Wednesday, November 16, 2005

How to Meet Your Girlfriend's Parents

Have you ever been in the nerve-wracking situation of meeting your girlfriend's parents for the first time? Afraid of what impression you will make? Follow these instructions and you'll surely be invited back for baked ziti dinner night.


Steps

1. 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. 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).
2. Park your car in front of their house, and lock both doors. This will be explained later.
3. Be confident. When you meet them for the first time, give them 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 you are feeling brave, throw in a pound. If you are feeling brave and foolish, try a low-five.
4. 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).
5. Be prepared for the Q & A session. There comes a time in every first meeting where you will be assaulted with questions that end only upon the submission of your manhood. It is very important to answer most of these questions in the affirmative, unless they begin with, "Have you ever...," "When is the last time you...," "Have you ever committed a felony..." - in which case it is best to use your discretion. Be warned that you may have to swallow your pride at times. By the end of this session, you will most likely feel out of breath, beaten, and less of a man - however, if done correctly, you will soon be on to step six. If not, a 'family emergency' might suddenly come up that somehow doesn't allow you to go out with your date tonight. You didn't even know she had an Uncle Pedro in Taipei, or that myxomatosis affected humans - but you hope he gets better soon.
6. Say farewell. This is the most relieving part of the entire parental-unit-meeting-situation, but only for the champions who have made it past the first five steps. Usually characterized by a dark, evil stare by the father as he 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. 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.
7. Once 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, make sure she is buckled-up and do the same, 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.
8. Congratulations! You've made it this far, the rest of the night is up to you. Good luck.


Tips

* Always keep a smile on your face if possible.
* If she has a curfew, bring her home a little bit early. That shows the father that you respect his boundaries. After doing that a few times, you will be amazed when you hear from him, "Stay out as long as you want. We know that you are in good hands."