Meeting a girl’s parents for the first time is the stuff of jokes and legend. Hell, there’s an entire movie series about it (even if only one of them was actually good). Personally, I don’t think that it’s as daunting a task as everyone makes it out to be. We meet people every day who we want to impress, so I don’t know why the two goobers who managed to raise a girl you’re dating are any more intimidating. For the sake of those out there who are still a little leery about the prospect, here are a few tips I’ve picked up in my adventures wooing a girl’s guardians.
1. Plan Ahead
Not all parents are going to be the same. This is kind of a no-brainer, but you have to remember some dads are the “hit the golf course with some beers and yell fucks at the ball” type, while others are the “I take myself more seriously than any person should” type. You have to know what you’re dealing with before you get yourself into it. Thankfully, you have the perfect resource at your fingertips for learning how to act around her parents: your girlfriend. She knows what they like and what they don’t. If she’s taking this opportunity seriously, she’ll want you to be fully prepped and ready to impress just as much, if not more, than you. Use her insider knowledge to get the scoop on all of the things to avoid, and more importantly, subtle things to do that they’ll love.
2. Bring A Gift
Obviously you don’t want to be super fucking obvious about this, but it doesn’t hurt to show up with something to show you’re thankful to meet the people who managed to turn an average marital bone sesh into a beautiful woman. If her dad likes good booze, show up with a small batch bourbon that shows you have good taste (but isn’t so prohibitively expensive that you break your life). If her mom is into those creepy china doll figurines…get her flowers. Don’t feed that weird addiction.
3. Talk Like A Fucking Adult
Don’t swear around her mom. Ever. That’s number one. Even if she has a mouth like an Alabama truck driver, I’d say you have to wait one year, minimum, before you can curse in front of her. As for her dad, feel it out. Give him some time to express himself and also pay attention to how he talks when your girlfriend isn’t around. The safe bet is to not drop a particular word until you’ve heard him say it at least three times. This doesn’t just apply to vulgarity. You’re not in college hanging out with your brosephs anymore, so use your big boy words. I’m not saying you need to cram with a thesaurus for a week prior, just that you need to sound like you know what you’re talking about. Have some real world opinions, and for God’s sake, don’t take any hard political, religious, or even music-related positions until you know what their thoughts are on the matter. I hate the fucking Eagles, man, but that’s a dangerous opinion to have around 50-year-old men.
4. Have Answers For Every Possible Question
You can expect to get grilled by her dad. It could be similar to him seeming like a hardened homicide lieutenant and you’re the scumbag who was caught three blocks from the crime scene. In all likelihood, he will be much more subtle than that, which actually makes it more difficult. See, to him, you’re the guy who’s trying to lay pipe in his daughter’s trousers, so no matter how nice he seems on the outside, he’s evaluating you internally. Every question is a test. Even the little ones. Be ready to talk about everything from your current job, your future career aspirations, your thoughts on kids and marriage to what club you use for approach shots and what your preferences are for deer rifles.
5. Act As If
You may not be or have everything that they want you to. In fact, at this point in your life, you probably look like total dogshit on paper. You have to put up a front and channel Ben Affleck’s speech from “Boiler Room.” If your job sucks, make sure you convey how it’s helping you move into the next step of your career. If you have no intention of working in the field you’re currently in but you have other goals, be sure that they’re carefully planned out and appear realistic. If you hate everything about your job and have no aspirations, for fuck’s sake, don’t actually say that. They’re going to understand that you might not be exactly where you want to be at the moment, but you need to at least give them the reassurance–however contrived–that you’re not taking their daughter down the path to mediocrity.