For men, I have found there comes a time in your life when you realize you have done all you can by yourself. You got into college and graduated, you may have squeaked out of a pregnancy scare or two, and you got that real world job where you hopelessly tried not to drink yourself into oblivion. These are all great accomplishments.
But those reckless times of you being an independent man are a distant memory now. You finally met the girl of your dreams–or at least the girl you didn’t want to just send home with cab fare and an embarrassing tale for Humpday Hookup Horror Stories.
No sir, not this young lady. She likes you for some reason, and you genuinely think she enjoys your poop jokes and those dinosaur sheets you think are still funny to have. As you descend into the sad reality that you could have graduated college a second time, and that her biological clock is ticking, you realize changes are coming.
But now, your relationship, patience, and sanity will be tested, because it’s time to meet her parents. Here are a few tips for getting through a family weekend with the future Mrs. Right.
1. Expect Blue Balls
You will get no sex that weekend. You will sleep in a different room. She will be excited about how great your are with her parents, and how impressed they are by your dead end job that you’ve masterfully crafted to look important. She will then “reward” you by subtly groping you or biting your ear while her mom has her back turned. It will hurt.
At the end of the evening, you will retire to your separate chambers and you will be tempted to rub one out as a direct result of the torturous teasing she will inflict upon you. Stay strong. You can’t risk any sort of errant spray, because her mom will be the one washing those sheets when you leave. The shower is also not an option; you don’t know how that drain will handle your seed.
2. Prepare Several Icebreakers For Awkward Silences
There is no way around it. You will run out of things to talk about with her parents. When that awkward silence comes up, there are only so many times your girlfriend can interject with a story to inflate your ego and ease her parents’ skepticism of you.
This is why it’s important to have a few solid lines ready to roll when you run out of things to talk about. You want to keep the focus on the fact that you are still interested in getting to know their daughter. One of my fail-proof lines that I’ve used is, “So, I want to hear an embarrassing story about your daughter that she doesn’t want you to tell me.”
Parents love shit like this, especially parents who have a good sense of humor. That will quickly spark the conversation and will give you something fun to harass your girlfriend with later on.
3. Hide Your Vices
This is the most common sense advice I can give. It is imperative that her parents never know about your smoking, dipping, or excessive drinking. She might be okay with it right now, but her parents will feel disrespected if they see signs of overt weakness.
Pack some nicotine gum and drink in moderation. It sounds terrible, but it’s better than her parents assuming you’re a worthless slapdick after the first time you meet them.
4. Bring A Gift
This is the most courteous thing you can do that will immediately put you in good standing with her folks. This shows them that you are willing to put forth the effort to make a good impression, which will lead them to believe you do the same with their daughter.
Your girlfriend will probably tell you, “Trust me, there is no need to bring anything! My parents are just excited to meet you.” It’s a trap, and you better get your ass to a gift shop and buy something.
If you are within driving distance or have your car, get a bottle of wine. If you’re flying to their house, get them a touristy gift like a snow globe or a mug from wherever you’re coming from. The gift doesn’t matter. In this instance, it really is the thought that counts.
5. Bend Over Backwards To Help Out
No parents want to see their daughter bring home a lazy, unemployed slob–especially one who smokes. If her mom is cooking dinner, you get your ass to the kitchen and offer to help chop onions or something. After dinner, you sure as hell better start washing dishes, and do it on your own accord. Take a little initiative for once.
Again, this goes back to how they perceive you in the context of how you treat their daughter. It is important to be on your toes at all times, so hop to it.
6. Wake Up Early
Despite your usual Saturday routine of waking up at 11 a.m. after a night of drinking Johnnie Walker Red and eating questionably old pizza, it is important to present yourself as a respectful, motivated individual. Unfortunately, pretending you’re an early bird goes with that.
Set your alarm, get out of bed, and take a shower. When you have to go number two, turn on the shower first, do your business, and then get in the shower. You don’t want a stench to permeate your girlfriend’s parents’ house.
7. Thank Them For The Hospitality Over And Over
This is beginning to read like the rules of basic etiquette, but you need to get your shit together if you’re at this point in life, so deal with it. This last step is most important.
When you leave, give her mom a hug and her dad a firm handshake, and then sincerely thank both of them. A sincere thank you is crucial. You need to shoot for an Oscar here. Even if her dad is a deadbeat alcoholic and her mom sucks at cooking or hasn’t cleaned the house since Clinton was president, look them in the eye and tell them how much you appreciate all they have done, and how much you care for their daughter.
The thank you isn’t over though. Send a thank you note when you return home. Not an email or text–I am talking about an actual card with an envelope and a stamp. Again, it is all about presenting an ideal, if not unrealistic, view of the man they think their daughter is with.
So there you have it. When you get into a serious relationship and have to appear worthwhile to the people who created the girl you’re currently trying not to get pregnant, remember these simple steps, and you will succeed in this uncomfortable, intimidating situation.