolate chip cookies. I’m the one who will be holding my breath the entire time while worst case scenarios run vividly through my mind.
To help me get through this, I’m going to need you to be calm. Like calmest you’ve ever been. Because I’m going to be a complete nervous wreck, and it’s up to you to keep me from running away. You see, I don’t just want my parents to like you. They like the mailman. They like the kid who bags our groceries at Shop Rite. “Like” is not good enough for me. I want them to be absolutely crazy about you, if simply for the fact that I’m absolutely crazy about you. Reach that lofty level of approval and any doubts I ever had about our relationship will magically vanish. Gaining their enthusiastic endorsement is your ultimate Get Out of Jail Free card.
So how do you win them over in a big way? If you can be confident and funny and charming, but also kinda humble and down-to-earth, too, that would be great. I have a really big extended family, and they’re a wild and loud bunch. Should you meet them as well, being able to engage their attention and hold your own is major. Don’t be intimidated. No one’s going to pull you into their bookshelf-lined study to grill you on your intentions, but chances are they will force-feed you more food than you’ve ever seen in your life. If you love me, you’ll be good and ask for seconds. Also, be sure to have a couple entertaining life stories up your sleeve. I’ve got an uncle who goes hunting in Alaska and Africa and far-off islands, another who is one of the country’s top surgeons, a little brother who once ran into Petey Pablo at Rite Aid. Needless to say, the men in my family are pretty cool. Be dazzling in your own right, and you’ll fit in just fine.
Above all else, relax and know it’s going to be okay. Remember, I’m freaking out more than you are, right? So let’s just get drunk and go find a spare bedroom to make out in.
Get ’em, tiger. You’ve totally got this.
Alex loves rainbow sprinkles, retro bromances, and cultivating an iTunes library superior to yours. Most days, though, she just wishes she was Beyonce. Got something to say or a good conspiracy theory you’re just dying to share with someone? Follow her on twitter @AlexandraRane or on Tumblr.