Last weekend, I took someone to my home to meet the ’rents for the first time. Unlike high school — where bringing someone home is the only way you’ll ever see that person because helicopter parents won’t have it any other way — now I’m somewhat of an adult and dating is a little more serious, or so they say. I didn’t think it was a big deal because my parents are your run-of-the-mill protective, but super playful, parents — same goes for the other 12-15 members of my family he met at my niece’s first birthday. They are all always cordial, but I can tell quickly whether or not they think someone’s a good person. I guess he passed the test. (Disclaimer: If you’re reading this, boyfriend no. 2 isn’t that far away, so don’t get a big head.)
So, after a good weekend, I came back to work not thinking much about it. We laughed about how my parents and my family “loved” him and how I needed to meet his family next.
First of all, meeting the family of the “baby boy” is always a death trap. The baby boy can do no wrong and any woman that comes around is just out to get them. I know, because my stepdad was the youngest in his family, and after him, my cousin. So, needless to say, I had no intentions of meeting his family anytime soon.
While at work on Friday, he hit me up about going to a pop-up art show at his sister’s hair salon. I immediately started to panic, but then I thought how overwhelming it must have been for him to meet almost my entire family. “How bad can meeting one sister be?”
After rushing home from work and having only an hour-and-a-half to get home, change, get to her salon and make dinner reservations, my anxiety was through the roof. I felt exposed, on display — just like the art we were going to see. I wish I could have spent more time looking at the art before shaking his sister’s hand because after that, I thought I could pass out at any minute. If it hadn’t been for his roommate — who I might add, I spend most of my time bickering with — I don’t know what I would have done.
As I was about to exit, stage left, and wait outside, the most terrifying thing happened. Just when I didn’t think it could get any worse, in.walks.his.mom. It was the first time I fully understood the meaning of the saying, “sweating like a prostitute in church.” I swear everything was drenched. And, to top it off, he even brought attention to the fact I was nervous. I could have melted.
I’m not the first, nor will I be the last girl ever to meet the parents. Between hitting up familiar spots to tinder dates, you’re bound to find someone in the Q.C. you’re going to actually “take home to mom.” So, here’s a few dos and don’ts to keep in mind when you finally do encounter the potential in-laws.
Do bring a gift.
The first time you go to your future parents-in-law’s house, bring something to let them know you appreciate their hospitality. Without me telling him, or thinking about it, No. 1 on the roster stopped by the store to grab flowers before heading to my house. A simple gesture, but I have gotten a picture of those flowers at least three times since our visit.
Don’t dress like a baby prostitute.
You’re already going to be sweating like one. Just because your significant other likes what you’re wearing doesn’t mean it’s appropriate for meeting family members. Take me for example, I wore a black spaghetti strap dress. Even though it was below the knee, I felt like I needed a little bit more. Thank God I felt fat and put on a short sleeve sweater, between my tattoos and tight dress, I really would have felt like I needed to confess my sins.
Do flatter them.
Some say this means you should compliment their son/daughter. Tell his/her parents how great of a person he/she is. In my case, he snitched. Sharing details about unsafe habits I had and how he wasn’t a fan. *Rolls eyes* That didn’t go over too well for our conversation but worked for him in the case of my parents. SMH. Parents love a good snitch.
Even though I’m a huge fan of public displays of affection, the saying, “There’s a time and a place for everything,” definitely applies here. All I wanted to do was hold his hand — mainly so I could try to break it — but didn’t feel like it was appropriate given the circumstances. Given that, a kiss would have sent me into a coma. So just try to keep the PDA to a minimum.
Do try to be yourself.
While I had a hard time remembering my name, the best advice I could give anyone is to show them who you really are. That’s the best first impression anyone could ask for. I felt like I had just taken my end of semester exam, and already knew I got every answer wrong.