>Sonntag meine Lieben, Sonntag ist es soweit.
Frl. K. kann zum ersten Mal zur Family sagen: „Das ist er.“
Ich weiß nicht wer aufgeregter ist, meine Familie oder der Cowboy.
Hier habe ich einige hilfreiche Tipps im Netz gefunden „how to behave when you first meet her parents“.
Nicht dass es der Cowboy nötig hätte, aber man kann ja immer dazulernen bei „Being the best version of ourselves“. 🙂
1. Do your homework in advance.
Every girl is different, so every girls‘ parents are different, with unique expectations. All of the recommendations that follow can backfire horribly if you don’t consult with your girlfriend first about what her parents are like.
- Find out as much as you can about the parents from your partner. What do they do for a living? Do you have any common interests? Have they been on holiday recently? Are there any subjects which are off limits? This gives you a heads up on conversation topics – and what to avoid.
- Anticipate the most difficult questions. You know what they are–about your future (i.e. career, financial stability), your commitment to their daughter (i.e. marriage), and your background (e.g. religion, education). Pretend that her parents already know that you just lost your job, that you can’t afford an engagement ring or a house and probably won’t be able to for several years, that you got arrested that one night, or whatever else you dread them asking about. Develop the most responsible, slick answer you can think of in advance. See Warnings below.
- Consider how you’ll be compared to past boyfriends. Ask your girlfriend how her parents have responded to any other guys in her life in the past. What did or didn’t they like about them? By asking this question, you can learn a lot about what NOT to do. You may also discover the unfortunate circumstances that there may have been one guy who they thought was just perfect for their daughter, and you’ll be getting judged by that standard from the second you walk through the door. There’s nothing to be done about this but anticipate it and not let it catch you off guard.
2. Dress to impress.
Going to meet someone’s parents in your vintage, hole-ridden, acid-washed jeans and Che Guevara t-shirt that you got from the thrift store the other day for three dollars probably won’t get you their utmost respect–unless they’re very unconventional parents. This doesn’t mean wear a suit – just be presentable (e.g. a polo shirt or t-shirt that doesn’t spread the Communist agenda). Dress smart but casual, and make sure everything is clean, decently fitted (nothing too tight or baggy) and tidy. Get a fresh haircut and trim your nails. Ask your girlfriend for her opinion – she knows them best.
3. Arrive on time.
Don’t pull up with your stereo blasting heavy metal. They’ll disapprove in a heartbeat (unless they like it themselves). Turn the volume down. Park your car in front of their house, and lock both doors. This will be explained later.
4. Don’t come empty-handed.
You’ll most likely be invited to the parents‘ house for a meal of some kind. If that’s the case, you must bring something—an assortment of pastries, a side dish of „spaghetti surprise,“ a warm bottle of R.C. Cola. Really, anything will do; it’s the gesture that counts. Showing up with a small gift goes a long way toward making you look like a considerate, thoughtful person, instead an MTV dating show spaz.
5. Turn off the mobile device.
It’s an important night for everyone, so don’t ruin it by checking your Twitter account or texting your friend about the sogginess of the mushroom casserole. Parents survive on food, water, and courtesy, so they’ll appreciate your undivided attention. Plus, the world will not implode if your Tweets on last night’s „Glee“ are slightly delayed.
6. Be confident when you meet them
Give the father a firm handshake. Nothing says „I can’t take care of your daughter“ more than a limp-noodle handshake. Not to mention, when it’s firm, it shows you mean business. All men-who-mean-business use the firm shake, sometimes with an additional forearm grab. If he happens to think his daughter can take care of herself, or he’s not a man-who-means-business himself (i.e. more of the artist, intellectual or anything goes type), a firm handshake certainly won’t hurt (unless you squeeze too hard). For the mother, the appropriate greeting can range from a handshake, to an air kiss, to a hug (or any combination of these). Some mothers are reserved, and some mothers will hug the air out of your lungs and shower your cheeks with kisses. Ask your girlfriend for feedback on this. As far as greetings are concerned, follow your partner’s cue when addressing them. If you are just told „This is my mother and father“ then show your respect and go with Mr. and Mrs. until they tell you otherwise. If you are introduced with first names, then stick to them. Tell them that you’re happy to meet them, and thank them for inviting you to their home.
7. Make good conversation
One of the most pivotal parts of meeting anyone – parents, girls, the president – is the conversation. If you have mastered the art of conversation, you are a deadly force just waiting to disarm parents at every turn. Use anecdotes and, most importantly, well-timed (and appropriate) jokes. Timing is the key–an ill-timed comment could be the difference between „father-in-law“ and „law-suit“. Take lessons from your past experiences; i.e., look at your conversations with your ex-girlfriend’s parents (see, that’s EX-girlfriend for a reason). You’ve done your research so you will have a few conversation openers up your sleeve. Avoid heavy or controversial subjects; this is not the time to air views on human cloning. But don’t be ‚Yes‘ man. If you are asked for your opinion, be honest. If at any point, you are stuck for conversation, ask what your partner was like as a child. This is a brilliant ploy, parents love discussing their offspring and it shows you have a deep interest in her.
8. Treat your girl well
Be extra attentive to your partner. Pull back her chair for her at dinner, pour her a drink, open doors for her, and all that jazz (which are all good practices outside the parental meeting, as well, or else she may feel disgruntled that such consideration is only executed in front of her parents). At the same time, don’t show too much affection towards your girlfriend while in their presence (i.e. don’t put your hands on her rear). They should see you treating their daughter like the princess they believe her to be, not the hottie you believe her to be.
9. Say farewell
Shake hands, give hugs, or whatever seems appropriate. Thank them profusely for having you over and smile. This is the most relieving part of the entire parental-unit-meeting-situation, but only for the champions who have made it past the gauntlet. Usually characterized by a dark, evil stare by the father (sometimes by the mother) as he (or she) opens the door to let you out, and accompanied by a „Have her home by ____,“ – in which case you respond you will have her home within plenty of time to make that deadline – this is the green-mile.
10. Don´t look back
Once you exit the door, it is imperative not to look back – because you know darn well that her parents are watching until you are out of sight. When you reach your car, be certain to unlock her door first, and open it for her. Turn around and flash her parents a smile while you close the door if you are feeling dangerous. Once you get in, don’t pull out until both of you have your seat belts on, otherwise you will notice her father’s face twist and distort behind the screen door. Finally, give a single-hand acknowledgment of her parent’s presence behind their door, and drive away at no faster than fifteen miles-an-hour until you are out of their sight.