It’s raining. Todd arrives twenty minutes early to ensure she doesn’t get any alone time with his parents before he has the opportunity to introduce her. Milking the last of his draft beer, his parents emerge in the entrance and are shown to the bar where Todd sits.
“We are so excited to meet her!” Todd’s mom reiterates before ordering a sauvignon blanc.
“Scotch, neat,” Todd’s dad requests. He’s a man of few words and it’s unknown whether or not he’s excited to meet Todd’s girlfriend.
“So where is she?” Todd is asked as he sees a 115-pound person shuffling through the rain in heels and an umbrella that’s the same color of a Veuve Clicquot label. He knows exactly who it is because there are only so many people in the city that would wear heels when everyone’s iPhone is buzzing with a potential flood warning until 2 a.m. that night.
Hanging her raincoat in the foyer, she takes sixty seconds to adjust her hair, ensure her makeup isn’t running, and apply a fresh coat of lipstick that she had purchased the night before at Sephora in preparation for this all-important dinner.
Earlier that week, Todd sent a photo of her to his mom so they could skip over the whole, “Oh my God, Todd, she’s gorgeous!” But to no one’s surprise, that exact exchange occurred as she approached the bar where Todd and his family sat with their drinks. After several ass-out hugs and an exchange of “so great to meet you!”, they head to a corner table at the steakhouse.
Upon ordering a bottle of Cabernet for the table, Todd’s dad places his napkin on his lap and launches into the questioning. Todd still has yet to speak while she begins to answer, “So what do you do?”
“Well, I graduated with a degree in marketing two years ago and have been an account manager at Groupon ever since. I positively love it.” Todd tries not to roll his eyes and is praying his parents don’t realize that his last girlfriend had the exact same answer. And after a certain amount of bonding happens when Todd’s mom realizes that they graduated from the same private university, even more bonding occurs when they realize they’re both wearing the same Tory Burch earrings. Needless to say, it’s love at first sight on the mom front.
They order some raw oysters for the table — which she knows a lot about given she did an entire post about it for her now-defunct food blog — and discuss plans for the weekend. It seems as though she has already planned out the next few days with the parents despite any other plans they’ve made without her. Todd can tell she’s going full-court press and wishes he’d planned ahead to do some damage control for this situation instead of skipping out of work and playing 18 the night before.
After the men order matching filets and the ladies get salmon caesar salads, Todd gets up to go to the bathroom despite his worries about leaving her alone with his parents. Surprisingly, Todd’s dad follows and leads him to the bar where his dad orders two shots of Jack Daniels.
“Todd, shoot me straight. You marrying this girl or what?”
After a hard gulp, Todd’s wide eyes tell his dad everything he needs to know. Todd’s father goes back to the table, sits down, and remains stoic for the remainder of the dinner now that he knows he doesn’t need to make much of an impression.
Unfortunately, Todd’s mom is a different story as her hand is rested firmly on her forearm as she describes how much she loves the city and how happy she is to have met a guy like Todd. As Todd and his father discuss his career goals over the next fiscal year on one side the table, a conversation surrounding paleo diets and designer brands occurs on the other until everyone is done with their respective dinners. With everyone being too full for an actual dessert, they split two hummers between the four of them as Todd’s dad pays the $300 bill.
“We’re going to meet some friends at this new bar on 5th,” she says to Todd’s mother who has to decline the tacit invitation despite how in love she is with Todd’s potential future wife. After all, if there’s anything recent graduates love doing, it’s going out with each other’s parents. Todd silently thanks God that tonight is not that night.
They begin putting their coats on as they toss their napkins on the table. “Don’t let this one go,” Todd’s mom says as she gives him a kiss on the cheek. Meanwhile, his dad gives him a silent wink and nod before heading out the door and hailing a cab.
Alone in the restaurant, Todd asks, “Ready to go to 5th, babe?”
“Sure, but let me head to the bathroom to freshen up first. Will you call an Ubes for us?” He takes out his phone and requests a car as she walks into the bathroom.
Todd steps outside and lights up a cigarette under the awning as the rain refuses to let up. He pulls out his phone and opens up his group texts before typing with one hand, “Guys. I’m in deep.” .
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