Meet the Parents, continued

I’m off tomorrow to San Francisco to meet Michelle’s family. Thanksgiving dinner will include her mom and dad, younger sister Quinn, and younger brother Greg.

I have to say I am more than a little nervous. I mean, yes, I have acquired mad skills talking to strangers for the last 18 months. But these people aren’t strangers. Plus, I need this to go well. Talking to strangers is a success whether I make a new friend or some douche in an Audi tells me to fuck off. I can’t lead with, “So how do you know Michelle?”!

I’m not saying that I am only capable of superficial conversations. But meeting strangers by its very nature starts out at a superficial level. As you progress, you dig deeper. Most of the time, I don’t get that far. It’s a lot of ice breakers and cocktail conversations. Few of my encounters have turned into lasting relationships.

On the other hand, some of them have. I guess I just want to make a good impression because I know Michelle is close with her family and values their opinion. It could be an insurmountable obstacle if I screw this up. And I can’t let that happen because I can’t imagine losing her.

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3 thoughts on “Meet the Parents, continued”

  1. Hey pretty exciting spot to be in….I did not foresee this outcome when I started reading your blog a year or so ago. Anyway I recently introduced what I consider an important boyfriend to my family and every single person afterwards told me they loved him. I asked why and WITHOUT FAIL each family member said the same thing unprompted–that he felt comfortable in his own skin, so they in turn were comfortable being around him too. Since that phrase is a little cliche, I will share my own interpretation. What I noticed was that he did not stand on ceremony. Seems often we midwesterners default to being overly polite when meeting strangers, but he walked around my family’s home with a friendly air of familiarity. He piped up in conversation, but not too much. He was self depracating and particapatory. He also did three simple things…he smiled a lot; he talked to everyone on their own at some point (and not things about me–he asked about them, got them to tell stories so really he mostly made eye contact and just listened); and a few days after, he mailed my family a letter–not a card or a thank you note, just a letter saying what a good time he had. He is just a normal dude as well, not a superhuman boyfriend I gush over. I just think he nailed the ‘meeting the family’ thing. When I met his a few weeks later, I looked to his example and it went great. I basically just acted very comfortable in their house (without rummaging in the fridge or belching out loud, of course), reminded myself that they are just people, and kept my shoulders relaxed (dont know why but keeps me at ease). Seemed to work well, and very quickly I forgot about making an impression and just started having fun. So I’m not trying to type you a ‘how-to’ manual, just sharing my observations and wishing you well! Happy Thanksgiving, with well wishes from Omaha.

  2. I think you _should_ do a “how-to” manual, Jezba. You can write the “instructions” part, and then Fletcher can write the “here’s what happened in real-life” part. I’d definitely buy something like that.

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