It’s the holidays, the time of year when all of your relatives are shoved into one house to
yell about politics and fight over how much butter to put in the mashed potatoes enjoy some family time. Eventually, if you’re dating someone, you might reach a point where it becomes appropriate to bring your boyfriend along… and vice versa. There’s nothing more terrifying than meeting your boyfriend’s parents. Hopefully, if they’re inviting you for the holidays, it isn’t the very first time you’ve met them, but either way, it’s an especially high-stress time, so there’s more potential for it to be a total freaking disaster. Especially if he’s not only introducing you to his mom this time, but also his persnickety great grandmother and his super conservative uncle and emo 14-year-old cousin. I mean, dealing with your own family is enough!
That being said, here are some tips to navigate meeting your boyfriend’s parents (and other family members), especially around the holidays.
1. Come Up With A Meet-Cute
Don’t tell his family you met while he was holding up your legs for a keg stand and you proceeded to bond while finishing a fifth of Fireball together after. Make it so PG you can tell your 5-year-old cousin. “We were introduced by mutual friends at a party, he asked for my number, and we kept talking and eventually went on a date and really hit it off.” Cute. Vague. This is a story for his parents, not for your friends when you’re chowing down on pints of cookie dough at 3am after that party.
2. Lightly Stalk His Fam
But not in a creepy way. It helps prevent awkward misunderstandings if you know their thoughts on different things. Like, are they huge wine aficionados who will judge you for refusing a glass or wine at dinner because you feel weird drinking in front of his parents? Or is his mom not a huge drinker and secretly likes you more when you refuse that vodka soda? Obviously you can do whatever tf you want (so don’t please don’t leave me a comment about how changing yourself for others is stupid) but if you’re trying to impress someone aka prevent eternal conflict with your potential future mother-in-law, sometimes you want to be on your best behavior.
This also helps if the conversation awkwardly dies, you can either stare into the eyes of his parents, both who are hardcore evaluating your every move, and mutter something about the bathroom, or you can bring up something they’d be interested in talking about: So, I heard you worked on Wall Street, sir, how is that? Just don’t ask him to explain investment banking to you; I’ve tried that with my dad before and became mega bored real fast, felt like an idiot, and still am confused.
Finally, knowing about his family shows your bf you care enough to listen when he tells you about his family, which is sweet for your relationship.
3. Don’t Turn Up Empty-Handed
Were you raised by wolves? Obviously the first rule of being invited to someone’s home is to bring a gift, even if it’s just something small. (Ok maybe this is just because my mom is southern but she has drilled into my brain that it is the height of rudeness to not bring something for the hostess.) You don’t need to get his mom a Jo Malone candle if you don’t want to; a homemade dessert is equally sweet. Literally all you have to do is rip open a bag of Ghirardelli’s triple chocolate brownie mix and add water (you laugh, but it will make the fudgiest brownies), and poof, you look like a domestic goddess and the perfect future daughter-in-law, as opposed to some grifter who only showed up for free food.
4. Don’t Talk About Yourself Too Much
Have you ever noticed how boring it can be to hear someone go on and on and on about themselves? Honestly, no one cares that much about your life, probably not even your boyfriend. So don’t bore his family with your entire life history. Now is the time to hear all about his life. Hopefully you actually love him, so you actually, ya know, care. Ask about his childhood photos and cute stories! Now is the time to get the inside scoop from his family, which is definitely a different perspective than his friends will give. You probably won’t get a story about how he once fell down the stairs while blacked out and tore his ACL, but you might get a cute story about losing his tooth in kindergarten. If all else fails, ask his mom to bust out the photo album.
5. Remember Your Table Manners
Remember that Tiffany’s book of manners your mom gave you when you were 10 that you never read because you wanted to make music videos to Justin Bieber’s new song instead? Or all those comportment classes you complained about before your cotillion? No? Just me again? Anyway, regardless of whether or not your mother was a stickler for manners, now is the time to remember your pleases and thank you’s. It probably won’t be a Titanic-esque situation (remember when Jack has to figure out which of the ten forks to use for each course? For future reference, you start out and work your way in), but that doesn’t mean manners aren’t key. If you’re not offering to help clear the table and do the dishes—even if his mom says no initially, insist unless she’s really adamant—you’re doing something wrong.
Meeting your boyfriend’s parents can be stressful, but don’t let them intimidate you. He loves you for a reason, and ultimately, that should be the most important. Even if you accidentally insult his mom by refusing to try her famous chicken parm because you’re vegan, I’m sure she’ll get over it eventually (ok that was a lie she’ll def hold a grudge forever). But as much as you want to be polite and make the best possible impression, you’re ultimately dating him, not his family.
Images; Rodolfo Sanchez Carvalho
It’s officially February, so that means the sun is still setting at 4pm, we’re still trying to pull off knit turtlenecks, and we’re still watching Netflix. Like, a lot of it. I’d say with the combination of the shitty weather, a boring Bachelor season, and the shit show of our political system, our society is at an all-time low, which means we can only turn to TV to make ourselves feel a little better. I mean, vodka helps too, but it doesn’t give you as much material for elevator small talk at work. If you’ve already binged on all 10 seasons of Friends this month and you’re in need of something new to watch, here are the best shows and movies coming to Netflix this month.
1. ‘Meet The Parents’ & ‘Meet The Fockers’
Ah, two classic movies for Netflix & chill season. First of all, they literally go together, which gives you an excuse to keep the TV on for another two hours, and secondly, they’re both equally great. I mean, there’s nothing like the combo of Robert De Niro and Ben Stiller to make us forget about our own family drama, and also to remind ourselves never to agree to meeting the parents. It’s always a trap.
2. ‘Coach Snoop’
Watching Snoop in action is more mesmerizing than watching Cardi B give a live TV interview. Luckily for us, Netflix is literally giving us a show that allows us to watch Snoop in his very unknown natural habitat of little league football coaching. Is this real life? The answer is yes, and the show is coming out this week. Sit back, relax, and watch Coach Snoop coach a team of teenagers, no bong in sight.
3. ‘Ocean’s Eleven’, ‘Twelve’ and ‘Thirteen’
Apparently there’s an Ocean’s Eight coming out this summer, so I guess now is a sensible time to catch up on the other three. Ocean’s Eight will be an all-female spin-off with a killer cast. We’re talking about Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Mindy Kaling, Rihanna, James Corden, even Anne Hathaway (which is frustrating, but you can’t win them all). Think of the OG trilogy as your pregame. The first remake of Ocean’s Eleven (I know, it’s confusing, and Hollywood has been out of ideas since 1970) and its subsequent sequels, though, feature the likes of George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Brad Pitt, and more.
4. ‘The Joel McHale Show with Joel McHale’
We have to admit we have a soft spot for obnoxious stand-up comedians hosting their own shows, so we’ll be watching Joel McHale’s show. Joel McHale is known for his amazing pop culture shit-talking and fabulous celeb guests, so we’re just praying his show is a fair combo of our two fav pastimes.
5. ‘Project X’
This movie is so underrated, and we’re totally into its revival, so thank you, Netflix. Project X was the movie that encouraged us to drink more and care less, and it also first opened our eyes to the hotness of Miles Teller (if you’d like to fight me on this, I’ll be outside). The movie is all about high school seniors throwing a rager, so maybe it’ll even hype us up to leave the house this weekend and get blackout enough to come home before even making it to the club. Ugh, I love being a responsible adult.
6. All 5 ‘American Pie’ Movies
Another childhood classic. Why weren’t these on Netflix already? I mean, the franchise was obviously overdone and dragged out way too long, but whatever, the jokes are funny and it just reminds us that life gets *somewhat* better after high school. On one hand, I feel like no one wants to watch the original from 1999, but on the other hand, most kids watching Netflix nowadays were prob not even born yet when it came out. Feel old?
7. ‘Everything Sucks’
Speaking of the 90’s, this Netflix original show is supposed to be set in 1996, and it follows high school freshmen through their v sucky lives. Honestly, it looks pretty good. The name caught my eye immediately, and the whole thing just feels like one relatable TBT. I mean, anyone who says they’re not nostalgic for AIM and Tamagotchis is dead to me. Like, I still look for Dunkaroos in the pantry every time I’m drunk.
8. ‘Queer Eye For The Straight Guy’ Reboot
In case you’ve never heard of the original show, the original Queer Eye For the Straight Guy was on TV from 2003 to 2007, and Netflix is launching a reboot with an entirely new cast. The show will follow a new group of “Fab Five” guys who are lifestyle experts and like, D-list celebs with good taste. For example, the well-dressed host on Chopped who announces the mystery basket ingredients was one of the original Queer Eyes. Kinda sounds like our next guilty pleasure… we’ll be watching.
Images: Tookapic / Pexels; Giphy (5)